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Kent Benson
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I spoke with Ken Wright via email and he asked me to pass this along. His amazement at the study had nothing to do with the absence of wild yeasts during the mid to latter stages of the fermentation cycle. Rather, he was amazed by the paucity of the commercial yeasts used to inoculate. The shock was in discovering that these yeasts, specifically selected and added to the must, actually had very little involvement during the bulk of the fermentation. If most commercial yeasts are so easily overtaken by a couple dominant strains, it seems likely to me (Kent, not Ken) that most wild strains would suffer the same fate, even if sulfur is not added at crush. If this is the case, the claim that there is no such thing as a wild yeast fermentation would be essentially correct in many wine producing regions. Perhaps some facilities can truly maintain ample isolation to prevent the infiltration of these dominant commercial strains. It would be interesting to determine if any purely wild yeasts can successfully bring a fermentation to completion with any regularity. But, as Akm87 points out above, can any yeast be considered truly wild? If so, where do you draw the line between truly wild and somehow influenced by humans? Seems like a fools game to me.
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Aug 23, 2013