Choosing an Equivalent Yeast Strain

With seemingly thousands of different yeast strains available, finding one to replace a strain you’re currently using can seem daunting. It doesn’t need to be, however, as yeast suppliers will generally have a known equivalent strain to the one you’re looking to replace.

We’ll get into this in more detail shortly, but first, it’s useful to touch on some of the reasons you might be looking to make a switch.

Moving from dry to liquid yeast

Liquid yeast offers a number of benefits over its granulated counterpart. Perhaps one of the most compelling for pro brewers is that, as liquid yeast ferments faster than dried yeast, tank turnover times will reduce. This can lead to significant savings. One of our customers, Kaiju Beer, reports that since switching to liquid yeast they’ve increased the output of their brewery from between 20-to-30 per cent, based solely on how quickly they can now turn over their tanks.

Liquid yeast can also be repitched numerous times, which can also reduce costs in your brewery. If you’re not currently repitching your yeast or would like to do it more efficiently, be sure to check out our new Clean Repitching System.

Another advantage over dried yeast is that liquid yeast can deliver a more complex flavour profile, with more pronounced esters and your beer is going to taste cleaner, fresher and crisper.

Moving to a local supplier

Another reason to switch your yeast strain is to buy from a domestic supplier, which means your yeast is going to arrive fresher and face fewer logistical challenges. Bluestone Yeast offers a guarantee to all of our clients that if the yeast’s not cool when it arrives, they’ll not be charged for it. We also offer next-day shipping for our house strains. This offers a degree of flexibility to our clients. So, if they’ve got an opening in their brew schedule, they can quickly decide on a new brew and we can supply the yeast.

How to find an equivalent strain

If you decide you’d like to find an equivalent yeast strain from a new supplier, it’s probably a lot easier than you’d imagine. Bluestone Yeast founder and microbiologist Derek Lacey points out that the various strains yeast providers offer have generally come from a limited number of breweries and biobanks. For this reason, it’s pretty well known in the industry which strains are equivalent to which. He adds that yeast suppliers keep lists of equivalent strains. Bluestone is no different and, if you’re interested in seeing which Bluestone yeast is similar to the one you’re currently using we have a ‘Similar To’ search function on our website.

A yeast biobank is a collection of strains of yeast that have been preserved for research or industrial purposes. Yeasts are single-celled microorganisms that are widely used in various fields such as biotechnology, food and beverage production, and biomedical research. A yeast biobank may contain strains of both wild and genetically modified yeasts that are used for various purposes such as the production of biofuels, pharmaceuticals, enzymes, and of course, beer.

The yeast strains in a biobank are typically stored in specialised facilities, such as ultra-low temperature freezers or liquid nitrogen tanks, to ensure their long-term preservation. These strains are maintained under specific conditions to ensure their viability and genetic stability, and they can be retrieved for use in experiments or industrial applications. Yeast biobanks are an important resource for research and industry, as they provide a ready supply of standardised and characterised yeast strains for a wide range of applications.

Unsure about a switch? Drop a trial brew

Derek says many of his clients will put down a trial brew if they’re looking to swap yeasts or to try a new recipe. He says Bluestone is happy to work with probrewers and can supply home-brew size packs that will allow brewers to use Bluestone Yeast strains in their trial brews.

If you’re considering switching to a local liquid yeast supplier, check out the ‘similar to’ search function on our website, or drop Derek an email and let him know what strain you’d like to replace.

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