Review: Pure non‐Saccharomyces starter cultures for beer fermentation with a focus on secondary metabolites and practical applications

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

Publication Date



Recently there has been increased interest in using non‐Saccharomyces yeasts to ferment beer. The worldwide growth of craft beer and microbreweries has revitalised the use of different yeast strains with a pronounced impact on aroma and flavour. Using non‐conventional yeast gives brewers a unique selling point to differentiate themselves. Belgian brewers have been very successful in using wild yeasts and mixed fermentations that often contain non‐Saccharomyces yeasts. Historically, ancient beers and beers produced before the domestication of commonly used Saccharomyces strains most likely included non‐Saccharomyces species. Given the renewed interest in using non‐Saccharomyces yeasts to brew traditional beers and their potential application to produce low‐alcohol or alcohol‐free beer, the fermentation and flavour characteristics of different species of non‐Saccharomyces pure culture yeast were screened for brewing potential (Brettanomyces anomalus and bruxellensis, Candida tropicalis and shehatae, Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Pichia kluyveri, Zygosaccharomyces rouxii). Alcohol‐free beer is already industrially produced using S. ludwigii, a maltose‐negative species, which is a good example of the introduction of non‐Saccharomyces yeast to breweries. Overall, non‐Saccharomyces yeasts represent a large resource of biodiversity for the production of new beers and have the potential for wider application to other beverage and industrial applications. Almost all of the trials reviewed were conducted with varying fermentation parameters, which plays an important role in the outcome of the studies. To understand these impacts all trials were described with their major fermentation parameters.


This article was originally published in Journal of the Institute of Brewing. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Journal of the Institute of Brewing


Copyright © 2016 The Institute of Brewing & Distilling