A new way of brewing was recently discovered in Brazil, using basic beer ingredients and cachaça yeast (cachaça is a traditional drink of Brazil).
The first beer made with cachaça yeast was produced in Minas Gerais in the brewery school Taberna do Vale (in Nova Lima city in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte). Called Carolweiss, it’s a wheat beer developed by Felipe Viegas and pharmacist José Eduardo Marino.
The idea came from a lecture by Rogelio Brandão, a professor at the Center for Research in Biological Sciences, Federal University of Ouro Preto. He is currently preparing a study on the action of different yeasts in the same wort. He collected samples of yeast and made the culture multiply, eliminating harmful bacteria and other micro-organisms, thereby completely isolating one type of yeast. Before using it, it was necessary to achieve a transition (or evolution, of sorts), since the yeast is “accustomed” to fermenting the sugar cane instead of the malt. To change this, successive generations of the same yeast were grown for two months in wort with increasingly lower levels of sugar cane.
The yeast is able to naturally ferment malt wort, proof that it is ready to be used in brewing. The results surprised Jose Felipe Eduardo: “The beer’s alcohol content was greater than the usual 5.5 % (0.2% more), and fermentation, which normally takes about six hours to get started, started in two hours.”
“Some yeasts are neutral, which was not the case with this. I tested it on a Pale Ale and failed. Meanwhile, it was shown to work well in certain types of wheat beers and bock,” Felipe explains. In a wheat bock, the difference in resultant alcohol content was even higher: 0.5% more than with traditional beer yeast.
With the new cachaça yeast, the aroma of wheat beers gained a major characteristic of apples, while bocks gained plums and bananas. These characteristics that make them somewhat unique in the brewing world.
For this reason, Felipe does not rule out the possibility of eventual audience recognition (possibly “weiss mineira – from Minas Gerais State” in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)?). It’s only one of a number of new developments happening in the region.
“In Argentina, they are developing their own style, called Golden Pampas. It’s a lager beer made with malt cultivated there.”
Thanks to Estado de Minas Journal and Eduardo Tristão.
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