Do you know the chemical formula of alcoholic fermentation? C6H12O6 + 2 ADP + 2 Pi → 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2 + 2 ATP. Basically, the reagents C6H12O6 (glucose), ADP (nucleotide Adenosine Diphosphate) and 2 Pi (Inorganic phosphate) are transformed into products which are 2C2H5OH (ethanol), 2CO2 (carbon dioxide) and ATP (nucleotide Adenosine Triphosphate). Is it clear ? If yes, you can go directly to the online store. Otherwise, let’s talk about this chemistry!
In reality, you will see that alcoholic fermentation is relatively simple. It’s the sugar in the brew that’s going to be made into alcohol. It is a single-celled fungus microorganism, called a yeast, which will carry out the transformation. This yeast is a living organism! It feeds, reproduces and breathes.
So that these yeasts can somehow do their job very well, we will have to put them in special conditions:
1-First, we must ensure a large population in number of these yeasts. I means these yeasts will reproduce and therefore multiply.
2-There is another relatively important element to ensure this multiplication. It is oxygen, indeed the medium must be rich in oxygen.
3-Finally, the last element that is important is the temperature of your brew during fermentation. It’s even a fundamental factor in the speed of fermentation. As you can see, yeast is a living organism. It needs a little oxygen to survive. It also needs an adequate temperature. Between 12 and 35 degrees Celsius depending on the yeast. The brewers will be able, by thermoregulation systems, to control the temperature.
Also, if the yeasts absorb sugar to transform it into alcohol, they will also release CO2, carbon dioxide. The “tremors” of the washbacks are then the sign of significant fermentation.
Let’s go back to our whiskey! We can add the yeast to the washback which has reached a temperature around 20 ° C. Temperature essential for the well-being of yeasts. Fermentation will then take a little time to start, until the yeasts have taken over their new medium. A foam will form on the surface of the brew, a sign of significant chemical activity.
End of alcoholic fermentation: we can call the brew berre. This beer has a content of around 8% alcohol (less or more depending of the reciepe). It is with this alcohol that we will carry out a first distillation. But that’s another story !
If you are intersted by mixology, then this is it!
If you are intersted by our spirits, then this is it!
In general, are you interested in the world of alcohol, distillation and the Valour + Lemaire universe ? Then subscribe to our newsletter to receive our articles and follow our blog.
Photo by Elevate on Unsplash