From the HBD Archive
Subject: Red Star again and again
Date: 1990-05-30 18:05:16 GMT

I haven't done any limb-climbing in a while, so I can't let the Red Star
controversy go by again without carrying a banner.

The recent razing over Red Star once more attempts to put it in the dog house.
In a recent communication with Pete Soper, he shared with me the results of
some research he did regarding the use of yeasts in AHA winning recipes.
May I quote you, Pete? I'm going to anyway.

In the years 1987-89, dry yeasts won 79% of the top 38 entries. Of these,
Red Star took 34%, and Red Star was #4 and #5 overall. EDME came out #1
overall, with 24%.

Now if RS is so bad, how does it produce winning homebrews? Why was it listed
recently in the Steinbart's newsletter as being one of the lowest in bacterial

May I offer an explanation? Due to the fact that beer is mainly water, the
purity and mineral content of water is a strong factor in the quality of beer
produced with it. Yeasts react to their overall environment, including
such factors as water quality, temperature, volume, density, and so on.
Any type of yeast can do poorly under the wrong conditions. For those who
find problems using Red Star, perhaps it doesn't like the water they are
using, or some other factor in the brewing process.

In the region where I live, the water is mainly runoff from the Cascades.
This water makes good beer when I use Red Star Lager yeast. However, when
I use the Wyeast Lager yeasts, I just don't get good results. On the other
hand, I get good results from using EDME ale yeast, but poorer results when
using Red Star Ale yeast. The explanation must, in my opinion, have to do
with the water and other fermentation conditions. I simply cannot make
any intelligent generalizations about different types of yeasts by throwing
them into a doghouse. Hey, experiment, and find what works best for you!

Now where can I buy "Dogbolter," anyway?


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