August 21, 2017

Finnish research seeks to improve wine and cider

The wines and ciders produced using these new strains are characterised by an increased aromatic complexity.
The wines and ciders produced using these new strains are characterised by an increased aromatic complexity.
istock.com/jmsilva

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed cold-tolerant hybrid yeast strains that allow wine and cider fermentation at lower and higher temperatures than before. The new strains could help wine and cider makers improve the quality of their products.

VTT‘s new yeast strains for the production of wine and cider can tolerate temperatures ranging from 10 to 37°C. The lower temperature range reduces risk of contamination during fermentation, possibly allowing for reduced sulphate use.

The higher temperature range, meanwhile, facilitates large-scale production in active dry yeast form.

In order to create new yeast strains for the production of wine and cider, VTT applied the knowledge it gained when in 2015, it generated the first new lager brewing yeast strains in 500 years.

Cold fermentation has been used in lager production for centuries using the lager yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus. The species is a hybrid between an ale yeast and the cold-tolerant wild yeast Saccharomyces eubayanus

Scientist at VTT used the cold-tolerant parent strain of the lager yeast and crossed it with a wine strain and tested it for wine and cider fermentation. The results showed that the aromatic properties of the wine and cider could be modulated by varying the fermentation temperature. White wine and cider both benefit from low-temperature fermentations.

After being successfully applied for the production of beer, wine and cider, the method is now being assessed for its use in the baking industry.

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