Our new Fully Automated Yeast Propagation system was manufactured by BrauKon GmbH, in Seeon, Germany. Choosing BrauKon as the manufacturer was a no-brainer for us. After experiencing the quality, consistency, and ease of use of our automated BrauKon brewhouse, which we initially installed at the start of our journey 5 odd years ago, here in our Rene St brewery. We've also built great relationships and trust with the guys from BrauKon over the years. The beauty of this combination also allows us to have both visualizations and controls from both the brewhouse and yeast propagation on the one screen for ultimate control. The downside, though, was it came with an 11-month lead-time for manufacturing and transport. But good things come to those who wait!
The propagation system works by keeping the yeast in the multiplication phase of their lifecycle, through regulating the input of sterile air over a 48–72-hour process. Amazingly, this will grow the volume of yeast cells to a concentration of 125,000,000 cells/ml. You're not misreading that; it's 125 million cells of yeast per ml of wort! These numbers allow us to then pitch 10,000 litres of beer, with the correct and consistent number of yeast cells for the job.
And that's one of the benefits, being able to grow our own yeast in volumes to pitch into large batches of beer, so we don't have to buy it all in. But, the main factor for installing this beautiful piece of equipment is to ensure the yeast is in perfect health and ready to ferment. That way, we get a perfectly consistent fermentation, which reflects in the beer flavour quality and in the fermentation time, helping with production planning and efficiencies.
God bless these little micro-organisms!