Thursday, 14 March 2013

Yeast map

It's heartening that others are researching topics I frankly don't have time to. There's Ed Wray with his excellent work on hops. And there's another Ed (Edd Draper) looking into the history of yeast strains.

He's putting together a map of yeast strains. You can see it below.



View UK Brewery Yeast Strains in a larger map

If anyone has anything they can contribute, please comment.

My contribution was the Barclay Perkins yeast being used by the Tonbridge Brewery. Though admittedly I didn't realise it still existed until today.

10 comments:

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

I do remember being told that Georges yeast (via Courage presumably) was used for several early West Country micros, such as Cotleigh.

Ed said...

Thanks Ron!

EddtheBrit said...

I just read that the Courage yeast strain is still alive and well at the Simonds Brewery in Malta. They got it from merging with Courage Barclay & Co. in 1960 and eventually stopped production here, but kept brewing out there. Fascinating.

dana said...

That's just lovely. Thank you!

Graeme said...

Good work but looks to be a partial re-mash of the White Labs/Wyeast info. I've always been of the impression this is dubious in cases - eg 1335 is a great yeast, but Adnams use at least 2 strains.

Good work for highlighting obvious differences - but all to be taken with a pinch of salt. The variation of UK yeasts is great, but worth remembering there's certainly nothing too historically significant (ref: sharing of yeast between local breweries in past)

Edd Draper said...

@Graeme...

I agree about that famous list, and debunking it is part of the reason for this project. Some of the WL and Wyeast strains that are supposed to be identical share little or no similarity in the data, though I've read that some of that is subjective from their respective suppliers. If I can find evidence that breaks those links I think that would be helpful to homebrewers. The most exciting thing for me would be finding, as Ron did, a modern brewery that uses a strain from a long-lost brewery. If they bottle-condition with the primary strain then one merely has to purchase a bottle and grow from it, and that yeast is no longer rotting in a yeast bank somewhere where an amateur brewer cannot access it. It can get us a step closer to recreating some of those lost beers that in some cases haven't been drunk in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

As far as the BP yeast strain goes, the Tonbridge brewery doesn't sell bottled beers currently. It's only a small 4BBL plant concentrating on cask but I'm lucky enough to live close by... :)

Oz - home brewer from Jim's Forum.

samtierney said...

Good stuff but it's important to keep in mind how fast yeast evolves. Let it loose in a cellar and it will adapt to its current environment over successive generations (some more than others, obviously).

I wonder how similar a strain used today in a small brewery is to the yeast it descended from decades ago in another brewery. If it is sourced from a bank that has kept the strain frozen for a very long time, and is re-propagated regularly, it is probably nearly identical, but if they have been re-pitching and washing it for years, it's likely that it has evolved into another beast altogether.

Alastair said...

Gales of Horndean started their strain off by borrowing Whitbread B Strain from Brickwoods of Portsmouth (now gone). They then bred from it, thereby developing their own sub-strain. This was also used by Devenish (now gone), Tisbury (now gone) (who also sub-cultured from Gales) and Gibbs Mew of Salisbury (now gone. Strongs (of Romsey (now gone),Wethereds of Marlow (now gone. It seems that Whitbread yeast may have had a jinx on it. Nearly all the breweries that used it closed after take-overs!! Whitbread B strain , which is probably similar to the 1098 British Ale yeast, is a rapid fermenting, good attenuating and medium to high flocculative yeast. It is also robust and takes acid washing well. It's even quite easy to culture and remains pretty clear with low mutation rate Pitch at 65F, ferment at 65-68F and clean, crisp beers are produced. An excellent yeast, which I can highly recommend it - that is if you don't mind if you don't mind being taken over and closed down as a by-product!
Alastair Wallace -retired HB Tisbury Brewery PLC

Martyn Cornell said...

The Mann Crossman & Paulin brewery in Whitechapel, East London is also supposed to have had a yeast strain that was regularly sold to other brewers, and in the 1930s at least it was being sold to Simpson's brewery in Baldock, Herts. Simpson's was taken over by Greene King in 1954, by which time it was supposed to have developed its own yeast strain, which was so good it was exported to Greene King's other breweries. Thus GK may still be using at Bury St Edmunds a yeast strain that came from North Hertfordshire. Was the Simpsons yeast a new strain, or descended from the Mann's strain it had been buying in the 1930s? Does Mann's yeast live on in Suffolk?