Alcoholic Fermentation - Considerations
From a human perspective, alcoholic fermentation is a biochemical process that results in the production of ethanol, which can also be produced through industrial chemical processes such as the oxidation of ethylene. However, from a microbial perspective, the purpose of ethanolic fermentation is to provide energy for survival of anaerobic unicellular organisms.
The production of alcoholic beverages varies depending on the geographic region and available substrates. These substrates can range from simple sugars found in grape juice to high molecular weight sugars like barley grains starch. It is essential to note that, regardless of the substrate used, the primary objective remains the same: to obtain ethanol through the process of alcoholic fermentation.
Alcoholic beverages can be classified into two groups: those directly produced through the fermentation of various substrates, and distilled beverages created by distilling the product of fermentation. The fermentation process is the primary method of converting must into wine, involving the transformation of sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
Alcoholic fermentation is the basis of winemaking, and its importance is not limited to the conversion of sugars into ethanol. It also plays a vital role in the creation of numerous secondary compounds during the fermentation process that greatly influence the quality and character of the wine. Some of the substances that affect the character of wine are listed below.