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Old 05-23-2008, 02:26 AM   #1
html034
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Default yeast: a beer ingredient?

Hey, I was just thinking about how people talk about the 4 main ingredients of beer being Barley malt, hops, water and yeast, and I started to think, hey, yeast isn't really an ingredient in beer. Yeast turns the sugar to alcohol and kicks out other flavor components to the beer, but its role in the brewing process seems more like a filter that the beer goes through and is changed by, rather than a proper ingredient. What do you guys think?



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Old 05-23-2008, 02:30 AM   #2
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ingredient...It adds something. It adds its strain characteristics to the beer. If you change and ingredient (ie. different malt) then you change the beer. Now if you change the yeast strain, you change the beer.



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Old 05-23-2008, 02:36 AM   #3
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unless you filter beer through a very fine filter and force carbonate it yeast always remains in the beer and changes the flavor. beers with a lot of suspended yeast taste different.

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Old 05-23-2008, 07:52 AM   #4
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With that logic, then barley isn't really an ingredient either. During the mash, enzymes convert the starch into sugars which are rinsed from the grains.

There is no barley in beer, but rather the byproducts of an enzymatic process.

i think

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Old 05-23-2008, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenche View Post
With that logic, then barley isn't really an ingredient either. During the mash, enzymes convert the starch into sugars which are rinsed from the grains.

There is no barley in beer, but rather the byproducts of an enzymatic process.

i think
Shoot, by html's definition, the only real ingredient in beer is water since everything else is processed and a majority of the ingredient is discarded. When you think about it, yeast is more of an ingredient than hops or malt since it remains in the final product more definitely.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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I'm gonna buck the trend here and (partially) agree with the OP. Water, barley, and hops are all ingredients because compounds from all three of these are in the finished product; some have undergone chemical changes, some haven't.

Yeast isn't an ingredient because it simply facilitates the reaction of sugars to alcohol while producing flavors. Different strains produce different flavors because they produce different by-products from the same initial composition. Think of it as a catalyst in a chemical reaction: Catalysts are necessary to the reaction in a lot of cases, but they aren't considered a reactant (ingredient).

To put it biologically, saying yeast is an ingredient in beer could be similar to saying that cows are an ingredient in grass........They consume an initial ingredient -- grass or hay in this case -- digest it, take a crap on the ground, and more grass grows. This grass is different than that which the cow consumed, and it couldn't have been made this way without the cow, but the cow's not an ingredient. The cow's a catalyst for grass growth.

BTW, I said at the top that I partially agree for this reason........As one of the other posters mentioned above, yeast is always going to be left in your beer. As long as you're consuming the yeast, you could certainly argue that it's an ingredient.

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:49 PM   #7
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If yeast didn't add to the flavor, then theoretically, there would only be one kind of yeast used by brewers.

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:49 PM   #8
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Oooh, I jest LOVES me some inane debates on semantics...

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Old 05-23-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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Without yeast, you're just drinking wort, and that would suck. If you don't add yeast (ignoring wild fermentation because that's still "adding yeast"), then you can't make beer, so it seems pretty clear that it's an ingredient in beer, if perhaps not a component of the final product.

Semantics? What? I'm a theologian. I have no idea what you're talking about.

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Old 05-23-2008, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkdog View Post
Without yeast, you're just drinking wort
German kids do it all the time.



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