Yeast is added to the wort to begin fermentation, the last phase of the brewing process. During this stage, yeast cells produce significant changes in the beer’s composition: they metabolise the sugar from the maltose sugar into alcohol, and this creates a natural carbonation. Without yeast there would be no fermentation, and therefore no beer either!
Guaranteeing an unmistakable aroma
Ask the men who work with our yeast every day, and they will say that yeast is quite demanding! However, the great flavour that it creates makes for a sparkling and tantalising beverage. Bitburger’s natural yeast is simply unique.
Right up until the 19th century, breweries still didn’t know exactly how yeast worked and what it needed to work well. That’s why yeast isn’t covered by the German Beer Purity laws from 1516, which still govern beer production in Germany to this day. Today it’s clear though: yeast is essential for the ‘wort’ (created from malted barley) to ferment.
Yeast – indispensable for the fermentation process
Natural Yeast – A subtile difference
The yeast that Bitburger has used in its brewing since 1913 isn’t just any old yeast. It’s used in the fermentation stage when making Bitburger Premium Pils, and is protected so that it can only be used for Bitburger. While many breweries work with yeast strains that can survive up to higher temperatures, which can speed up the fermentation process, Bitburger deliberately relies on a more traditional fermentation at low temperatures. This makes the production process more complex, but we know that every additional day we invest in the fermentation stage will be worth it. Bitburger’s yeast cultures have a truly unique aroma, and the extra time we give them for fermentation creates the unmistakable balanced flavour enjoyed from Bitburger Premium Pils.
Yeast always presents a challenge for quality management, as great care is needed to ensure that no foreign yeast strains or other microorganisms contaminate the yeast. To make sure nothing sneaks into the beer during production, samples are taken at each step of the brewing process. It’s also equally important to prevent our natural yeast from denaturing, as yeast cells constantly adapt to their environment and change. Therefore, to ensure consistent quality, Bitburger pure-breeds the yeast every six weeks. If you look for yeast in your glass of Bitburger Premium Pils though, you will not find any. Once the yeast has finished the fermentation process and the beer has aged, all traces of yeast are filtered out of the final product. This leaves a clear, pure beer for you to enjoy.