Applied microbiology and biotechnology

A comparison of laboratory and pilot-scale fermentations in winemaking conditions.

PMID 20461506


We investigated the influence of the fermenter size on alcoholic fermentation. Experiments were carried out at pilot scale, in 100-L fermenters, and at laboratory scale, in stirred and static 1-L fermenters. Two musts, Grenache blanc and Sauvignon, were fermented with and without the addition of solid particles from grape musts. Highly clarified must fermentation kinetics was strongly affected by the scale of the experiment, with slower fermentation occurring in the 100-L fermenter. Alcohol, ester, and thiol synthesis in clarified sauvignon must fermentation was also strongly correlated with the fermentation scale. Addition of solid particles from grape tended to reduce the effects on kinetics associated with increasing the scale of the fermentation, by increasing the maximum rate of CO(2) production, and by shortening the duration of fermentation. The addition of such particles also decreased the effects of scaling up the fermentation on the concentration of some volatile compounds, i.e., isoamyl acetate, ethyl octanoate, but did not decrease this effect for other compounds, such as isobutyl acetate, isobutanol, and 3-mercaptohexanol.