Propagation of wine yeast for cider fermentations is done via the rehydration of lyophilized yeast in a dosing tank 20 min prior to the delivery of the yeast into a single stage propagation system under constant aeration for 18hrs prior to pitching into a fermentation tank. Yeast propagation and the resulting quality of yeast from the propagation are dependent on a number of factors including the propagator vessel design, operation, temperature control, raw materials including yeast culture, etc. Historically the perception, potentially misconceived, is that dry yeast always has a lactic bacteria contingent as stated on the certificate of analysis.
Poor micro results in propagations, fermentations and downstream into packaged products highlighted a number of concerning behaviours and equipment design especially around propagation. A systematic top down approach was implemented to combat these issues targeting the problem at source where practicably and financially feasible. Standardization of hygiene practices towards the SABMiller brewing standards had a significant improvement in hygiene at propagation reinforcing positive shifts in culture and practises among brewers. This subsequently resulted in additional benefits downstream, through shared learnings, process and hygiene control, which equates to improved quality.
Ultimately investment in capex will bolster productivity, but real value for money comes in investing in your processes, your people, investing your time, skills, expertise to drive performance and then taking the time to sustain it