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Truman’s discovers original yeast strain

London brewery Truman’s has rediscovered the original yeast used during its heyday.

Situated in London’s East End, Truman’s was established in 1666 and ran continually and largely independently until 1989. It was restarted in 2010 by beer enthusiasts James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus.

The recovery of the original yeast is a real boost for the business, which is just about to return to new premises in east London – a stone’s throw from the original site on Brick Lane.

Morgan said: “A brewery’s yeast is what makes its brews unique. If hops provide the flavour and malt the body, then the yeast is a beer’s soul.

“Using our original yeast is an extremely important part of bringing Truman’s back. We want our beers to be authentically Truman’s, whether we are brewing traditional Porters or hop- forward Pale Ales.”

The yeast strain had been placed in the National Collection of Yeast Cultures in Norwich in 1958 and preserved by being frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196˚C.

Truman’s had placed six cultures in the bank and while four were found to be bottom cropping and discounted, the two oldest were found to be complementary.

It was decided to combine them and the mixed strain is currently being tested.

Head brewer Ben Ott commented on the results so far: “It is producing very flavourful, fruity beers, with distinct, yet subtle, aromas of tangerine and pear.

“It has proved not quite as ‘efficient’ as modern yeast strains and requires careful handling and extra work during the mash. But the results are worth it.”

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