The influence of temperature (15 degrees -40 degrees C) and pH (2.5-6.0) on the continuous growth of bakers' yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) at steady state in 1% ethanol was investigated. Optimal temperature and pH were 30 degrees C and 4.5, respectively. The short-term effect of ethanol concentration (0.1-10.0%) on the yeast growth was assessed in batch culture. Up to 1% of ethanol, the yeast growth increased in function of the ethanol concentration in the medium. The biomass reached a maximum within the interval of 1-4% of ethanol (7.9 and 31.6 g/L, respectively) and decreased at higher concentrations. The residual ethanol concentration in the medium increased rapidly when the initial ethanol concentration exceeded 4%. The best-fit model obtained for growth inhibition as a function of ethanol concentrations was that of Tseng and Wayman: mu(m)S/)K + S( - i (S - S(theta)). With this model, the specific growth rate (mu) decreased linearly as the ethanol concentration increased between the threshold value (S(theta)) of 11.26 g/L to be fully inhibited at 70.00 g/L (S;) an inhibition constant (i) of 0.0048 g L(-1) h(-1), a maximum specific growth rate (mu(m)) of 0.284 h(-1), and a saturation constant (K) of 0.611 g/L were obtained.