Alternative Saccharomyces interspecies hybrid combinations and their potential for low-temperature wort fermentation

Jarkko Nikulin, Kristoffer Krogerus, Brian Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)


The lager yeast hybrid (Saccharomyces cerevisiae × Saccharomyces eubayanus) possesses two key characteristics that are essential for lager brewing: efficient sugar utilization and cold tolerance. Here we explore the possibility that the lager yeast phenotype can be recreated by hybridizing S. cerevisiae ale yeast with a number of cold-tolerant Saccharomyces species including Saccharomyces arboricola, Saccharomyces eubayanus, Saccharomyces mikatae and Saccharomyces uvarum. Interspecies hybrids performed better than parental strains in lager brewing conditions (12°C and 12°P wort), with the S. mikatae hybrid performing as well as the S. eubayanus hybrid. Where the S. cerevisiae parent was capable of utilizing maltotriose, this trait was inherited by the hybrids. A greater production of higher alcohols and esters by the hybrids resulted in the production of more aromatic beers relative to the parents. Strong fermentation performance relative to the parents was dependent on ploidy, with polyploid hybrids (3n, 4n) performing better than diploid hybrids. All hybrids produced 4-vinyl guaiacol, a smoke/clove aroma generally considered an off flavour in lager beer. This characteristic could however be eliminated by isolating spore clones from a fertile hybrid of S. cerevisiae and S. mikatae. The results suggest that S. eubayanus is dispensable when constructing yeast hybrids that express the typical lager yeast phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • aroma
  • cold tolerance
  • hybridization
  • lager beer
  • maltotriose
  • phenolic off flavour
  • saccharomyces pastorianus

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