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Best practice

Irrespective of the number of generations a yeast strain is used, the underpinning process of ‘yeast supply' must satisfy the fundamental requirements of strain integrity and purity. The implications of introducing the wrong strain or a contaminated ‘right' strain are discussed in ‘consequences of failure' below. Accordingly, yeast supply is technically demanding and outside the usual demands of brewery microbiological QA. In larger, typically global operations, the process is managed in-house or increasingly outsourced to a specialist third party. The importance of yeast supply often warrants its inclusion in quality management systems such as ISO 9001. Irrespective of provenance, best practice for the supply of pure yeast cultures is broadly the same, consisting of three key steps; preservation/ storage, recovery and supply. A full outline of a successful yeast supply process for the supply of production brewing yeasts has been described (Quain, 1995). This reiterates the importance of the process and the unambiguous requirement to start out with the required yeast strain, a consideration that drives the comparative emphasis of the subject below.

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