Germany: Beer researchers make up catchy yeast names

Fritz Jacob, professor at the beer university in Weihenstephan/Germany and his team at the Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food Quality (BLQ) started now a new initiative to make up names for the most common yeast strains. The researchers found out, that barley and hop varieties bear catchy names while yeast strains are usually only named by numbers.

In a time when more and more breweries create new beer types by using different sorts of malts and hops, which are often mentioned on the beer label, the yeast strain is usually concealed because of the cryptic designation. Given the fact that up to 80% of all flavor components derive from the yeast metabolism, the significance of yeast in the consumers opinion is therefore severely underrepresented.

In order to increase attention on yeasts, which are often considered as brewer’s stepchildren, the German beer specialists have now given the most common yeast strains easy to remember names.

The most often used yeast for producing Bavarian style wheat beer was for example named LeoBavaricus-TUM68 (Bavarian lion). Also others like Frisinga-TUM34/70 (Freising) and Hibernia-TUM508 (Ireland) were called following their geographical origin.

Other names refer to the type of beer produced from the yeast like Colonia-TUM177 (Kölsch) or Vetus-TUM184 (Alt). Most  names of the remaing yeast strains are related to special characteristics of the yeast like Nebulosa-TUM66/70 (powdery yeast with low flocculation), Pressus-TUM194 (high pressure resistant yeast) and Accretio-TUM195 (quick cell reproduction).

For the purpose of reference and continuity, the old numbers still follow the new trademarked names.

Jacob and his institute, who does not only provide scientific studies and chemical, physical and microbiological analyses for the brewing and beverage industry, also propagate more than 200 different pure yeast strains for the yeast management in breweries, wineries and distilleries. This does not only include common varieties like the renamed Frisinga-TUM34/70,which is a bottom fermenting flocculating beer yeast, but also more exotic yeast types for the production of Belgium lambic beer or chicha maize wine from Costa Rica.

Share this article: