Date of Award

Fall 9-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Integrative Biology (MSIB)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Cornelison

Major Professor

Dr. Christopher Cornelison

Second Committee Member

Dr. Martin Hudson

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jonathan McMurry

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Melanie Griffin


Secondary fermentation of beer is traditionally used to condition and refine the sensory profile of a beer. During methods such as barrel aging or lagering, the yeast continues to produce flavor-active compounds. Some methods include the intentional inoculation of microorganisms or the utilization of natural consortia associated with a barrel, fruit, or additive for the generation of desired sensory profiles. As unique products increase in popularity, brewers have begun to experiment with secondary fermentation using alternative yeast species as bioflavorants. To assess the viability of an organism’s application to brewing, the physiochemical properties of beer and their impact on the growth of the organism must be considered. This study examines the effect of a range of physiochemical conditions present in the product of a primary fermentation prepared for secondary fermentation on the growth of a series of yeasts not conventionally used in brewing. This study also compares the resulting sensory-active metabolites present in beers secondarily fermented with non-conventional yeasts. The results from this research provide insight into the potential role of these species for targeted inoculation in secondary fermentation. Seventeen yeast species from thirteen different yeast genera were studied. Yeast were grown in malt extract media to measure growth compared to Saccharomyces cerevisiae over a 36-hour period. Growth was assessed using a hemocytometer for enumeration. Replicate experiments were performed with lactic acid, ethanol, and hop content in various concentrations to replicate conditions found in a product ready for secondary fermentation. Additionally, headspace aroma profiling of beers secondarily fermented with the studied species was conducted via SPME-GC-MS to elucidate the contributing volatile constituents. The evaluated species showed distinct growth profiles related to physiochemical conditions and distinct volatile organic compound profiles indicating a differential utility as secondary fermenters and bioflavorants based on standard beer style parameters. Cumulatively, this study allows for a more targeted understanding on the contribution to non-conventional yeasts in brewing.