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Helping Hazy: Keeping Yeast (and the Bottom Line) Healthy

To re-pitch yeast or to “pitch and ditch”—that is the question. Doing a cost analysis can help hazy IPA brewers of all sizes really think about the best yeast option to not only create a desired beer but also to keep the bottom line in the black.

John Holl Feb 19, 2019 - 7 min read

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Last year’s most popular style at the Great American Beer Festival, the hazy IPA, seems unstoppable both in consumer demand and brewer enthusiasm. A lot of work goes into making sure that batch after batch, specs are met and flavors are intact, and so much relies on the yeast and keeping it healthy.

Historical Knowledge

While New England–style IPA might be relatively new in beer, at Springdale by Jack’s Abby—the experimental and barrel-aging arm of Jack’s Abby Brewing—they have applied a lot of historical knowledge in their approach to making hazy, hops-forward ales, thanks largely to the lagers for which the brewery’s original business is well-known.

“We wrote standard operating procedures for 5 or 6 years with our lager yeasts,” says brewery Cofounder Jack Hendler. “We knew what it liked and what it didn’t. When we started with IPAs, we struggled because we tried to use the things we know for lagers as our best practices on the IPA, and that wasn’t best for the beer.”

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.