Not all yeasts are created equal

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Must fermenting in a tank
Must fermenting in a tank

It is common practice to add cultured (sometimes called artificial) yeast to the must to control the fermentation of wine. Just like for “natural” fermentation it is Saccharomyses Cerevisiae that converts the sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide (for beer it can be Saccharomyses Carlsbergensis).

A new type of has now been launched that is not a Saccharomyses. It is called Torulaspora delbrueckii. The benefits are said to be that the wines get more pleasing aromas and more fresh fruit.

A test on chardonnay in Burgundy showed that Torulaspora wines had more aromas of citrus fruit, flowers and spices whereas Cerevisiae wines had more notes of tropical fruit like pineapple. The “T” wines also gave the impressions of being more full bodied. However, Torulaspora cannot completely finish the fermentation since it dies at 8-10% alcohol. The winemaker has to add Saccharomyses Cerevisiae yeast at the end to finish the fermentation. (Source: La Vigne)

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