Alcoholic Fermentation - Types
First, let’s talk about industrial fermentation. This process has evolved to improve the chemical efficiency of the process and obtain larger quantities of ethanol. How is this achieved? With continuous alcoholic fermentation in controlled environments. In this way, we can process alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer at an appropriate pace to offer them to the market.
But that’s not all! There is also a research path to improve industrial processes by improving yeast strains. For example, the Zymomonas Mobilis yeast strain offers advantages in continuous fermentation processes by allowing a higher yeast density during production.
Continuous fermentation began to be patented in the 1950s and since then, the alcoholic beverage industry has experienced appreciable growth. A key feature of industrial ethyl fermentation is the appropriate selection of yeasts to increase production yield.
Natural fermentations are a process that occurs spontaneously in nature when there is sugar and lack of oxygen. Did you know that some fruits such as melon and coconut can also undergo an anaerobic ripening process that gives them an alcohol smell? Interesting, isn’t it?!
There are fermentations that are specific and are manipulated by humans in order to obtain ethanol in beverages. They mainly use sugars found in fruits, cereals, and milk. The production of these drinks is usually done locally since it depends on the availability of these products.
Wine making is a very old and well-known process that involves the fermentation of grapes with the help of yeast. These microorganisms are naturally found on the skin of grapes and are responsible for transforming grape sugar into alcohol. To ensure that fermentation takes place properly, the must (grape juice) is sterilized with sulfur dioxide before the process.
• In addition to alcoholic fermentation, there is also malolactic fermentation that occurs after alcoholic fermentation. In this stage, bacteria transform the malic acid in the must into lactic acid, which reduces the acidity of the wine and gives it a smoother, rounder texture.
• The fermentation of wine can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as temperature, oxygen level, acidity, and the yeast strain used. These factors can affect the flavor, aroma, and structure of the wine.
• The aging process of wine can also affect its flavor and aroma. Young wine may have a fruity and fresh taste, while aged wine may have a more complex flavor and often contains notes of spice, leather, and tobacco.
• The quality of wine can also be influenced by the type of grape used and the place where it was grown. The term “terroir” refers to the unique characteristics of the soil, climate, and topography of a region that can influence the flavor and aroma of the wine produced there.
• The addition of sugar to the must to increase the alcohol content of the wine (chaptalization) can be controversial, as some believe it can negatively affect the quality of the wine and reduce its authenticity.