Originally Posted by EdMerican
If that is the case, how would the yeast "manufacturers" breed them? Not to sound like a smarta$$, as I will be the first to admit I am completely ignorant in the ways of the yeasts. (I take the 15th century trappist monk approach short of calling it simply "god is good") It does, however, occur to me that in order to keep a yeast strain pure one must cultivate it from something of an original, shall i say, "blood line". So it makes sense to me that a hefe, belgian, english, american lager, etc. has been duped over and over from much older cells to obtain the same yeast essentially, over many batches. It is hard for me to believe that the "manufacturers" just will a particular yeast strain to grow and put it in a pouch or foil packet. Am I completely off base here?
I am not a yeast manufacturer but I can tell you that in science class we would have different strains or cultures that were the same batch. We wouldn't take daughter cells to create the new yeast. We would use original cells. In other words, we collect new cells from the same batch and not recycle them. This takes a considerable amount of energy since it is much easier just to take a daughter cell and revive it. But you then pass on weaker DNA strands that begin to fail in subsequent generations.
So, maybe this is how yeast is grown in the lab? Just keeping the main mother cells alive and reproducing. Now, if I do use a daughter cell batch, then I would not try to recover sleepy yeast cells. I would just collect fresh ones and the ones that die, die off naturally.
Also remember that if yeast cells are dormant, they are not expending energy and can actually survive an astounding number of years. I even read that some Egyptian yeast over 5000 years old was recovered. Fungi (yeast) are notoriously hard to kill. There is a really good reason they have thrived over millennia. Also they are very simple creatures being one-cell and using asexual reproduction and all.
Of course, I am not an expert on this. Hopefully someone can explain how Wyeast and White Labs seem to have an never-ending supply of not just ONE yeast... but over 30 different subspecies. Selective breeding gives us the 30 types of yeasts... but they are all from the same species.
If I were to make yeasts to sell, I would separate the mother cells off before exhaustion by placing them in a sterile, cold environment. When not active, yeast can survive a very long time.