Malt induced premature yeast flocculation: its origins, detection and impacts upon fermentation

Panteloglou, Apostolos (2013) Malt induced premature yeast flocculation: its origins, detection and impacts upon fermentation. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Premature yeast flocculation (PYF) is a sporadic problem encountered during industrial brewing fermentations. Current hypothesis states that factors, thought to arise from fungal infection of the barley in the field and/or the malt in the maltings cause yeast to flocculate prematurely and/or heavily before the depletion of the sugars in the wort. This results in poorly attenuated worts, with higher residual extract and lower ABV, flavor abnormalities (i.e. diacetyl, SO2), lower carbonation levels, disruption of process cycle times and potential issues with the re-use of the yeast in subsequent fermentations. Consequently, PYF generates significant financial and logistical problems both to the brewer and the maltster.

In the current study a small-scale fermentation assay was developed and optimized to predict the PYF potential of malts, as well as to investigate the importance of yeast strain in the incidence and severity of the phenomenon. Furthermore, the impacts of the PYF factor(s) (i.e. arabinoxylans, antimicrobial peptides) on yeast fermentation performance and metabolite uptake were also studied, whilst the Biolog detection system was investigated as a potential rapid tool which to detect PYF.

The results obtained suggested that our in-house assay can be successfully used to predict the PYF potential of malts 69 or 40 h post-pitching depending upon the yeast strain used. Whilst ale yeasts were not found susceptible to PYF, lager yeasts exhibited different degrees of susceptibility even to the same PYF factor(s). More specifically, the more flocculent lager yeast SMA was found to be more susceptible than the medium flocculent lager yeast W34/70. However, interestingly, the fermentation performance of a PYF+ wort could be significantly improved by using a non-flocculent and relatively insensitive to PYF lager yeast. It was also shown that worts with lower amount of glucose and maltose could be responsible for poor fermentation profiles and/or heavy PYF as well as elevated residual sugars and lower fermentability. The observation that linoleic acid (6 mg.l-1) exacerbated PYF (P = 0.047) and made its detection more rapid was found to be contrary to the “titration hypothesis” (Axcell et al., 2000) which hypothesized that the addition of fatty acids might “titrate” out antimicrobial peptides so that they can no longer bind to the yeast cells. High gravity fermentations with worts inducing PYF did not have a significant effect (P > 0.05) on yeast physiological characteristics or fermentation performance suggesting that the PYF+ sample used in this study was inducing PYF though the ‘bridging’ polysaccharide mechanism rather than through the antimicrobial peptides. The Biolog system can be used for the metabolic characterization of different flocculence lager yeasts incubated in different fermentation media, whilst wort composition had a significant effect in redox reduction reactions.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cook, D.
Smart, K.A.
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
Item ID: 13142
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2013 12:34
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 11:43

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