Cachaça would have been invented by chance, in colonial and sugar Brazil. In 1637, the German naturalist Georg Marcgrave, from the entourage of the Dutchman Maurício de Nassau, took the first cauldron to Pernambuco.
Difference of Artisanal Sugarcane spirit (Cachaça) vs Industrial Sugarcane Spirit (Cachaça)
Different products and methods.
Much is still confused about the universe of sugarcane spirit (cachaça), especially when it comes to understanding the difference between artisanal cachaça and industrial cachaça. The idea here is not to belittle or discriminate which is the best or which is the worst, just to inform, in a comparative way, why they should be treated differently, since they have different production methods.
The artisanal sugarcane spirit (cachaça) is more limited
The production of industrial cachaça is usually produced on a large scale and has a relatively low cost, while the production of artisanal cachaça is generally characterized by limited production, making inputs scarcer and consequently more expensive. Its production stands out, which is punctual, that is, artisanal cachaça is only produced during a specific period of the year.
Artisan cachaça takes longer to make
Due to the high demand, industrial cachaça cannot waste time, it needs to keep its fermentation active, that is, for the yeasts to be able to produce alcohol, they need the sugar present in the broth. For this to happen, the vast majority of large industries use chemical additives to keep bacteria energetic. The production of artisanal cachaça benefits from natural yeasts or selected yeasts, making the process slower.
Artisanal sugarcane spirit (cachaça) values the fraction of good vs bad liquids
Industrial cachaça is continuously distilled in stainless steel columns, without separating the head and tail (beginning and end of the distillation process, which are known to contain substances that can impair the final quality of the product). be distilled in copper stills. Using the "heart", the middle part of the distillation (the noblest liquid) and discarding the "head" and "tail", is up to the producer.
Organic aldehyde and furfural compounds, for example, the first is one of the main responsible for hangovers, the greater its amount, the greater your discomfort the next day, the second is also responsible for smelly breath from drinks with dubious origins. In quality cachaças, these substances are removed almost entirely.
The sugarcane spirit (cachaça) Fire Flower, only uses the best distillate (80%) of the sugarcane spirit, the "heart", the rest the so-called "head" (10%) and the "syrup" (10% ) are discarded (10%), these give rise to ethanol. (Wiba similar text)
Sugarcane spirit (cachaça) fermentation
Cachaça fermentation is the process of transforming the mixture of sugarcane juice and water (called must) into a low-alcohol sugarcane wine. This fermented product is then heated and condensed in distillation equipment.
During the fermentation of cachaça, the yeasts transform the sugar cane must into cane wine. Each producer has his own fermentation recipe, which can be very different. But when we talk about yeasts, we can classify them into two groups: native and commercial.
The sugarcane, the yeast, the fermentation, distillation and aging process have so many variables that make cachaça such a diverse and plural drink. Using indigenous or commercial yeasts does not make the cachaça better or worse, if there is method, hygiene and commitment to quality, the result will be the production of different cachaças, but equally special.
Most producers use autochthonous yeasts, those present in the cane field, in the air and at the place of production. Others use commercial yeasts, such as fresh baking yeast, the most common being Fleischman. Since the beginning of the 2000s, many producers have converted to commercial yeasts specially developed for sugarcane fermentation, which are cultivated in specialized laboratories and offered to the producer market.
What are yeasts?
Sugarcane spirit (Cachaça) fermentation is the process in which microscopic fungi known as yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. For the production of cachaça, it is first necessary to transform the cane sugars mixed with water into cane wine. During this fermentation process, many of the compounds that give aromas and flavors to beverages, the so-called secondary aromas, are also created. The physical-chemical and sensory profile of cachaça is directly related to fermentation and, therefore, to the yeast strains involved in this process.
They are the natural yeasts from the place of production. They can be wild or selected in the laboratory.
Wild indigenous yeasts
In the laboratory samples, the cachaças fermented with native wild yeasts have an outstanding concentration of esters, compounds responsible for the pleasant aromas of fruit and flowers. The presence of acetic acid is also higher if we compare it with the CA-11 yeast, for example, one of the main commercial yeasts used in cachaça fermentation.
During the formation of the foot-de-cuba, producers who are adept at wild autochthonous yeasts use caipira yeast. Pe-de-cuba is a dense liquid composed of yeast and sugarcane juice. The liquid takes this name because it is formed at the bottom of the vats, where, from 5 to 7 days, in conditions of intense aeration, the yeasts are fed daily with sugarcane juice. In this stage, the microorganisms use the energy acquired from the sugars for reproduction, and not for the production of alcohol.
What is redneck yeast?
Most artisanal producers have a regional recipe for making their foot of tub. Normally, they are recipes consisting of sugarcane juice and food for the yeasts, such as cornmeal, rice bran, cassava or soy. Lemon and sour orange are also used for acidity correction. These substrates enrich the wort and provide nutrients for the yeasts to multiply.