Scientists have brewed a hoppy-tasting beer-without the hops

21 March, 2018, 23:14 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Charles Denby from the University of California helped to engineer the process

Scientists, however, were able to genetically engineer yeast to produce brew with a flavor similar to those in naturally hopped beer, a process that can potentially make beer production more sustainable. They said their technique could help the beer industry reduce its dependence on hops.

In a paper published by the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, scientists from the University of California Berkeley showed how they used DNA-editing software to manipulate the genome of brewer's yeast, splicing in genes from mint and basil plants as well as two from normal yeast.

The objective of hops in the brewing process is to add bitterness during fermentation, and "hoppiness" after.

They started with brewer's yeast-the living ingredient in beer that converts sugars to alcohols-and they created genetically engineered strains by adding "hoppy" stretches of DNA.

If you're thirsting for a taste of the new beer, you're out of luck-for now.

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Hops is a fruit of the Humulus lupulus plant used in beer at least from the 11th century to give it a special flavor, balancing the sweetness of malt with its bitterness and helping to form foam.

"Further, lots of energy is required for processing, transporting and storing" hops, Denby added.

"My hope is that if we can use technology to make great beer that is produced with a more sustainable process, people will embrace that", Denby said.

Not only is beer created in this way better for the environment, it also gives a more consistent flavour as it doesn't rely on changeable seasons to grow a natural product.

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