Yeasts associated with the production of distilled alcoholic beverages

Graeme M. Walker*, Patricia Lappe-Oliveras, Rubén Moreno-Terrazas C., Manuel Kirchmayr, Melchor Arellano-Plaza, Anne Christine Gschaedler-Mathis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    243 Downloads (Pure)


    Distilled alcoholic beverages are produced firstly by fermenting sugars emanating from cereal starches (in the case of whiskies), sucrose-rich plants (in the case of rums), fructooligosaccharide-rich plants (in the case of tequila) or from fruits (in the case of brandies). Traditionally, such fermentations were conducted in a spontaneous fashion, relying on indigenous microbiota, including wild yeasts. In modern practices, selected strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are employed to produce high levels of ethanol together with numerous secondary metabolites (eg. higher alcohols, esters, carbonyls etc.) which greatly influence the final flavour and aroma characteristics of spirits following distillation of the fermented wash. Therefore, distillers, like winemakers, must carefully choose their yeast strain which will be very important in providing the alcohol content and the sensory profiles of spirit beverages. This Chapter discusses yeast and fermentation aspects associated with the production of selected distilled spirits and highlights similarities and differences with the production of wine.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationYeasts in the production of wine
    EditorsPatrizia Romano, Maurizio Ciani, Graham H. Fleet
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages36
    ISBN (Electronic)9781493997824
    ISBN (Print)9781493997800
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2019


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