Preface

As is perhaps suggested by the title, this book was written with the intention of filling two perceived gaps in the current literature. In the first instance the authors hope that they have provided a comprehensive description of brewery fermentation, both traditional and modern. Secondly, to underpin this, a detailed review is presented of current understanding of those aspects of the biochemistry and genetics of yeast, which impact on brewery fermentation.

Of course, both of these related topics have received considerable attention elsewhere. For example, the multi-volume texts, Brewing Science (Pollock, 1979) and Malting and Brewing Science (Hough et al., 1981; Briggs et al., 1981), provide detailed descriptions of the brewing process in its entirety. Both of these are effectively standard works of reference and are highly regarded. However, both now have a vintage of some twenty years. During the period since their publication much has happened to the brewing industry as it has perforce adapted to changes in the global market place. Economic and social forces coupled with developments in science and technology have resulted in profound changes in the practice of fermentation and the range of beers produced. Hopefully these developments, together with a full account of the still much used traditional processes, are captured in this book.

The scientific literature devoted to yeast belonging to the genus Saccharomyces is extensive and diverse. This is fitting, since strains of this organism are of paramount importance in the biotechnological processes of brewing, wine making and baking. In addition, the type species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been much employed worldwide in research laboratories as the model eukaryotic cell. Indeed, the publication of the sequence of the S. cerevisiae genome in April 1996 was a milestone in late twentieth-century biology. The plethora of primary literature concerning the Saccharomyces and other yeast genera, is reviewed in depth elsewhere. Most notably in the consistently excellent multi-authored series, The Yeasts (Rose & Harrison, 1987 et seq.\ Rose et al., 1995). However, it is perhaps true that the mainstream of yeast research has dwelt little on the elucidation of the biochemical activities of yeast in the complex systems associated with growth on poorly characterised media such as brewers' wort, under conditions of transient aerobiosis. Indeed in some instances it has perhaps been assumed that yeast metabolism under the conditions of a brewery fermentation are more similar to those which pertain to aerobic growth on a defined medium than is, in fact, the case. These issues, together with a review of the misunderstood but steadfastly important subject of brewing microbiology, are addressed in this present work.

The foregoing discussion raises the question as to who is the target audience for this volume? The answer is everyone who has an interest, either as a seasoned professional or student, of the noble art of brewing. In addition, we hope that the wider academic community of zymologists will also find items of interest. Much of the content of the book is devoted to fermentation as practised by large scale commercial brewers, however, we have endeavoured to include material of interest to those who operate the time-honoured traditional processes.

The authors are associated with the UK brewing industry. We have provided an international perspective by highlighting aspects of the fermentation of beers which are peculiar to individual countries. Of course, the promulgation of developments in brewing science, in common with any other academic discipline, has no regard for national boundaries and we humbly dedicate this book to the spirit of that tradition.

Making Your Own Wine

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