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Yeast & the Scotch Whisky Production Process

Yeast is a single-celled organism which feeds on sugar, producing alcohol, carbon dioxide, heat and flavour compounds in return. There are many species of yeast existing in nature but the species used in distilling is saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Vic Cameron, one of our whisky lecturers says: “Yeast is one of the three raw materials used to make single malt Scotch whisky. The others, of course, are malted barley and water. Yeast is used in fermentation and it's a unicellular organism. We add it to the wort that we get from mashing in washbacks and that's what metabolises the sugar to give us the alcohol.”

Watch the Video

To make sense of how this single cell organism that occurs wild in nature metabolises sugar to produce alcohol – and heaps of flavour – in the Scotch whisky production process, watch Vic in this more detailed explainer video:


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