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Feb 18, 2018
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Greetings fellow brewers,

I've been reading a bit on how I should go about to isolate yeast strains from my favorite beers. Apparently, some commercial brewers use two different yeast strains at separate times in the brewing process. One for fermenting and one for priming. One popular beer for that would be the Hefeweizen.

Do any of you have more information on the reasons why they would go to such trouble? I have come up with my own theory but I am curious to some more opinions or, even better, factual information.

Do any of you use this technique in home brewing? What was your experience? (Pro/Con)

Belgian and some German breweries have a house strain which creates the unique flavors and characteristics that style is known for. Belgian beers typically have a lot of what we’d consider off flavors like sour, medicinal, funk but when blended and aged they work really well. The heffe is known for its strong banana clove character which is traditional to a Munich ale yeast. Because these beers are often times bottle conditioned they use a neutral strain to create the carbonation without disturbing the character of the original beer.

Here in the US we either filter our beers or cold condition them in the brite tank where they are force carbonated and then pasteurized. Very few American breweries will have live yeast left in the bottle.

American breweries focus on clean ferments with neutral yeasts letting the hops and malt do the talking. Belgian breweries rely heavily on wild yeasts which have become standard in their brewhouse.