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Can yeast hear?

There has been a ton of research being conducted on beer, wine, cider, and other fermented beverages to determine if exposing yeast cells to specific frequencies of sound can "change" the way the yeast behave. We already know that things like temperature and UV exposure can dramatically impact desirable or undesirable flavors... but can sound?

There has been some research that says "Yes!" we can impact the VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, the yeast create by hitting them with certain pitches while they do their thing converting sugar to alcohol. Large scale wineries and breweries are doing their own testing to see if they can make a better tasting beverage.

So we took that science, and turned it on its head.

What if we play music to our ciders? Assuming that different music has different average pitches, that the notes are held for varying durations, and that each piece of music creates its own vibe, why not play some tunes for our yeasty friends?

That's exactly what we did. We started with three exact batches of unfermented apple juice. We prepped them exactly the same way, with the same yeast and the same enzymes. John created submersible speakers which we weighed down (so they don't float) and popped them in the tanks. We decided on three very distinct CD's to play on repeat:

Taylor Swift 1989 (Taylor's Version of course)

Run DMC's Greatest Hits

Andrew Lloyd Weber's Requiem

Then we let them do their thing!

Effects of music waves on fermentation characteristics (1)
Download PDF • 254KB

SoundStimulation Can Affect Saccharomyces cerevisiae Growth and Production of Volatile Met
Download • 2.18MB

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