This is either the happy, or depressing, thought of the day.
I am in the process of trying to setup a yeast bank so that I can share yeasts with brewers around the country. As part of this, I’ve been researching yeast growth characteristics in wort under various conditions.
As part of this research I came across a staggering number – 50,000,000. That is, on average, the peak number of yeast you’ll find in the average batch of homebrew – per millilitre. Fifty million per mil (range is 40-60 million/ml).
Taking into account the average sized batch of beer (5US gal, 19L), and the amount of yeast typically left in finished (unfiltered) beer, that works out to 800,000,000,000 yeast dying for one batch of beer. Eight Hundred Billion.
Yes, billion – with a ‘B’.
I’ve got to work that into a label for a future batch of beer – something like ‘Eight Hundred Billion yeast died to bring you this beer – you better enjoy it’.