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charter and species question

Alan D Mead amead at s.psych.uiuc.edu
Tue Apr 27 18:29:58 EST 1993


I have just started brewing my own ale so it may be that I have a
greater affinity for yeast than some of the more "academic" readers of
this group. :)

So I hope this is an appropriate place to post my yeast questions.  If
there are basically two species of beer yeast, why are there so many
strains sold?  I thought that the species was the finest categorization
possible.

Also, just out of curiousity, brewers are cautioned to be fairly
careful about sterilization to prevent wild yeasts and other uglies
from turning the batch bad.  But at the same time, wine and beer have
been brewed for centuries (millenia, actually).  Did infection used to
be common or are we home brewers just overly paranoid?  What procedures
are common in laboratories to keep cultures pure?

Thanks.

-alan mead



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