All of the steps described above are performed to provide a suitable growth medium for the ethanol-producing yeast. Before yeast is added, however, the wort is first aerated or sparged with sterile air. Even though the beer fermentation eventually becomes an anaerobic process, creating an aerobic environment at the outset jump-starts the yeast and promotes a more rapid entry into a logarithmic growth phase. Importantly, oxygen also is necessary for biosynthesis of cell membrane lipids that are essential for growth of yeast in wort.
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