Bright Brewer's Yeast calls for beer ‘wish lists’ as it develops yeast through selective breeding

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Brewers have been ‘using yeast as it is, not how it can be,’ says Bright Brewers Yeast
Brewers have been ‘using yeast as it is, not how it can be,’ says Bright Brewers Yeast

Related tags: Yeast, Brewers

Bright Brewer's Yeast introduced four premium yeast varieties at Brau Beviale, which have been developed through selective breeding, ahead of a commercial launch in 2016.

It pledges build to its portfolio to more than 20 strains by the end of 2017, using feedback from brewers to shape the characteristics of new strains. 

The company says that although selective breeding has been used for centuries to create different varieties of hops and barley, most popular yeast strains have been taken directly from the wild and brewers have been ‘using yeast as it is, not how it can be.’

Selective breeding means an ideal strain for each beer style or characteristic can be created: considering fermentation kinetics, attenuation, flocculation, aroma and flavour.

The yeast strains do not produce hydrogen sulfide (a byproduct which affects beer quality and taste with a ‘rotten egg’ smell), meaning brewers do not need to use copper or extensive lagering to remove it.

Although breeding brewer’s yeast has always been possible, certain aspects of yeast biology make the process of breeding beer yeast extremely challenging,” ​John Husnik, CEO of Bright Brewer's Yeast, told BeverageDaily.

“To overcome these challenges and begin developing Bright’s portfolio of beer yeast strains, our team developed a highly efficient breeding programs tailored for the specific challenges of breeding beer yeast.

“We can harness the natural genetic diversity of yeast to quickly develop brand new strains that have all of the characteristics brewers are looking for, especially outstanding flavour and aroma.”

Building the portfolio

Husnik says it has taken around two years to develop its initial beer strains, but it now has the ability to develop premium performing yeast strains quickly.

“After the commercial launch of our first four beer strains in the first half of 2016, we will develop and launch new strains continuously as they are completed and ready for the market.

Our plan for the next two years is to end up having more than 20 high-quality unique strains available by the end of calendar 2017. Together, these 20+ strains should cover about 80-90% of the beer styles in production today.

“We are looking for brewers to contact us with their ‘wish lists’ of specific yeast improvements they would like to see. Bright will take these and use them to develop yeast strains that give brewers the exact characteristics they’re looking for.”

“Feedback helps us to not only improve the characteristics of existing strains, but also prioritize and tailor the characteristics of the many new strains we have in development.”

Bright Brewer's Yeast is a subsidiary of Renaissance Yeast in Canada: a company focusing on wine yeast strains which do not produce hydrogen sulfide​ during fermentation.

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