Opaque sorghum beers are the most consumed African alcoholic beverages. Tchoukoutou is one of the Benin opaque sorghum beers. Its fermentation process is carried out using a traditional starter called kpete-kpete. The present study characterized and identified the yeasts isolated from kpete-kpete. A total of 24 samples of kpete-kpete were collected from eight different commercial processing sites in Northern Benin. The mean values of the pH, titrable acidity, dry matter content and refractive index for all samples were respectively 3.58; 0.07% as lactic acid; 16.61% and 7.0. The mean counts of yeasts was 9.24 log cfu/ml. Based on their phenotypic characters and their assimilation profiles, 49 yeasts were isolated and found to belong to five genera with seven species. Seventy one percent (71%) of the isolates were identified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Key words: Sorghum beer, tchoukoutou, kpete-kpete, yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.