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Kahm

A layer (cow) formed from bacteria and special yeast fungi (cream yeasts) in the form of a whitish-grey skin, which grows rapidly on nutrient-containing liquids. The yeasts need oxygen and can be formed several millimetres thick on the surface of the wine after fermentation, if the container is not full of bungs and the oxygen bubble causes rapid multiplication. The layer is also called "Mycoderma vini" (wine fungus skin). The wine-damaging yeasts inhale alcohol to form acetic acid and acetic acid-ethyl ester and also act as a carrier substance for Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria). Young, low-alcohol wines with a low sulphur dioxide content are particularly susceptible. If this occurs, it is a wine defect known as "creamy". The attacked wine smells musty and has a thin, peel and acetic acid taste of rancid butter. This can be prevented by regular refilling of the containers or by inert gas (protective gas). The vinegar mother formed during the production of vinegar is also known as "vinegar cream". A desired layer of cream is the pile that is effective in sherry production. See also under yeasts.

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