In previous posts, I wrote about the discovery of a yeast, S. eubayanus (See this post and those that follow) . Genetic analysis suggests that S. eubayanus is the most likely candidate to have hybridized with S. cerevisiae to form yeasts that we now refer to as lager yeasts (S. pastorianus or S. carlsbergensis). Research suggests that this hybridization may have occurred in the 15th/16th centuries in Bavaria that led to a revolution in brewing during which brewers began to produce lager beer as opposed to ales (a search of my site will lead to many entries related to this issue).
While much research is being directed at how and when this hybridization occurred, some researchers are testing the possibility that S. eubayanus may be a useful yeast by itself in the brewing process. I previously reported on a study published in Zymurgy in which a panel of brewers used S. eubayanus to brew classic beer styles that were then tested for flavor and other characteristics.
In recent months, a several researchers published studies expanding this theme to wine and cider. I posted a note about the study by Magalhães, et al (2017) about a month ago in which S. eubayanus was tested in winemaking. I finally received my copy of the study and can now report on its findings. Another paper authored by Magalhães and his colleagues extends the use of S. eubayanus and its hybrids to cider-making. I recently obtained copies of these papers and will report on them in an upcoming blog entry.
A third recent publication by Monerawela and Bond (2017) reviews the research to date regarding the possible origins of both S. cerevisiae, S. eubayanus, and their hybrids. This is a complicated story of genetic diversity, or lack thereof in some cases, and human intervention that may have played a role in the current yeast strains we use today.
It will take me a while to wade through these articles, but I will report back once I have digested their content!
Magalhães, F., Krogerus, K., Vidgren, V., Sandell, M., & Gibson, B. (2017). Improved cider fermentation performance and quality with newly generated Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces eubayanus hybrids. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. Published online April 17, 2017.
Magalhães, F., Krogerus K., Castillo, S., & Gibson, B. R. (2017). Exploring the potential of Saccharomyces eubayanus as a parent for new interspecies hybrid strains in winemaking. FEMS Yeast Research. (Accepted for publication).
Monerawela, C., & Bond, U. (2017). Brewing up a storm: The genomes of lager yeasts and how they evolved. Biotechnology Advancements. Published online, March 2017.