Caister Academic Press

Microbial Ecology of Traditional Beer Fermentations

Freek Spitaels, Anneleen Diane Wieme, Isabel Snauwaert, Luc De Vuyst and Peter Vandamme
from: Brewing Microbiology: Current Research, Omics and Microbial Ecology (Edited by: Nicholas A. Bokulich and Charles W. Bamforth). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2017) Pages: 179-196.


Traditional beer fermentations do not apply inoculation of pure cultures to initiate the fermentation process. In contrast, they rely on spontaneous inoculation, 'backslopping', or inoculation with an undetermined mixture of microorganisms for the production of the beer. Knowledge about the microbiota responsible for these special fermentation processes does not only enable a closer quality management, but the isolation of the microorganisms involved enables their application as starter cultures. Very commonly, the same microorganisms are involved in these processes, i.e., the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and/or Saccharomyces pastorianus plus Brettanomyces (Dekkera) bruxellensis, lactic acid bacteria and/or acetic acid bacteria. All traditional beers share a desirable tartness and their production processes take from several days to several years to complete. This chapter reviews notable types of traditional beer fermentations, their microbial ecology, and methods used to investigate their composition read more ...
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