Yeast is an organism which is similar in character to that of Fungi. There are currently more then 1,500 different species which survive from the cold arctic region to the deeps of the ocean.
One of the more popular species that we as ists may be familiar with is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae species which is predominately used for baking, beer, wine or for fermenting many distilled alcoholic beverages.
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Charles L. Fleischmann was the first American to create and exhibit yeast commercially during an 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Mr. Fleischmann discovered that yeast grows best with temperatures between 50 °F to 99 °F. Most yeast cells will quickly begin to die if exposed to temperatures above 99 °F. On the other hand if the temperatures are in the range of about 32 °F or less the yeast cells seem to go dormant. The yeast will survive under freezing conditions however its potency will decrease with time.
As a ist you should be aware that there are proper ways to store your yeast. Being a living thing one would normally think that storage of large quantities of yeast by the ist would result in a waste of money. You could purchase the small individual packets of yeast and easily run out during times of emergencies or you could visit your local Sam’s club or Costco and buy the pound blocks in freeze dried form. These types of yeast tend to last forever unless you open it.
The brick of yeast generally cost approximately $4 per pound. You can readily see the cost savings over the smaller packets. After you remove and open one of the yeast bricks take the remainder and place it into a mason jar in your freezer. From our discussion above too much heat will definitely kill your yeast however the freezing cold merely places it in a dormant state.
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