European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 11, pp 2549–2564 | Cite as

On the suitability of alternative cereals, pseudocereals and pulses in the production of alcohol-reduced beers by non-conventional yeasts

  • Konstantin Bellut
  • Maximilian Michel
  • Martin Zarnkow
  • Mathias Hutzler
  • Fritz Jacob
  • Kieran M. Lynch
  • Elke K. ArendtEmail author
Original Paper


The growing interest in non-alcoholic and low alcohol beers (NABLAB) has fuelled research into innovative production methods. One means to produce NABLAB is through limited fermentation by non-Saccharomyces yeasts which have a naturally low fermentative capacity in cereal-based wort substrates. At the same time, adjunct brewing, the partial replacement of barley malt on the grain bill, enjoys growing popularity. In this study, 13 cereals, pseudocereals, and pulses were investigated for their suitability to produce a wort with limited amounts of fermentable sugars. Subsequently, the fermentation performance of two non-Saccharomyces yeast strains, namely Cyberlindnera subsufficiens C6.1 and Lachancea fermentati KBI 12.1, in the produced worts was investigated and compared to that of a brewers’ yeast strain. The worts were produced by harnessing endogenous amylolytic enzyme activity or the addition of an external amylase and analysed for their sugar composition and free amino acids (FAA) profile. All alternative substrates without endogenous β-amylase activity were found to be suitable for producing worts with a high proportion of unfermentable sugars. However, the extract yield was low for the pulses and most worts exhibited a low and/or unbalanced FAA profile. The ethanol production was limited and mostly dependent on the sugar spectrum of the worts and the sugar utilization characteristics of the applied yeast strains. The (partial) substitution of barley with alternative substrates when producing NABLAB by non-Saccharomyces yeast can be a means to alter the sugar and FAA profile of the wort, but must be considered in concert with the yeast strains’ characteristics.


Cereals Pseudocereals Pulses Non-conventional yeast Non-Saccharomyces yeast Low alcohol beer 



The authors would like to thank Ms Anne-Sophie Brasseur for her contribution to this study, and Dr Josh Taylor and the Kerry Group for the generous donation of the enzymes used in this study. The authors would also like to thank Dr David De Schutter and Dr Luk Daenen for their review.


This work was supported by the Baillet Latour Fund within the framework of a scholarship for doctoral students.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with animal or human subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantin Bellut
    • 1
  • Maximilian Michel
    • 2
  • Martin Zarnkow
    • 2
  • Mathias Hutzler
    • 2
  • Fritz Jacob
    • 2
  • Kieran M. Lynch
    • 1
  • Elke K. Arendt
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food QualityTechnische Universität MünchenFreising-WeihenstephanGermany
  3. 3.APC Microbiome IrelandUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

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