Science Questions

How much of the flavour of beer comes from the yeast itself?

Sun, 7th Oct 2007

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Question

Jonathan Olson, Canada asked:

Lambic beers that are typically from Belgium use wild yeast and taste wonderful! So how much of the flavour of beer comes from the yeast itself?

Answer

We put this question to Master Brewer Julian Herrington...

As regards fermentations of all beers yeasts can give a predominant flavour depending upon the fermentation conditions and whether one uses lighter flavours from the malt, perhaps using rice as part of the recipe, for example and how much bitterness or hop character thatís used. So yeast produces fruit flavour which ranges from raisins in strong ales to a sort of peardrop and banana flavour in wheat beers. Though it can be all of the character of the beer (as in the latter example) or just part of it.

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