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Designing DNA Circuits To Brew Tastier Beer 135

Al writes "Researchers at Boston University have developed a way to predict the behavior of different DNA segments and make synthetic biology a little bit more reliable. James Collins and colleagues have built libraries of component parts and a mathematical modeling system to help them predict the behavior of parts of a gene network. Like any self-respected bunch of grad students, they decided to demonstrate the approach by making beer. They engineered gene promoters to control when flocculation occurs in brewers yeast, which allowed them to finely control the flavor of the resulting beer."
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Designing DNA Circuits To Brew Tastier Beer

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  • by fragMasterFlash ( 989911 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @06:24PM (#27680253)
    This would be a neat trick if it allowed brewing with yeasts that produced an English flavor profile yet had the high flocculation rates associated with American ale yeasts (Wyeast 1232 is the best compromise currently produced commercially, IMHO).
  • Re:Purity (Score:2, Informative)

    by CoopersPale ( 444672 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @07:56PM (#27681199) Journal

    While we're talking about real Australian beer, try some Coopers, the last remaining brewer of the traditional Australian Sparkling Ale style. Some of the new micros have started to get interested in this style too - Bridge Road brewers brew an Australian Ale I believe - but Coopers have consistently brewed this ale for over 100 years.
    Another traditional Australian beer worth a shot is Tooheys Old.

  • Re:Purity (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @08:57PM (#27681701)
    The Reinheitsgebot was actually amended to allow yeast as an ingredient once it was understood the central role yeast plays in brewing.(According to a Bavarian brewer on a History channel special on beer, as well as this website:
  • Re:Purity (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @09:16PM (#27681863) Homepage

    The Belgians brew the best beer in the world. Maybe not the best individual beer (though Leffe Tripel is awesome), but as a whole Belgian beer is top notch. German, British, and Irish aren't bad, but Belgian beer is better as a whole. I can't say I've ever had Finnish beer, and I might have to look up the one you mention.

  • by mikeb ( 6025 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @01:15PM (#27690059) Homepage

    Shome mishtake shurely?

    When I was at university we used to brew nearly all our own beer (a good friend of mine was an excellent amateur brewer). For a laugh we made a batch of bitter with Guinness yeast grown from a bottle of bottle-conditioned Guinness - you could still get it back in 1973.

    The bitter tasted STRONGLY like Guinness.

    Though I claim no expertise in the way that yeast flavours beer, that one experiment left a memory that has lasted to this day.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham