Low- and no-alcohol beers have seen a recent boom in popularity as consumers cut back on alcohol and opt for healthier alternatives. It’s predicted that the NA Beer segment will be worth $46.6b by 20251.
Figure 1: 650 internet users aged 18+ who have limited/reduced the amount of alcohol they drink in the last 12 months
Source: Mintel, Attitudes towards Low- and Non-alcoholic Drink, UK, August 2019
The negative taste perceptions of low alcohol beer have prevented large numbers of consumers from trying it. In one study, as many as 52% of beer drinkers in the UK say that low/no-alcohol beer doesn’t taste as good as regular beer2.
As you know, standard beer fermentation creates alcohol from sugar in the presence of yeast. During that process, aldehydes are reduced and esters are formed.
Figure 2: In the presence of yeast, glucose sugars are fermented into ethanol and release carbon dioxide.
Low alcohol beer has traditionally been produced using one of two techniques: vacuum distillation (heating up and evaporating the alcohol) or membrane filtration (removing unwanted ethanol molecules). Both methods are complicated and expensive, in both capital and energy use. And with these techniques, the beer’s flavors and aromas can easily turn undesirable.
Typical brewer’s yeast consumes 75-95% of the fermentable extract in brewers wort (glucose, maltose, maltotriose and dextrin), meaning all that sugar is turning into alcohol. Using a low alcohol yeast that has been specifically bred to only ferment monosaccharide sugars can reduce alcohol before you begin.
Common limitations of low alcohol yeast strains include sluggish fermentation, poor pH drop, production of off flavors, and poor aldehyde reduction leading to worty, vegetal aromas.
LalBrew® LoNa™ is an innovative maltose-negative hybrid yeast strain that has been selected to have ideal characteristics to produce low and non-alcoholic beers.
As a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain of yeast, LalBrew® LoNa™ performs like an ale producing a clean and neutral aroma profile, no phenolic flavors, and significantly reducing aldehydes that cause worty flavors.
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