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Difference between coffee and wine fermentation


For wine and some types of coffee, the production process requires fermentation to develop maximum flavor potential. Coffee and wine fermentation are both based on the conversion of sugar into lactic acid or alcohol by microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria. However, these two fermentation processes have certain differences in methods or results. To learn more about the differences between these two processes, explore with 43 Factory Coffee Roaster!


Understand the coffee and wine fermentation process


What is fermentation?


Fermentation is a chemical reaction in which substances are decomposed into simpler substances by enzymes or the process of converting sugar into alcohol by enzymes that produce enzymes as in the case of alcoholic beverages. Typically in coffee and wine production, fermentation is an anaerobic and controlled process. This means that fermentation occurs in the absence of oxygen. The conditions in that environment must be closely considered and controlled, such as the addition of yeast or bacteria, sugar content, temperature and use of the correct type of container.

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Coffee fermentation process


Coffee fermentation is an important process in the coffee processing process. The coffee beans are placed in barrels or tanks filled with water or special media. Next, people will add yeast strains or create conditions that allow natural microorganisms such as yeast and flavor-producing bacteria to grow. The purpose of coffee fermentation is to remove the mucous membrane around the coffee beans, while also creating chemical compounds that can impact the taste, smell and acidity of the coffee.

There are many different ways to ferment coffee depending on the experimental research of the farms. Some coffee producers often separate the pods and mucous membranes before fermentation to control the flavor and raise the coffee score in its own way. Or the carbonic fermentation method of 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic has created a unique flavor that makes coffee increase its score and become a specialty coffee.

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Alcoholic fermentation process


Alcohol fermentation is an indispensable step in wine production. This process takes place when ingredients containing sugar such as grapes, wheat, potatoes, rice… are crushed or pressed to get juice. The manufacturer will then add certain strains of yeast to the juice tank. These yeast strains will convert sugar into ethanol and other compounds that create a special aroma and flavor for wine.

Depending on the type of wine being produced, the process may vary slightly. At a basic level, white wine is made by fermenting grape juice. Meanwhile, some red wines are made by fermenting whole grapes. The purpose of alcoholic fermentation is to convert sugar into alcohol and other compounds that affect the taste, smell and spiciness of the wine.

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Differences in coffee and wine fermentation processes


Coffee and wine fermentation both use microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria to convert organic compounds in raw materials into different products. However, they have many differences in purpose, method, time and results.


Coffee fermentation

Wine fermentation


Removes mucus surrounding coffee beans, reduces moisture and creates characteristic flavor properties, increasing the score of coffee

Produces ethyl alcohol, a substance that has intoxicating properties and can be used as a fuel or solvent

Fermentation method

Can be aerobic (with oxygen) or anaerobic (without oxygen), depending on whether the coffee cherries are soaked in water or not and the manufacturer’s purpose

Alcohol fermentation is usually anaerobic, because oxygen will inhibit yeast activity and reduce wine production efficiency.

Fermentation container

The tanks used to ferment coffee are usually made of stainless steel and plastic

Red wine is often fermented in oak barrels, creating a pleasant flavor. The white wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, which results in a lighter and sharper flavor


Coffee fermentation ranges from 8 to 72 hours, depending on the type of coffee, climatic conditions, temperature and pH

The time of alcoholic fermentation depends on the type of raw materials, sugar concentration, temperature and type of yeast. Wine fermentation time can last from a few days to a few weeks


The result of the coffee fermentation process is clean, dry coffee beans with a characteristic aroma

The result of alcoholic fermentation is an alcoholic solution with an alcohol content of 5% to 20%, depending on the type of wine

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It can be said that the fermentation process of coffee and wine differs in some characteristics in the processing process. However, both use microorganisms to convert substances inherent in ingredients to create flavor and highlight product characteristics. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the values and interrelationships of these two fermentation processes and can enjoy coffee and wine better. If you want to experience unique and different specialty coffee beans flavors, visit XLIII Coffee – The brand developed from its predecessor 43 Factory Coffee Roaster to enjoy and feel.

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Source: perfectdailygrind

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