Abstract: Sotol is a distilled alcoholic beverage (similar to Tequila) obtained by fermentation of sotol Dasylirion sp. a Neolinacea that grows in the semi-desert areas of Mexico. The liquor is obtained by cooking of the central part of sotol plants (known as "pineapples"), which are previously fermented and distilled. This traditional process does not have a quality control program. However, this alcoholic beverage is very popular and economically important. In this research the physiochemical parameters of raw materials and liquor manufacturing process were evaluated; in addition, microorganisms associated to different stages of alcoholic fermentation were isolated and identified. Results indicated an average concentration of 31.9% of reducing sugars in the extracts of cooked pineapples and, 10.15% of reducing sugars, in the fermentation tank, the fermentation temperature was 18-25 0C, pH was 4.4, soluble sugars content at the initial step was 10 Brix degrees (�BX) and 5 �BX at the final step. After the first distillation, the alcoholic grade was 35 �Gay Lussac (�G.L.). and after a second distillation it was, 46-50 �G.L. Associated to sotol plant were found different bacteria, yeasts and fungi species. However, diversity of microorganisms was diminished after the cooking process, but in the fermentation step, a fungus, 6 bacteria and 2 yeasts were isolated. Microorganisms were identified by traditional and automatic biochemical tests. Future research will be made to select the native Saccharomyces cerevisieae strain(s) according to their enological characteristics of the Sotol liquor.
H. De La Garza-Toledo , M. Martinez , L. Lara , R. Rodriguez-Herrera , J. Rodriguez-Martinez and C.N. Aguilar , 2008. Production of a Mexican Alcoholic Beverage: Sotol. Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 3: 566-571.