Imperial Yeast and Starters with Owen Lingley, Jess Caudill – BeerSmith Podcast #161

by Brad Smith on December 10, 2017 · 1 comment

Owen Lingley and Jess Caudill from Imperial Yeast join me this week to discuss brewing yeast, yeast starters, pitch rates, and caring for your beer yeast.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (43:36)

  • Today my guests are Owen Lingley and Jess Caudill from Imperial Yeast. Owen is co-owner at Imperial yeast and worked at Wyeast and also runs Craft Canning and Bottling company. He started Imperial Yeast about 2-1/2 years ago. Jess is head of the technical services department and has been in the beer industry for 22 years including Wyeast and also “Everybody’s Brewing” head of production.
  • We start with a discussion about the importance of high quality yeast in making great beer.
  • Jess explains how many yeast cells are needed for a typical 5 gal (19 l) batch.
  • We talk about starting gravities and the importance of matching your yeast pitch rate to the batch size and gravity.
  • Owen explains the concept of viable cells and how viability (living cells) decrease as a package of yeast is stored.
  • We discuss dry yeast and why it has a longer shelf life.
  • Jess tells us how to ideally store and preserve yeast to extend its viability over time.
  • We discuss yeast packaging and Owen tells us about his future packaging plans for Imperial yeast.
  • Jess explains why you need more yeast cells when working with a lager.
  • Owen talks about yeast starters and why they are important for many beers.
  • Jess tells us what size a typical homebrew starter might be.
  • We talk about how to make a yeast starter, typical sizes and why you might want to use a stir plate with a starter.
  • Jess explains the limits of starter size growth (typically 2-3x).
  • We discuss multi-stage starters and how to use them.
  • Owen and Jess explain how yeast is grown commercially.
  • Owen talks about Imperial yeast, some of their future plans and also Homebrewcon which is coming to his home town.


Thanks to Owen Lingley and Jess Caudill for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris Williams June 2, 2018 at 5:27 pm

I used Imperial Barbarian today in a double IPA I’m calling Double Down I had planned to use Wyeast 1056 but my store was out. Looking forward to seeing how it comes out (had some brew day issues…). I could not find any Imperial Yeast in BeerSmith… how do you add this into recipes?

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