The Importance of Yeast Management, Quality Control & Quality Assurance

Yeast management is critical to craft brewery operations, here’s why:

  • Cell counting & pitch rate calculations: determines cells/mL & ensures you are pitching a consistent quantity of yeast from batch to batch and re-pitching yeast keeps costs low
  • Viability Testing: determines if your cells are viable after subsequent generations which will indicate when to stop re-pitching
  • Vitality Testing: more in-depth test that will determine how metabolically active (efficient) your yeast are following subsequent generations which will indicate when to stop re-pitching
  • Propagation: more economical, ensures healthy fresh yeast (reducing lag time resulting in a faster fermentation, less off flavors, and reducing the risk of contamination), and aids in making a consistent product

Quality Control & Assurance is imperative for successful craft brewery operations because it ensures your brews are consistent and your customers are happy.

As reported by The Brewing Science Institute, the following are common tests and how frequently they should be performed:

Where to Sample Frequency Common Contaminants
Water Supply 1/week Enteric, Molds
Wort Every brew Enteric, Acetic & Lactic, Wild Yeast
Pitching Yeast Every crop Enteric, Acetic & Lactic, Wild Yeast
Fermenting Beer, days 1-2 Every tank Enteric, Acetic & Lactic, Wild Yeast
Fermenting Beer, days 3-5 Every tank Acetic & Lactic, Wild Yeast
Storage Tank 3/week Acetic & Lactic
Finishing Tank 3/week Lactic
Bottling Tank 1/month Lactic
Bottled Beer Every batch Acetic & Lactic
CIP’d Surfaces Every CIP ANY