June 22, 2015 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS – Whether extracurricular or scholastic, is a reason really needed to conduct beer research?
Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme of Thompson Rivers Univeristy is using his microbiology lab to help two local breweries create unique business solutions. He hopes to help the companies save money by reducing the cost of brewing supplies and to sequence the genomes of yeast strains.
Van Hamme was awarded two grants, valued at $25,000 each, to spend six months focused on finding solutions for local businesses B.A. Brewmaster and Red Collar Brewing Co. in Kamloops, according to a media release.
Long interested in brewing microbiology, Van Hamme offers a popular fourth-year course on the subject. He was intrigued by the challenges faced by these two business owners and was excited to use his experience in genomics to develop solutions.
Van Hamme and his team will create a cost-effective way for B.A. Brewmaster owner Jeff Rex to grow his own fresh yeast, thereby cutting down on his purchasing costs.
“They use two packages of yeast per batch of beer, so he’s spending about $10,000 per year on yeast," he says in the release. "They want to be able to grow their own yeast at the beginning of the week, keep it fresh during the week, and start their own yeast library."
Red Collar Brewing Co. owner David Beardsell, a master brewer who also holds a degree in microbiology and biochemistry, needs Van Hamme assistance to revive 20-year-old yeast strains he brought back from Europe.
The research will enable Red Collar to develop new beer recipes and production techniques.
Students Katiana Pyper, Robyn McArthur and Corrie Belanger, left to right, will spend the summer working as part of Dr. Van Hamme’s research team.
Image Credit: Thompson Rivers University
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015