The effects of yeast inoculation rate and acclimatization to juice on icewine fermentation /
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Icewine is an intensely sweet, unique dessert wine fennented from the juice of grapes that have frozen naturally on the vine. The juice pressed from the frozen grapes is highly concentrated, ranging from a minimum of 35° Brix to approximately 42° Brix. Often Icewine fennentations are sluggish, taking months to reach the desired ethanol level, and sometimes become stuck. In 6 addition, Icewines have high levels of volatile acidity. At present, there is no routine method of yeast inoculation for fennenting Icewine. This project investigated two yeast inoculum levels, 0.2 gIL and 0.5 gIL. The fennentation kinetics of inoculating these yeast levels directly into the sterile Icewine juice or conditioning the cells to the high sugar levels using a step wise acclimatization procedure were also compared. The effect of adding GO-FERM, a yeast nutrient, was also assessed. In the sterile fennentations, yeast inoculated at 0.2 gIL stopped fennenting before the required ethanol level was achieved, producing only 7.8% (v/v) and 8.1 % (v/v) ethanol for the direct and conditioned inoculations, respectively. At 0.5 gIL, the stepwise conditioned cells fennented the most sugar, producing 12.2% (v/v) ethanol, whereas the direct inoculum produced 10.5% (v/v) ethanol. The addition of the yeast nutrient GO-FERM increased the rate of biomass accumulation, but reduced the ethanol concentration in wines fennented at 0.5 gIL. There was no significant difference in acetic acid concentration in the final wines across all treatments. Fennentations using unfiltered Icewine juice at the 0.5 gIL inoculum level were also compared to see if the effects of yeast acclimatization and micronutrient addition had the same impact on fennentation kinetics and yeast metabolite production as observed in the sterile-filtered juice fennentations. In addition, a full descriptive analysis of the finished wines was carried out to further assess the impact of yeast inoculation method on Icewine sensory quality. At 0.5 gIL, the stepwise conditioned cells fennented the most sugar, producing 11.5% (v/v) ethanol, whereas the direct inoculum produced 10.0% (v/v) ethanol. The addition of the yeast nutrient GO-FERM increased the peak viable cell numbers, but reduced the ethanol concentration in wines fennented at 0.5 gIL. There was a significant difference 7 in acetic acid concentration in the final wines across all treatments and all treatments affected the sensory profiles of the final wines. Wines produced by direct inoculation were described by grape and raisin aromas and butter flavour. The addition of GO-FERM to the direct inoculation treatment shifted the aroma/flavour profiles to more orange flavour and aroma, and a sweet taste profile. StepWise acclimatizing the cells resulted in wines described more by peach and terpene aroma. The addition of GO-FERM shifted the profile to pineapple and alcohol aromas as well as alcohol flavour. Overall, these results indicate that the addition of GO-FERM and yeast acclimatization shortened the length of fermentation and impacted the sensory profiles of the resultant wines.