Repurposing brewery contaminant yeast as production strains for low‐alcohol beer fermentation

Kristoffer Krogerus (Corresponding Author), Ronja Eerikäinen, Heikki Aisala, Brian Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A number of fungal isolates were recently obtained from a survey of the microbiota of multiple breweries and brewery products. Here, we sought to explore whether any of these brewery contaminants could be repurposed for beneficial use in beer fermentations, with particular focus on low-alcohol beer. There were 56 yeast strains first screened for the utilization of different carbon sources, ability to ferment brewer's wort, and formation of desirable aroma compounds. A number of strains appeared maltose-negative and produced desirable aromas without obvious off-flavours. These were selected for further scaled-up wort fermentations. The selected strains efficiently reduced wort aldehydes during fermentation, thus eliminating undesirable wort-like off-flavours, and produced a diverse volatile aroma profile. Two strains, Trigonopsis cantarellii and Candida sojae, together with a commercial Saccharomycodes ludwigii reference strain, were selected for 30-L-scale wort fermentations based on aroma profile and similarity to a commercial reference beer during sensory analysis using projective mapping. Both strains performed comparably to the commercial reference, and the T. cantarellii strain in particular, produced low amounts of off-flavours and a significantly higher amount of the desirable monoterpene alcohol trans-geraniol. The strain was also sensitive to common food preservatives and antifungal compounds and unable to grow at 37°C, suggesting it is relatively easily controllable in the brewery, and appears to have low risk of pathogenicity. This study shows how the natural brewery microbiota can be exploited as a source of non-conventional yeasts for low-alcohol beer production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-169
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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