Friday, October 21, 2011

The Good

Today I am running a quick series of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly-

First we start off with the Good, and nothing says good like “BEER IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE”

but of course, to have Beer in Space, we need to save water….enter those Crazy Cats down under in OZ….where they are brewing beer with 40% Less water.

RESEARCHERS have developed an improved variety of malting barley sure to please beer lovers.

And the improved malting barley could reduce the amount of water involved in brewing beer by up to 40 per cent.

The team, led by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Wall Biology director Professor Geoff Fincher, developed the not-so-thirsty grain by reducing the thickness of its cell walls after identifying the genes involved in their formation.

Under current malting practices, barley has to be immersed in water for up to 24 hours to ensure it is properly prepared, which requires massive water use.

This is because barley's thick cell walls make it difficult for water to penetrate.

"In the case of malting of grain, it's thought the cell walls slow down the rate of water uptake," he said.

The University of Adelaide plant scientist, named the industry leader of the year at this week's BioInnovationSA awards, said the development of barley varieties with thinner cell walls could cut water consumption and accelerate the malting process by up to eight hours. "Once we know the genes (that make up the cell wall) we can reduce the amount of cell wall components so the wall get much thinner," Prof Fincher said.

The breakthrough promises to reduce water usage in the brewing industry.

Because of Australians' fondness for beer, it could also have significant benefits for Australian water consumption, he said.

"If the technology was used right throughout the industry it would save enough water to serve 30,000 people," he said.

Prof Fincher was one of only 12 leading brewery scientists in the world to attend a scientific conference at the Carlsberg Brewery in Denmark last month.

"I spoke to them about how changing technologies have been applied in brewing," he said.

"And of course whenever you interact with the industry you get ideas about the current problems."

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Finally, it is USC Week – Go over to and read the story on Freeing the Jeweled Shillelagh….then hit up @CoachBrianKelly on Twitter (with Hashtags of #BeatSC and #Smokesandbooze).  Break out the Guinness, its time for war.  Go Irish, Beat SC!

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