Inquiring Winemaker

 

Is Yeast Boosting Alcohol Levels?

September 2007
 
by Tim Patterson
 
There's a long string of factors involved in the rising tide of high-alcohol wines--but yeast isn't one of them. It's not hard to find winemakers who will tell you that among the things ratcheting up the ethanol levels these days is the tendency of current-release commercial yeast strains to be more efficient at converting sugar to alcohol--more bang for the Brix. Nobody claims that's the whole story, but this theory shows up on just about every list.
 

 
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