Alternative Saccharomyces interspecies hybrid combinations and their potential for low-temperature wort fermentation

Jarkko Nikulin, Kristoffer Krogerus, Brian Gibson (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    The lager yeast hybrid (Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces eubayanus) possesses two key characteristics that are essential for lager brewing: efficient sugar utilization and cold tolerance. Here we explore the possibility that the lager yeast phenotype can be recreated by hybridizing S. cerevisiae ale yeast with a number of cold-tolerant Saccharomyces species including Saccharomyces arboricola, Saccharomyces eubayanus, Saccharomyces mikatae and Saccharomyces uvarum. Interspecies hybrids performed better than parental strains in lager brewing conditions (12°C and 12°P wort), with the S. mikatae hybrid performing as well as the S. eubayanus hybrid. Where the S. cerevisiae parent was capable of utilizing maltotriose, this trait was inherited by the hybrids. A greater production of higher alcohols and esters by the hybrids resulted in the production of more aromatic beers relative to the parents. Strong fermentation performance relative to the parents was dependent on ploidy, with polyploid hybrids (3n, 4n) performing better than diploid hybrids. All hybrids produced 4-vinyl guaiacol, a smoke/clove aroma generally considered an off flavour in lager beer. This characteristic could however be eliminated by isolating spore clones from a fertile hybrid of S. cerevisiae and S. mikatae. The results suggest that S. eubayanus is dispensable when constructing yeast hybrids that express the typical lager yeast phenotype.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)113-127
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    This work was supported by PBL Brewing Laboratory (Oy Panimolaboratorio – Bryggerilaboratorium Ab), the Tor-Magnus Enari Fund, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Svenska Kulturfonden – The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, the Academy of Finland (Academy Projects 276480 and 305453) and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.


    • aroma
    • cold tolerance
    • hybridization
    • lager beer
    • maltotriose
    • phenolic off flavour
    • saccharomyces pastorianus
    • Cold Temperature
    • Species Specificity
    • fermentation
    • Saccharomyces
    • microbiology
    • Hybridization, Genetic
    • genetics


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