The Yeast Bay

BYOB by | May 2014 | Issue #88

Illustration by Ellen Crenshaw

Most of our hobby’s engineers and sciencey types futz over sculptures and process controls. But biology nerds? They get yeast obsessed. The truly crazy are expanding commercial frontiers with hyper-local yeast companies. The newest is San Francisco’s The Yeast Bay from Nicholas Impellitteri.

His story is a familiar one: Boy attends college to be a scientist. He takes an advanced microbiology course, learns to brew from the professor and is set on a wayward path. Grad school, and then off to San Francisco for a job that involves a lot of biochemical words I’ve never seen.

Impellitteri loves brewing, and he also began culturing, typing and posting pictures of his yeast strain-isolation efforts. He wanted to find a way to bring his new strains to market with quality while retaining his day job. His solution: Take a lesson from brewers, and start with a pro contract.

Over the past year, he’s been working hand in hand with Neva Parker and the expert crew at White Labs, focusing on Yeast Bay’s core mission: to isolate otherwise difficult-to-find yeast cultures and blends, like Funktown Pale Ale. When asked about favorites (a cruel question), he points to his Northeastern Abbey and Vermont Ale strains as reliable, go-to workhorses that cover a wide range of flavors.

For 13 gallons at 1.065, 30 IBU, 4 SRM, 6.3% ABV

Malt Bill
22.0 lb. Belgian Pilsner malt
4.0 lb. wheat malt
2.0 lb. Vienna malt
1.0 lb. Caravienne malt

Saccharification rest at 152°F for 60 minutes.

2.0 oz Amarillo (whole) | 9.6% AA | 60 minutes
1.0 oz Amarillo (whole) | 9.6% AA | 15 minutes
1.0 oz Amarillo (whole) | 9.6% AA | 5 minutes
1.0 oz Amarillo (whole) | 9.6% AA | 0 minutes

1 tablet Whirlfloc, 15 minutes in the boil
1 tbsp yeast nutrient, 15 minutes in the boil

This batch was split into five parts and pitched individually with Yeast Bay’s Northeastern Abbey, Vermont Ale, Funktown Pale Ale, Saison Blend and Saison/Brett Blend strains.