At the base level of beer making, a brewer adds yeast to a sugary liquid, and the yeast eats the sugar to create alcohol, ethanol, and flavor. It’s often said that brewers just make wort, and the yeast makes the beer. In many ways, brewers are really just yeast ranchers. The job of the brewer is to create a nutrient-rich environment in which yeast can grow, eat, live, and make more yeast. In return, yeast creates ethanol and CO2 which makes an enormous range of flavors that humans find pleasant. It’s a wonderful, happy relationship.

In some ways, yeast cells are much like grazing animals. Give a few yeast cells an enormous ...

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