In terms of microbiological threat, yeast propagation, fermentation and yeast handling, are all especially vulnerable. Contamination with bacteria, the wrong production yeast or, indeed, 'wild' yeasts can skew (or worse) product quality, which through yeast recycling can - if not detected - lead to major brewery-wide quality problems. Therefore, given its importance and all-embracing scope, this chapter on 'microbiology' is not restricted to fermentation and yeast but to the entire brewing process. This is necessary, as in the view of the authors a less holistic approach to brewing microbiology would be a missed opportunity! Inevitably only the 'headlines' can be captured here and the interested reader is directed to Rainbow (1981) for a succinct but detailed review or to the 'bible' of brewing microbiologists, the second edition of Brewing Microbiology (Priest & Campbell, 1996). This multi-authored text is a veritable treasure-trove of information about what remains the poor relation of brewing science.
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