The history of fermentation research is outlined and some of the major advances highlighted. Possible future trends are considered. Fermentation research in the alcoholic beverage industry, and brewing in particular, has greatly influenced advances in fermentation science as a whole and the contributions of such scientists as Leeuwenhoek, Schwann, Pasteur, Buchner, Hansen and Winge are legend. In more recent times a greater depth of knowledge concerning both wort composition and yeast performance has had a profound effect upon the type of fermentation that is conducted in most progressive breweries. Studies on yeast performance have involved investigations into metabolism, technological behaviour and genetics together with the effect of such upon sugar and amino acid uptake from the wort, the flavour of the beer and the sedimentation characteristics of a particular culture. Recent developments in fermentation systems have included large scale (e.g. cylindro conical fermenters etc.), continuous fermentation, high gravity brewing and the use of centrifuges. Speculation is that in the future there will be a further decline in the use of continuous fermentation, with even higher gravity worts and yeast strains possessing definite genetic characteristics coming into vogue.
Keywords: brewers' yeast fermentation flocculation history research development survey