From the HBD Archive
From: (Richard Akerboom)
Subject: Re: Beechwood
Date: 1992-05-21 14:12:44 GMT

Regarding the beechwood used by A-B, I heard the following related
by Jim Koch of Samuel Adams:

The beechwood 'chips' are apparently more like the size of cedar house
shingles. They are first washed to extract the sap or whatever, and are
then added to the secondary fermenter. They settle to the bottom (note that
once they are washed, they will sink when wet) and form a matrix. The yeast
settle on this matrix-they are lager yeast and settle. The matrix
allows more beer to yeast contact than if the yeast just settled to
the bottom of some tank. Supposedly A-B's yeast(s) have mutated over
history and sink more rapidly than your average lager yeast, so the
beechwood chips are important to the secondary fermentation.

So, from what I've heard, the guy Jay Marshall talked to was on target,
and this A-B rep was not just blowing hot air. By the way, note that
I've said nothing about beechwood affecting the flavor.

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