Harvesting and Cropping Yeast: Flocculation and Centrifugation

  • Graham G. Stewart
Part of the The Yeast Handbook book series (YEASTHDB)


Brewers employ a number of methods to crop their yeast which varies depending on whether one is dealing with traditional ale top-cropping, accepted lager bottom-cropping and cylindroconical fermentation systems (also called a Nathan fermenter) where the yeast (ale or lager) is recovered from the cone (sometimes repitched cone to cone), a non-flocculent culture where the yeast, still in suspension, is cropped with a centrifuge or a portion of the yeast, still in suspension, is blended into the fresh wort of a subsequent fermentation. With the traditional ale top-cropping fermentation system, although there are many variations of this process, a single, dual or multi-strain culture can be employed. Yeast quality is influenced by the manner that yeast is cropped and centrifuges play an important part in this regard. The cell wall structure of S. cerevisiae is the critical parameter involved in yeast flocculation. Details of the cell wall have already been discussed in Chap.  5. However, here it is discussed that the wall consists of an inner layer composed predominantly of β-glucose and chitin and a fibrillar outer layer consisting primarily of α-mannan (highly glycosylated) associated with mannoproteins. Yeast management and handling systems, including culture harvesting, are influential in determining the physiological status of yeast.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham G. Stewart
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre for Brewing and DistillingHeriot Watt UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.GGStewart AssociatesCardiff, WalesUK

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