Hi, there is a lot of specific info about yeast and pitching in different forums, but what i am after is a general overview for using yeast to best effect. What are these little yeastie animals like, what stresses them, is stress good sometimes, how tough are they, etc. So i am a kit brewer and have access to 11.5g sachets of specific yeasts and also the yeast in the lid of kits. I am not a trained beer taster so very subtle nuance is wasted on me. I am lazy, while i will mess around with hops and in extreme cases steep some grains, it is basically just to flavour tinned malt extracts and kits in the bucket. I want to get a bit flasher with my yeasts. So really i am after a link to a "brewing yeast 101" article that tackles questions like the following. I would love to get some answers here as well though 1. Does it make a difference to prepare the yeast before pitching eg by hydrating. Is this just about population numbers. 2. Should i underpitch, overpitch, is 11.5g rightpitching in 23l bucket. Viability is mentioned often, what is it? 3. What does the yeast like in its environment, what stresses it, why and what happens. Warmth, sugars, crowding, alcohol, etc. 4. What are the basic high level varietal differences between different strains in terms of inputs and outputs. 5. What effect does sugar type have, what's right with brown sugar, whats wrong with maltose (being contrary). 6. How long to ferment and can i leave it for long in the bucket. 7. What does the sludge at the bottom do, is it alive, can i reuse it? If sludge is bad in the bucket why good for reuse. 8. Anything to worry about during secondary fermentation. 9. Does yeast effect head? 10. What things can i do wrong that would actually physically taste bad, how forgiving is yeast? I realise i can get answers to most of these specific questions on this forum, it is really question 3 i care about. How do i keep my yeast happy and productive while not making my beer taste off.