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English yeasts and the miracle ester sweet spot of generation nr X

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beervoid

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Hello yeast lovers,

I've been brewing IPA's mostly with GY054 Vermont yeast and WY1318 London Ale III.
I overbuild starters and keep some for a next brew.
Now it might have been coincidence but at around generation 5 or 6 these yeast seem to attenuate a bit less but throw mad fruity esters... Ones that really compliment the IPA in a great way...
Earlier generations don't seem to have such a big ester impact...
I always pitch about the same quantity which is 200 billion cells for a 1.065 beer.
I calculate this with a yeast calculator.

I've had this happen a few times now and I thought I should open a topic on it and see if any people here have the same experience?
and if there are any theories behind as to WHY this happens.

My own theory? Perhaps as I overbuild starters my cell count is slowly going down each generation and at some point I underpitch and stress the yeast and I get great esters from them?
Or maybe I hit a special yeast/hop combo sometimes that combined or by biotransformation just makes a great beer.
 

Calder

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It is not something I have noticed, and I have a dozen yeasts that are probably over 5 'Starter' generations, and maybe approaching 10.

I haven't bought any yeast for over 5 years now. I save some from each starter and that gets stored for a year or more before being woken up. I also use slurry so I don't need to make a starter and save a sample every beer. I also have several yeasts harvested from Commercial beers.
 

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Hello yeast lovers,

I've been brewing IPA's mostly with GY054 Vermont yeast and WY1318 London Ale III.
I overbuild starters and keep some for a next brew.
Now it might have been coincidence but at around generation 5 or 6 these yeast seem to attenuate a bit less but throw mad fruity esters... Ones that really compliment the IPA in a great way...
Attenuation going down seems to indicate fermentation is less than optimal.

Are you ensuring the beer has hit final gravity or assuming? If you normally do primary for X amount of days, are you treating each generation the same and calling it done in those same amount of days?

Earlier generations don't seem to have such a big ester impact...
I always pitch about the same quantity which is 200 billion cells for a 1.065 beer.
I calculate this with a yeast calculator.
Without a microscope you are not going to know this for sure.


My own theory? Perhaps as I overbuild starters my cell count is slowly going down each generation and at some point I underpitch and stress the yeast and I get great esters from them?
By overbuilding the starter every time you are increasing the amount of trub in each generation.

Or maybe I hit a special yeast/hop combo sometimes that combined or by biotransformation just makes a great beer.
I get a lot of esters from 1318...even with a fresh package. Possibly there are other things at play in your process or recipe....which you are considering. Maybe those generations drop out sooner and don't take as many fruity hop aroma/flavor compounds with them?
 
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beervoid

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Attenuation going down seems to indicate fermentation is less than optimal.

Are you ensuring the beer has hit final gravity or assuming? If you normally do primary for X amount of days, are you treating each generation the same and calling it done in those same amount of days?



Without a microscope you are not going to know this for sure.




By overbuilding the starter every time you are increasing the amount of trub in each generation.



I get a lot of esters from 1318...even with a fresh package. Possibly there are other things at play in your process or recipe....which you are considering. Maybe those generations drop out sooner and don't take as many fruity hop aroma/flavor compounds with them?
I take gravity readings to ensure the fermentation has stopped. I also give them a proper long diacetyl rest. I always ferment at the same temps...

Because I get more trub and less yeast, that's why im thinking I probably hit a point where im underpitching enough.. British ale yeasts are traditionally under pitched...

Do you know anything about using old yeast in the whirlpool? I saw this in a cloudwater recipe and I was thinking it's probably for yeast nutrition but they add yeast vitamins as well..
 

Northern_Brewer

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It's a cheap source of nutrition - cannibalism is a great way to ensure you get the right mix of nutrients!

If it's the Cloudwater DIPA recipes you're thinking of, you'll note that they have tripled their pitching rates since 2015. It's not a simple relationship between underpitching=esters as some think. Stopping yeast from cleaning up is also a big part of it.
 

leesmith

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I take gravity readings to ensure the fermentation has stopped. I also give them a proper long diacetyl rest. I always ferment at the same temps...
Do you do a forced diacetyl test?

Do you know anything about using old yeast in the whirlpool? I saw this in a cloudwater recipe and I was thinking it's probably for yeast nutrition but they add yeast vitamins as well..
It's for yeast nutrition most likely...although I've never talked to them or know much about them....likely Servomyces which is yeast high in Zinc. This is really the only nutrient that wort doesn't provide yeast.
 

Northern_Brewer

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...likely Servomyces which is yeast high in Zinc. This is really the only nutrient that wort doesn't provide yeast.
Which is why Cloudwater add it separately. They aren't using Servomyces, they really are just using old yeast.
 

SanPancho

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But even that seems strange, as you can buy sacks of zinc hepta for cheap and skip the added trub of yeast slurry. Its a micronutrient, a little zinc goes a long way.

Or do you think they use the yeast instead of using any nutrients at all?

Seems a little imprecise as no guarantee the dead ones have proper nutrient levels.....
 
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It's a cheap source of nutrition - cannibalism is a great way to ensure you get the right mix of nutrients!

If it's the Cloudwater DIPA recipes you're thinking of, you'll note that they have tripled their pitching rates since 2015. It's not a simple relationship between underpitching=esters as some think. Stopping yeast from cleaning up is also a big part of it.
May I ask how you know they tripled their pitch rates?
Its from the spreadsheet on the blog v3 v3.1 DIPA comparison.
 
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beervoid

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Do you do a forced diacetyl test?



It's for yeast nutrition most likely...although I've never talked to them or know much about them....likely Servomyces which is yeast high in Zinc. This is really the only nutrient that wort doesn't provide yeast.
I would think nutrition but why add yeast vit. As well?
I dont fo a forced diacetyl test. I just it go at 22-23c for 3 to 4 days till I dry hop then another few days once pressure is not climbing anymore from spunding valve I cool and transfer.
 

Northern_Brewer

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May I ask how you know they tripled their pitch rates?
Its from the spreadsheet on the blog v3 v3.1 DIPA comparison.
Look at the pitch rates in that spreadsheet....

But even that seems strange, as you can buy sacks of zinc hepta for cheap and skip the added trub of yeast slurry. Its a micronutrient, a little zinc goes a long way.
They're not adding the yeast to provide zinc, they're using yeast to provide nutrients, knowing that it will provide all the eg amino acids in exactly the proportion that yeast need - and it's free!
 

SanPancho

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Aminos, yes. But not zinc. I dont recall if the zinc is used in metabolism or if it persists in the yeast. I guess that question is more to the point.
 
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beervoid

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Look at the pitch rates in that spreadsheet....



They're not adding the yeast to provide zinc, they're using yeast to provide nutrients, knowing that it will provide all the eg amino acids in exactly the proportion that yeast need - and it's free!
Makes the most sense and its also "green" recycling products.

Checked the spreadsheets again, I missed that detail. I thought british ale yeasts are traditionally underpitched.
The science on formation of esters I've read so far seems to be divided between.
Overpitching more stress more esters
Underpitching faster growth more esters.

You are saying preventing the yeast from cleaning up is also key? Are we talking about keeping just enough diacetyl around as is wantd in certain british ales?
Cause i'm mainly looking for the fruity esters.

Thanks for elaborating.
 

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Makes the most sense and its also "green" recycling products.

Checked the spreadsheets again, I missed that detail. I thought british ale yeasts are traditionally underpitched.
The science on formation of esters I've read so far seems to be divided between.
Overpitching more stress more esters
Underpitching faster growth more esters.

You are saying preventing the yeast from cleaning up is also key? Are we talking about keeping just enough diacetyl around as is wantd in certain british ales?
Cause i'm mainly looking for the fruity esters.

Thanks for elaborating.
One thing you may want to try....which I used to not support....but as time has gone by and after changing quite a few things in my process, I have come back around to cold crashing before dry hopping.

If you look at their spreadsheet...they are conditioning from 18c to 12c before dry hopping. Then they warm back up to 18c....if I'm reading the sheet right.

Among other things, this drops yeast and reduces the potential of hop creep...and also prevents hop aroma/flavor loss due to oils in suspension dropping with the yeast. My single hop Amarillo Pale Ale really benefited from this practice. The amount of citrus coming from the beer is awesome. Bigger hops also benefit but the lower oil hops seem to pop better...the character comes through cleaner.

Of course....doing a forced diacetyl rest is important....because once you drop the yeast there is really no going back.
 
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ba-brewer

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Also, we tend to pitch at higher temperature then let the cooling kick in on the FVs. 25-28C isn’t an uncommon pitching temperature.

I’ve read accounts (from Ron Pattinson‘s blog) that some breweries used to pitch at 15-16C and let the temperature rise freely, as I assume they had no temperature control.
The person from that post is/was a commercial brewer in the UK, the comment was in regard to a discussion on esters.


I have heard when people pitch lager yeast at a higher temp and cool down instead of pitching cold they get more esters.
 
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beervoid

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One thing you may want to try....which I used to not support....but as time has gone by and after changing quite a few things in my process, I have come back around to cold crashing before dry hopping.

If you look at their spreadsheet...they are conditioning from 18c to 12c before dry hopping. Then they warm back up to 18c....if I'm reading the sheet right.

Among other things, this drops yeast and reduces the potential of hop creep...and also prevents hop aroma/flavor loss due to oils in suspension dropping with the yeast. My single hop Amarillo Pale Ale really benefited from this practice. The amount of citrus coming from the beer is awesome. Bigger hops also benefit but the lower oil hops seem to pop better...the character comes through cleaner.

Of course....doing a forced diacetyl rest is important....because once you drop the yeast there is really no going back.
Regarding 12c/18c I'm not sure what they mean by that but it seems very unlikely to me that they can raise the temp from 12c to 18c in the fermentation vessels. Think about it with thousands of liters it will take forever to climb up (without active fermentation) and I dont believe commercial breweries have heating capabilitied for their fermenters.

As for cold crashing before dry hopping it is something I want to try but the english yeasts I use are already high flocculaters so I 'd think that given enough time they drop out already without cold crashing.

This raises another point, perhaps my later generation yeast flocculates harder hence more aroma?

Pitching at high temps seems risky, it is my understanding thats yeasts really don't like when temperatures go down. They go into sleep mode and flocculate.. Perhaps this is only in the later cycle of fermentation?
 

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Regarding 12c/18c I'm not sure what they mean by that but it seems very unlikely to me that they can raise the temp from 12c to 18c in the fermentation vessels. Think about it with thousands of liters it will take forever to climb up (without active fermentation) and I dont believe commercial breweries have heating capabilitied for their fermenters.

As for cold crashing before dry hopping it is something I want to try but the english yeasts I use are already high flocculaters so I 'd think that given enough time they drop out already without cold crashing.

This raises another point, perhaps my later generation yeast flocculates harder hence more aroma?

Pitching at high temps seems risky, it is my understanding thats yeasts really don't like when temperatures go down. They go into sleep mode and flocculate.. Perhaps this is only in the later cycle of fermentation?
Those cells in the spreadsheet seem linear in relation to beer production.
 

HTH1975

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The person from that post is/was a commercial brewer in the UK, the comment was in regard to a discussion on esters.


I have heard when people pitch lager yeast at a higher temp and cool down instead of pitching cold they get more esters.
I also brew commercially - pitching high and setting the cooling to kick in is what we do. It’s not the only way, but out yeast is very tollerant of this.
 

ba-brewer

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I also brew commercially - pitching high and setting the cooling to kick in is what we do. It’s not the only way, but out yeast is very tollerant of this.
You were the person who I was referring to in my post. I could not remember if you were currently commercially brewing or it was a past thing.

From a overhead cost stand point stopping cooling early and pitching yeast a bit warm seems to make a lot sense. Warmer temp will get the yeast going faster and it cost nothing to allow the beer to coast to the intended fermenting temp.
 
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I also brew commercially - pitching high and setting the cooling to kick in is what we do. It’s not the only way, but out yeast is very tollerant of this.
May I ask which yeast or yeast family and if the higher temp pitch is to encourage ester formation?
Also how far down do you cool it in what time?
Is rousing neccesary?
What about pitching rates, is underpitching common practice for encouraging esters?
 

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I also brew commercially - pitching high and setting the cooling to kick in is what we do. It’s not the only way, but out yeast is very tollerant of this.
Is it really your yeast that is tolerant or is it actually your customers? I'm not criticizing your practice as I'm well aware that in a commercial setting the latter is all that really matters.
 

leesmith

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Just so I’m understanding this correctly...24g/l dry hop.
About 3.2oz per gallon?
 
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It's a cheap source of nutrition - cannibalism is a great way to ensure you get the right mix of nutrients!

If it's the Cloudwater DIPA recipes you're thinking of, you'll note that they have tripled their pitching rates since 2015. It's not a simple relationship between underpitching=esters as some think. Stopping yeast from cleaning up is also a big part of it.
Looking again, the pitch rates may have risen but the grainbill amount stays the same...
I don't get how to read it as wel...
they state:
Pitch (x10^6 cells/ml) on the spreadsheet.
recipe 1 is 8
recipe 2 is 16
recipe 3 is 24

If it's million cells per ml the high nrs don't add up cause that is at more then 800 billion cells per 5 Gallons if I put them in the yeast calculator.
 

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They're not adding the yeast to provide zinc
Aminos, yes. But not zinc.
Your point being?

Anyway, Cloudwater may be a British brewery and make some amazing beer - but to adapt Lord Jopling's insult, they have to buy all their own yeast. How a brewery that's less than 4 years old makes a DIPA with up to 24g/l Citra etc dry hops, is perhaps not that relevant to making traditional British styles.

For those who missed it, the original Cloudwater blog is here, and the spreadsheet here.
 
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beervoid

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No
Look at the Cloudwater blog post and spreadsheet.
Ah yes, 24gr/L is roughly 16oz on a 5gallon batch from which 10.5oz is CRYO!! That would put it to 27oz effectively in total! Far beyond the point of diminishing returns as science claims...
That's insanity..
 
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cire

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Is it really your yeast that is tolerant or is it actually your customers? I'm not criticizing your practice as I'm well aware that in a commercial setting the latter is all that really matters.
More probably meeting the customer's demand. While an overwhelming majority of beer drank in the UK is bland, highly carbonated and served too cold to taste much anyway, there is still a hard core of drinkers demanding a product drinkers can enjoy and even debate the range of flavors and the qualities they bring.

I live in a fairly typical part of England where this evening I will spend a few hours in a local pub. It will likely offer 10 different real ales hand pulled from cask as it does most days as well as those mass produced in great volumes. There will be more than 50 breweries within 20 miles of that pub and most pubs in our little island. Small breweries will make at least 5 different styles of ale such that our publicans can offer a varied selection, typically from 250 ales even were they to restrict themselves to breweries within an hour's travelling distance. Any publican who wishes to retain customers would stand the loss or return the product to the brewery and try not to test their tolerance another time.

But I take your point and will witness this evening many drink the most advertised national brands which I and others could not.
 

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Point being in that a dipa with heavy hop load it makes sense to reduce trub, hops, sediments, etc as much as possible to maximize your yields of what is likely an expensive to produce beer.

A pinch of zinc and cup of nutrients would likely result in less volume loss than the amount of old yeast needed to equal them. And the yeast may not even provide enough zinc.

So it seems like a strange practice in this case. That is the point.
 

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Point being in that a dipa with heavy hop load it makes sense to reduce trub, hops, sediments, etc as much as possible to maximize your yields of what is likely an expensive to produce beer.

A pinch of zinc and cup of nutrients would likely result in less volume loss than the amount of old yeast needed to equal them. And the yeast may not even provide enough zinc.
I'll say again - the yeast isn't there to provide zinc. You need to consider the evolution - they've gone from no zinc anywhere and 200g of vitamins in the whirlpool to 80g vitamins, a tub of old yeast and 260g valine in the whirlpool and 160g vitamins + 1.3g zinc in the fermenter.

They regard that as progress, despite it adding to the sediment over the original DIPA v3 which had no old yeast added.
 

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Old yeast could affect taste by providing nutrients or affecting taste/outlook directly. Especially when the amount of additional yeast is so high that it affects the amount of trub they see... I don't know how easy it is to tell how exactly all that old yeast affects the outcome. It will likely add a little bit of amino acids, yeast proteins, lipids, minerals etc. to the wort... Especially proteins would directly add to the body & head, but may also cause some more or less wanted 'yeastiness'. Maybe they have analyzed the effect, maybe they just feel that it tastes/looks better that way. Adding it during the whirlpool will help release compounds and ensures that old yeast is not going to be viable during fermentation. If they would be looking for zinc, they would probably at least load it with zinc somehow and not to add zinc separately.
 
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I'll say again - the yeast isn't there to provide zinc. You need to consider the evolution - they've gone from no zinc anywhere and 200g of vitamins in the whirlpool to 80g vitamins, a tub of old yeast and 260g valine in the whirlpool and 160g vitamins + 1.3g zinc in the fermenter.

They regard that as progress, despite it adding to the sediment over the original DIPA v3 which had no old yeast added.
Valine and ALDC makes sense to me. If they practice shortening fermentation time and not giving the yeast alot of time to clear up in order to get more esters.. That would mean less time to clean up diacetyl thus these enzymes would come out very handy.
Either this or it's just some extra insurance?
 
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Northern_Brewer

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Old yeast could affect taste by providing nutrients or affecting taste/outlook directly. Especially when the amount of additional yeast is so high that it affects the amount of trub they see...
Errr - where do you get the idea that they're adding so much yeast that it affects the amount of trub they see? I certainly didn't say that - SanPancho was trying to explain their process by claiming that it was driven by reducing trub, I pointed out that they had gone the other way, from no yeast as yeast food to some yeast. Even one yeast cell introduced as yeast food would counter SanPancho's point as it would technically represent an increase in trub - but it certainly wouldn't be visible!

They're not doing it as a flavour thing, it's just a free way to feed the yeast using material that would otherwise go to waste.

If they would be looking for zinc, they would probably at least load it with zinc somehow and not to add zinc separately.
See above - they're not doing anything special with the yeast, certainly not loading it with zinc. It's just recycled waste.

Anyway, this is all rather off-topic to beervoid's original point, which was about the effect of yeast generation on its character. It seems to be a recognised thing that Conan take a generation or two to get into its stride - not as much as five though. John Kimmich claims to be able to recognise what generation Heady Topper has been made with when tasting blind, and I get the impression that they blend batches to smooth out the differences. But then once you get past 10-12 generations it gets into a cycle where the desired characters fade in and out. You can imagine genetic mechanisms for how that happens, but I think for now you just accept that it's how it seems to behave.
 

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Is it really your yeast that is tolerant or is it actually your customers? I'm not criticizing your practice as I'm well aware that in a commercial setting the latter is all that really matters.
If there was a downside to pitching hot we wouldn’t do it. Our beer always comes out great. We don’t always pitch above 25C, but sometimes during the summer it’s unavoidable as the heat exchanger won’t get it down any lower with the size of CLT we have. We have glycol chillers, so it’s easy to get the temperature down.
 

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May I ask which yeast or yeast family and if the higher temp pitch is to encourage ester formation?
Also how far down do you cool it in what time?
Is rousing neccesary?
What about pitching rates, is underpitching common practice for encouraging esters?
It’s the old Scottish & Newcastle yeast strain. However, we’ve had it since 1996, and I’m not sure when it was put on slants at Brewlab, so it could have morphed into something else since then. It’s a beast of a strain - fruity, rips through the wort, high attenuation, flocs great, and tolerant to warmer fermentation’s without a load of off flavours.

We don’t rouse, our FVs are 4000L (ish) max capacity and it would literally need a huge paddle or added mechanism to do that. We don’t have stalling issues - the yeast regularly gets down to 1.010, but we will chill at around 1.012 before racking to CT and then cask.

Pitching rates are fairly loose, 2/3’rds of a 25L homebrew bucket is about average. We do test for viability with microscope, and the yeast is acid washed regularly. As long as your process works and is consistent, then that’s the main thing. Breweries were making beer before we fully understood what was going on, so to say it’s a robust process would be an understatement.
 

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wrong. I never claimed to explain their process. my comment- also known as a "remark" -- is that it seems strange to me to do that (dead yeast) in general, when nutrients are now widely available and relatively cheap, and the ONLY one typically not available to yeast is zinc, which is again very cheap. have I heard of folks doing it? yes, of course. but only brewers that I might affectionally refer to as "old timers".

the strangeness is compounded when you're talking about a recipe for a dipa, which is one of the beers that has some of the highest losses to trub/hops/yeast/etc. adding more mass -- that soaks up beer-- than necessary seems odd to me.

as to "explaining" their recipe "evolution" you are again way off base. I have no idea who these people are or any of their beers or any of their histories- brewery or recipes. i got the dipa reference from your own post.

I guess you could say that in a roundabout way I was wondering why they do it- could dead yeast in fact be a source of zinc? referenced by my comment above that I don't recall if zinc persists in yeast, or if its used up in fermentation.

and no, zinc supplementation is not historically required to make beer. neither are alot of things.
perhaps we should refer to the OPs original reason for posting- how do you get the esters to pop?
zinc and leucine (typically found in nutrient blends) have positive correlation with ester production.
 
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wrong. I never claimed to explain their process. my comment- also known as a "remark" -- is that it seems strange to me to do that (dead yeast) in general, when nutrients are now widely available and relatively cheap, and the ONLY one typically not available to yeast is zinc, which is again very cheap. have I heard of folks doing it? yes, of course. but only brewers that I might affectionally refer to as "old timers".

the strangeness is compounded when you're talking about a recipe for a dipa, which is one of the beers that has some of the highest losses to trub/hops/yeast/etc. adding more mass -- that soaks up beer-- than necessary seems odd to me.

as to "explaining" their recipe "evolution" you are again way off base. I have no idea who these people are or any of their beers or any of their histories- brewery or recipes. i got the dipa reference from your own post.

I guess you could say that in a roundabout way I was wondering why they do it- could dead yeast in fact be a source of zinc? referenced by my comment above that I don't recall if zinc persists in yeast, or if its used up in fermentation.

and no, zinc supplementation is not historically required to make beer. neither are alot of things.
perhaps we should refer to the OPs original reason for posting- how do you get the esters to pop?
zinc and leucine (typically found in nutrient blends) have positive correlation with ester production.
Just speculating here, since they are adding valine and ALDC, perhaps they work together better with whats in old yeast?
 
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