Date: 1992-05-20 18:34:50 GMT
Subject: Review of Brewers Resource Yeast Kit ( George Fix )
I have long tried to get producers of yeast to come up with an inexpensive,
self-contained, user friendly kit for yeast culturing using the classic
Hansen procedures. Up to now these appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Happily,
a company called Brewers Resource ( phone= 818-887-3282) has just introduced
such a kit. Since this is going to be a highly favorable review, let me state
at the outset that I have no connection with this company nor this product.
The designer of the kit is Dr. Maribeth Raines, a professor of microbiology
at UCLA. She has had a distinguished research career, and this kit clearly
shows that she has a strong affinity for practical yeast work as well.
The kit is self-contained except for a few minor items that can be obtained
from a local drugstore. Brewers are also given a lot of options with respect
to yeast strains. The kit comes with a booklet written by Dr. Raines. It gives
clear, complete, and easy to follow instructions on exactly how the kit is to
be used. In preparing yeast for a batch to test the kit, I did not use any of
my normal equipment ( autoclave, transfer box, etc. ), but instead did the
work exactly as the booklet describes in my kitchen. This batch is now in ruhr
storage. I plan to bottle it in time to bring some to Milwaukee. The yeast
itself has been repitched, and will be repitched a third time this weekend.
I have used every test known to me for checking yeast ( my presentation
in Milwaukee will deal with these procedures ), and in every case the
yeast came through with flying colors. It would be risky to call any set of
procedures associated with yeast as "foolproof", however this kit comes as
close to this mark as we are likely to get.
Elementary and intermediate are strongly urged to take a shot at yeast
management using this kit. It is in every sense user friendly. Advanced brewers
will also find much of interest here. Of special interest are Dr. Raines'
nutrient media, and the yeast slants as well.
There are other options in this kit. These include petri dishes
containing special media suitable for culturing yeast from bottle conditioned
beers. All of this media is proprietary, and was developed by Dr. Raines in
her reseach lab with beer yeast in mind. Dr. Raines booklet has a clear and
complete discussion of how culture yeast from bottles, and related topics.
I hesitate to call this kit definitive, but frankly I can not thing of a single
way it could be improved. It has the potential of introducing a new era in
homebrewing, that will affect all brewers, be they working with advanced
equipment or with elementary extract systems.
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