Tools of Science interviewed Anne Madden, PhD, about using wild yeasts to find new flavor profiles for beer.
Anne is a microbe wrangler who was approached by an educator about a project to brew beer with wild yeasts. (Most yeasts can’t make beer at all or produce beer that might be characterized as “horse sweat”.) What she discovered was surprising. Did I mention that the wild yeasts she’s interested in are found in the nests of paper wasps?
She describes how she determines which yeasts might be good candidates for the brewing process (and definitely not pathogenic) with otential to produce a decent flavor profile. It turns out there is a similarity to NASCAR. You need a great car (yeast) and a great driver (brewmaster) to find a winning beer.
Anne takes a targeted approach to finding interesting microbes by following insects that love sugary foods. The ultimate goal is to identify new microbes that may lead to new commercial products.
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