Scientists figured out how to make an IPA without the hops

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Mar 21, 2018.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,244) Aug 23, 1996 Finland
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  2. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,489) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
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  3. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    GMO yeast producing hop oils without the hops? I'm all for it! Some, we'll just say "less than informed folks", might not be as excited.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  4. frozyn

    frozyn Maven (1,411) May 16, 2015 New York

    Really interesting news. Not surprised a scientist decided to tackle modifying unicellular yeast to see if they could do more things with it. Will be a different world when brewers are double dry yeasting at various gravities to get the hop flavors we want :wink:
  5. MNAle

    MNAle Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    This will get banned quickly in Europe and have all the free range ethical omnivores up in arms in the USA. Soon, we'll see an organization called PETY formed.
    Zorro, LuskusDelph, TongoRad and 2 others like this.
  6. Squire

    Squire Grand Pooh-Bah (3,931) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I think they just unlocked the secret of Romulan Ale.
    Zorro, beergoot, waltari and 3 others like this.
  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Yeast can do all kinds of neat things. Making lactic acid is one of them, but making terpenoids is even more so.
    DrewSnyc667 likes this.
  8. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Grand High Pooh-Bah (8,033) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
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  9. Hayden34

    Hayden34 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2014 Georgia

    That's cool and all but how does it TASTE? I remain highly skeptical until I know that key bit of information.
    beergoot and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  10. Squire

    Squire Grand Pooh-Bah (3,931) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    If this becomes commercially viable I can see it's use by home brewers who simply want to make a decent house beer.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  11. Ranbot

    Ranbot Pooh-Bah (2,339) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I haven't seen him around here in a long time, but I would be really interested in what @Peter_Wolfe thinks of this.
  12. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Grand Pooh-Bah (4,218) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
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    It's all fun and games until the power goes out on the security fences and they rampage out of the paddocks.

    It'll be an interesting time when you can combine hop and yeast blends for flavor and bitterness.
    errantnight likes this.
  13. moshea

    moshea Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan

    The answer is in the post you are responding to

    ".....In a double-blind taste test of two batches of the final hop-free pale ale compared to a regularly brewed pale ale, tasters found the hop-free beer to have more of the style’s characteristically bitter flavors....."
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  14. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Pooh-Bah (2,422) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
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    I have to assume @Hayden34 sas really referring to the enjoyablensss.

    For example, you can create many ind tastes where you ask people whether both of these cakes (one with stevia and one with sugar) have that sweetness we associate with cake. That does not answer whether it is "as good." Just because it is substitutable does not mean it tastes the same. I literally cannot think of anything that I can substitute that tastes "exactly the same." (Per the example above, I hate Stevia.)
    Hayden34 likes this.
  15. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,627) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Yes, but deep into the future and space Burton water will be available from hydrogen, oxygen, and Druidic incantations. It is written. Real ale is safe for almost eternity.
    beergoot, Beer_Economicus and Squire like this.
  16. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Apparently, a biochemist at UC-Berkeley has done some bio-engineering (read the article for a more detailed description of what, exactly, he's doing) that effectively has created a yeast strain that imparts the flavor and aroma of hops--specifically Cascade.

    I admit that my initial reaction was skepticism, *but* apparently they worked with Lagunitas to convene a blind tasting with over 40 people and the beer with genetically engineered yeast and no hops performed well against traditionally-hopped beers.

    Obviously, it's a LOOOOOOOOONG ways away from having a meaningful impact in the actual commercial beer market. Can it be done with other hop varietals besides Cascade? Is it scalable? Can it be done at a price point that makes it a viable alternative to actual hops? Are brewers who have infrastructure and processes aligned to make beer with hops going to want to move in another direction? Would there be a different set of implications for Big Beer vs. smaller independent brewpubs and taproom size breweries?

    And that's before we get into the uphill marketing battle of getting beer enthusiasts to buy into a beer without hops tasting the same as or better than the traditional IPAs they are accustomed to. It's one thing to convince people doing a blind taste test--most consumers aren't going to be conducting blind tastings, and there are some who won't even entertain the idea enough to buy a bottle/six pack in the first place.

    Here's another article that summarizes the Times article, in case you have hit your limit on free articles at NYT:
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    The NYT article was an interesting read with much discussion about hop flavor. How was bitterness achieved in the hop-less beer?


    P.S. The answer to my question was in another article:

    “They then asked Charles Bamforth, a malting and brewing authority at UC Davis, to brew a beer from three of the most promising strains, using hops only in the initial stage of brewing – the wort – to get the bitterness without the hoppy flavor. Hop flavor was supplied only by the new yeast strains. Bamforth also brewed a beer with standard yeast and hops, and asked a former student, Lagunitas’s Donaldson, to conduct a blind comparison taste test with 27 brewery employees.”
    #17 JackHorzempa, Mar 23, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  18. papposilenus

    papposilenus Grand Pooh-Bah (3,073) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
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  19. AustinWadkins

    AustinWadkins Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2016 Iowa

    WOw that is incredible! I don’t know how I feel about it but I could see this getting big in the future!
  20. Invinciblejets

    Invinciblejets Pooh-Bah (1,636) Sep 29, 2014 South Carolina
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    Why not just use non gmo real hops?
    Idk maybe I’m crazy...
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