Top-fermenting yeast have a wide variety of fermentation properties, which strongly influence the flavor and taste of beer produced. We have investigated the fermentation properties of more than 200 strains of top-fermenting yeast by lab-scale fermentation analysis. The yeast strains were grouped by multivariate statistical analysis into clusters based on several beer-related properties, such as the production of esters, organic acids, and 4-vinylguaiacol (4-VG), which imparts a characteristic phenolic or smoky flavor to beers, in addition to sugar utilization profiles and flocculation behavior. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between 4-VG production and fermentation behavior, and demonstrated that the generation potential of 4-VG by yeast can be predicted by single nucleotide polymorphism analysis. Moreover, investigation of the brewing conditions that influence 4-VG production revealed that changing the fermentation temperature can regulate the amount of 4-VG production. By utilizing this knowledge, we aim to select suitable top-fermenting yeast strains and brewing conditions to produce beers with a huge variety of characteristics flavor and taste profiles.
Hironori Inadome received a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and microbiology from Tokyo University, Japan in 2004. He then studied yeast lipidomics at Kyoto University and RIKEN as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2009, he joined the Central Laboratories for Frontier Technology, KIRIN Holdings Co., Ltd. and studied yeast metabolic flux. In 2011, he transferred to the Research Laboratories for Alcoholic Beverage Technologies, KIRIN Co., Ltd., where he has continued to work on brewer’s yeast metabolomics.