There are many different types of wine yeast, and they can be divided into several categories based on their characteristics and the types of wine they are used to produce. Here are a few common types of wine yeast and some of their key characteristics:
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae: This is the most common type of yeast used in winemaking, and it is responsible for most of the alcoholic fermentation that occurs in wine. It is a hardy yeast that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and pH levels, making it well-suited for use in many different types of wine.
- Saccharomyces bayanus: This yeast is similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but it is more resistant to high alcohol levels and is therefore often used in the production of fortified wines such as port and sherry.
- Brettanomyces: This type of yeast is known for its ability to produce a range of flavors and aromas, including barnyard, earthy, and spicy notes. It is sometimes used in the production of certain styles of wine, particularly those with a more rustic or “wild” character.
- Lactobacillus: This is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the winemaking environment and is known for its ability to produce lactic acid. It is often used in the production of certain types of wine, particularly those that undergo malolactic fermentation, a secondary fermentation process that converts tart malic acid into softer lactic acid.
- Pediococcus: This is another type of bacteria that is commonly found in the winemaking environment and is known for its ability to produce lactic acid, as well as other by-products such as acetic acid (vinegar). It is sometimes used in the production of certain types of wine, particularly those that are meant to be aged for a long time.