When the Microbes are Happy, the Brewer is Happy
Like cheesemakers, beer brewers spend a lot of their time and resources trying to keep microbes happy. While the word "microbe" might make some of us think of diseases and laboratories, we must not forget that they're essential for the creation of our favorite fermented beverages--and for us to work with them, they need to be "pampered!"
Yeast can be pretty demanding little buggers, despite being unicellular microscopic organisms. Brewers know they must appease them to get the beer they want. "It's yeast-strain dependent, it's environment, it's temperature, oxygen levels," says Matt Brophy, brewmaster of Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Md. "There's a lot of variables that you need to have a high level of control over."