Dried figs, following exhaustive extraction of their residual sugars with water, were used for immobilization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae AXAZ-1. The immobilized biocatalyst was used in repeated batch fermentations of glucose at 30 degreesC, where significant reduction of the fermentation time was observed, falling from 65 h in the first batch to 7 h after the sixth batch. Repeated fermentations of wort at room and low temperatures resulted in fermentation times that fell from 26 to 20 h and from 27 to 24 days at 18 and 3 degreesC, respectively. Ethanol and beer productivities were high, showing suitability of the biocatalyst for low-temperature brewing. Diacetyl concentrations were low (0.3-0.5 mg/L), and polyphenols were lower than in commercial products and decreased as the fermentation temperature was decreased (126-50 mg/L). Ethyl acetate concentrations increased from 53 to 88 mg/L as the temperature was decreased, while the concentration of amyl alcohols at 3 degreesC (58 mg/L) was lower than half of that at 18 degreesC (125 mg/L). The beers produced at the end of the main fermentation had a fine clarity and a special fruity figlike aroma and taste, distinct from commercial products and more intense than beers produced by cells immobilized on other food-grade supports (gluten pellets or delignified cellulosic materials). GC-MS analysis did not show significant differences in the qualitative composition of the aroma compounds of the beers produced by immobilized and free cells.