The Influence of Yeast in Alcohol Distillation

Alcohol Distillation No doubt about it: choosing a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to ferment mash has an enormous influence on the flavor profile and character of finished spirit produced from it. Distillers frequently boast about their preferred yeast for producing distinctive and enjoyable flavours in their spirit production process.

yeast plays an essential part in creating alcohol, as it transforms barley or wheat into beer or grapes into wine. Furthermore, its use is also essential in producing fermented beverages like Kombucha and certain mezcals and tequilas which rely heavily on yeast for their unique flavour profiles.

Yeasts have an incredible effect on their environment, transforming sugary liquids into carbon dioxide and alcohol along with an array of flavor compounds such as esters (fruity notes). These byproducts give whisky its distinctive aroma or give tequila its distinct flavour; even vodka boasts subtle nutty notes from these byproducts.

Distillers who wish to maximise the yield of ethanol from fermentation often seek highly attenuative yeasts in order to limit the amount of residual sugar remaining in their finished product. This decision may also be motivated by economic considerations; low attenuation leads to wasteful sugar that must be evaporated off in order to convert into ethanol; however, this level may differ depending on what flavor of wash the distiller is aiming for.