Brewery Yeast Management


Programme fact file

Programme title: Brewery Yeast Management 
Qualification: 10 credits 
Start date: Jan 2017 
Duration: 4 months 
Maximum places available: Limited 
Fees: £570 Home and EU students/ £1,330 International students (50% bursaries are available for UK agrifood sector through Agrifood ATP)
Available on weekends/evenings: No  

School of Biosciences 

Programme overview

Course description

This course provides an understanding of the underlying science and technology of brewery yeast management. It considers brewing yeast taxonomy, genomics, genetic stability, storage protocols, yeast supply and propagation. Principles, best practice and quality assurance strategies are discussed. 

Programme detail

Course details

Unit 1 - Yeast cell biology

  • Yeast cell morphology/size/composition.
  • Yeast cytology – structure and function of organelles.
  • Role of cell wall in brewing.
  • Uptake of nutrients via cell membrane.
  • Cell transport mechanisms.
  • Secretory pathway and cell storage mechanisms.

Unit 2 – Taxonomy and brewing yeast genetics

  • Taxonomy and classification of brewing yeast strains.
  • Brewing yeast genomics.
  • Genetic code and function of genes.
  • Chromosome structure.
  • Ploidy and the impacts on fermentation.
  • MtDNA structure and function.
  • Extrachromosomal elements.
  • Yeast prions.
  • Use of DNA for yeast strain/species/genus differentiation.
  • Brewing yeast DNA instability – causes and effects.
  • Nuclear mutations and fermentation performance.
  • Chromosome length polymorphisms in brewery systems.
  • Petite mutations and the impact on fermentation.

Unit 3 – Brewery yeast life cycle, replication and growth

  • Sexual reproduction in haploid cells.
  • Vegetative growth in brewing strains.
  • The yeast cell cycle.
  • Control of the cell cycle: START and cyclins.
  • Exit from the cell cycle and G0.
  • Population growth dynamics and growth curves.
  • Lag phase and the relevance to brewing.
  • Exponential phase.
  • Diauxic shift.
  • Stationary phase state.

Unit 4 – Yeast cell death

  • Life as a brewing yeast cell.
  • Ageing and senescence.
  • Replicative ageing (hayflick limit) and chronological ageing.
  • Typical yeast lifespans.
  • Physiological and morphological changes associated with cell age.
  • Relevance of ageing to brewing.
  • Death as related to the population and the single cell.
  • Death pathways in yeast (necrosis/senescence).
  • Autolysis and impacts on fermentation.

Unit 5 – Yeast culture maintenance

  • Short and long term storage options for yeasts.
  • Storage techniques and impacts of storage on yeast quality.
  • Best practices for preparation of yeast for storage.
  • Liquid nitrogen for long term storage.
  • Short term storage methods, including working cultures.
  • Third party storage – opportunities and negativities.
  • Recovery of master cultures.
  • Master culture validation – objectives and best practices.
  • Viability/vitality measures including replication techniques (plate count/slide count/budding index) and stains (methylene blue).
  • Importance of microbiological purity.
  • Strain genetic purity/validation techniques.
  • Molecular methods for detecting mutations.
  • Practical methods for analysis of petites/detection of mtDNA damage.
  • Active dried yeast (production and cell growth).
  • Differences between batch and fed batch propagators.
  • Trehalose production during ADY production.
  • Importance of protective agents during yeast stress.
  • Impact of rehydration prior to use.

Unit 6 – Yeast propagation

  • Yeast nutritional requirements.
  • Supplementation of media for optimum growth.
  • Principles and goals of propagation.
  • Propagation systems and operation in the brewery.
  • Requirements for good propagation.
  • Types of systems/vessels and control over propagation.
  • How to maximise yeast growth.
  • Propagation schedules and management.


About Sutton Bonington Campus

Map and directions


The University of Nottingham,
Sutton Bonington Campus,
Sutton Bonington,
LE12 5RD


About Sutton Bonington


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Sutton Bonington Campus
University of Nottingham
LE12 5RD  
t:   +44 (0) 115 951 6610 

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