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ifferent flavors in beer come from the endless variety of ingredients including corn, sweet potato, chocolate, basil and even cedar - all added at different steps in the brewing process. But did you know that differences in the type of yeast strain you use can dramatically impact the flavor profile and even the alcohol level of the beer? Yeasts are microscopic, unicellular organisms that are not only vital for the production of the alcohol in beer but also its flavors. Yeasts produce alcohol in a process called fermentation. They are a byproduct of breaking down the yeast’s food source that comes from sugars that are released from the barley and hops. Traditionally, two distinct yeast species have been used for brewing beer. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the same species as the more commonly known “baker’s yeast”, is used for brewing ales, whereas Saccharomyces pastorianus, a hybrid originating from the S. cerevisiae ale yeast (a non-S. cerevisiae strain) is used for brewing lagers. Over a hundred different strains of ale, weiss and lager yeasts exist and belong to a master category named “brewer’s yeast”. In 2008, Drs. Dunn and Sherlock at Stanford University revealed that there are two hybrid lager yeast strains; not just the one previously thought. The “Saaz” family of yeasts, giving rise to beers from the Carlsberg and Budweiser breweries, originated from Denmark and the Czech Republic, whereas the “Frohberg” family, which includes beers like Heineken and Oranjeboom, originated in the Netherlands. Both the” Saaz” and “Frohberg” yeasts retained most of the genes from the non-S. cerevisiae parent, S. bayanus. The major genetic differences lie in the number of S. cerevisiae genes present in the two groups. Where the “Saaz” yeasts abandoned most of these genes, the “Frohberg” yeasts picked up extra copies. Ales are brewed at temperatures that allow the ale and weiss yeasts to grow well, typically around 70°F. These topfermenting yeasts rise to the surface during fermentation, creating a thick, foamy head. Lots of esters, which are small and fragrant compounds that flavor the beer, are produced at this temperature. Lagers are brewed at lower temperatures, typically around 50°F, with yeast types that are distinct from the ones used to brew ales. The lower brewing temperatures of ales slow the growth of the yeast and produce less surface foam. Additionally, less esters are released at the lower temperatures, which allows for the flavors of the other ingredients to become more prominent. These beers are also commonly lagered for 1-3 weeks, which involves storing the beer after fermentation is complete to remove the unpleasant-tasting diacetyl compounds that are released during brewing. With everything else held constant, different yeast strains, which are all of the same general yeast species cerevisiae, will yield dramatically different fermentation results, giving rise to the numerous subtleties in the taste of the product. While yeast consumes sugars, it releases various compounds at the different stages of the brewing process. In addition to alcohol and carbonation (in the form of CO2), yeast produces a multitude of compounds, of which there are hundreds, that have distinct flavors, including grass, butterscotch, flowers, banana, apple and aniseed. The genetic differences in the yeast strains are what dictate the amounts and types of compounds released by the different yeasts as well as their growth and fermentation behaviors. For example, weiss yeasts are characterized by the presence of the gene PAD1, which paints weiss beers with spicy, clove, vanilla and nutmeg flavors. Differences in the FLO1, FLO5 and FLO8 genes that function in flocculation, a process where yeast cells aggregate and sediment, or fall to the bottom of the fermentation barrel, affect the timing and efficiency of this process. If yeast sediments too early, the beer will become cloudy and hard to filter. In contrast, if the sedimentation process occurs too late, the beer will not mature properly. Glycerol, which provides a sensory sweetness, is the third-most abundant compound produced during fermentation. Its production is intimately connected with the levels of alcohol that are also produced, whereby an increase in the release of glycerol as a byproduct causes a decrease in alcohol release. Brewers aiming for a more flavorful, light and lessalcoholic beer would need to use yeasts that were skewed towards this kind of production. Such yeast indeed exists! They express the GPD1 gene, which functions in glycerol production, at higher levels than other yeasts, thus producing much lower alcohol levels. The yeast gene differences described above are just a tiny subset of the various properties of beer that are at the yeast’s mercy. Variations in the yeast genome can affect the levels of potential carcinogens, antimicrobial compounds and carbohydrates (the difference between a calorie-light and a regular beer) as well as the beer’s viscosity, filtration properties and lagering time. It’s now easy to see why most brewers stress choosing the right yeast strain as the most important decision in the brewing process. Now that you’re thirsty, bottom’s up! Drink responsibly.•

It’s summer. Time to talk beer.


sally fry editor-in-chief erin becker saurav sethia

managing editors
carey hanlin

assistant editor
jasmine lamb

creative director
tyler tran

photo editor
erin becker, david gilmore, troy homesley, luda shtessel, brandon wiggins, kara williams

staff writers
sally fry, jasmine lamb

design staff

On the cover: “Foggy Day” by Anwuli Chukwurah CBP’s featured artist.

02 SUMMER 2011

SUMMER 2011 03




Salatin was also sure to point out that the myth that "farmers are dumb" is truly only a myth. Throughout his discussion, he was well-versed and well-read about the subject at hand. At one point, he clarified that he hoped that he would exhibit the "Jeffersonian Agrarian Intellectual" that dominated farm life during the rise of our fledgling democracy. He also hopes that one day a farmer’s job will be as respected as the jobs of bankers and lawyers and doctors, because after all we all need food. After discussing some barriers Salatin moved on to a very true concern for opponents of local food economies. Salatin said that many opponents argue "local food prices are elitist". He agreed, but then went on to rebuff this statement by pointing out how many things Americans waste money on which are not pertinent to their survival. Salatin also pointed out that an entire 50% of world-wide edible food supply goes uneaten. The waste and illogical spending outlined here, in Salatin's opinion, provides a clear argument for the importance of spending good money on good food for good reasons. Salatin ended with the stunning statistic that there are twice as many Americans incarcerated than there are American farmers. This provides a stark and bitter perspective on the future of a nation founded on agrarian values, and also molds a juxtaposition that stuns the mind of even the most spirited opponent of local food economies. As Salatin scurried from the auditorium, returning home to his humble farm in north Virginia, the crowd stood prepared to lead a food revolution -- will their fervor last until their next cheap meal at McDonald's? Until this fervor can overcome the massive scales of pressure from industrialized food, it will be a tough fight for the future of healthy, sustainable and local food. •

n April 14th, one of the most respected food activists of our time paid a visit to the UNC campus. He has starred in numerous films about the industrial food industry and the importance of reverting back to local, sustainable food economies. His expertise has been featured in films such as Food, Inc. and the upcoming Farmaggedon. He has published books such as Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front and The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. Joel Salatin is his name and he is leading a veritable crusade against some of the most powerful and entrenched food institutions in America. Salatin argues that the industrial farming of our time is destructive, unsustainable and dangerous. Salatin calls for a holistic view when it comes to farming and he hopes to educate others on the importance of having a successful and sustainable farm industry. During his lecture to a sold-out auditorium at Hanes Hall, Salatin used his time to outline 12 myths perpetuated by his opponents. These myths are what Salatin considers barriers to a quick return to a local food economy. A local food economy entails the production of food holistically, humanely and sustainably. Salatin believes that if these misconceptions were eliminated, then it would be possible to achieve a world food economy in which local producers support a hungry world. A main staple of Salatin's argument is that in his words, you must let the "chicken exhibit its chickenness and the tomato it's tomatoness". Salatin wants people to be aware that animals are meant to do specific things for our environment; they are meant to help our grass grow, to feed us, and to cultivate fertile soil. They are meant to do much more than merely be stowed away in sprawling warehouses and slaughtered mechanically.

• • • • • The state is facing a revenue shortfall of around $3.7 billion for this fiscal year The UNC system and community colleges comprise 57% of the state’s budget State money is roughly a quarter of UNC’s operating budget The House and Senate must agree on a proposal to sent to Gov. Perdue by July 1 The proposed cuts are roughly equivalent to the cuts from the last 2 fiscal years combined

• • • • • • • Stricter criteria for financial aid awards Smaller grant packages Less support for graduate students More crowded classrooms More potential tuition increases Closing the FPG Childcare Center in July 2013 Potential curtailing of enrollment growth


15% in cuts proposed in House budget would mean eliminating:

1,500 9,000
Sources: dailytarheel.com, gazette.unc.edu studentfreepress.com, heraldsun.com universityrelations.unc.edu/budget





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