Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! DNA is a very resilient molecule that can survive fermentation, boiling, filtration and storage in a bottle. We can look for any trace that possibly hide in there.Last updated:
The DNA found in each beer comes from every living organism that came into contact with its content during the brewing process. You can of course imagine there will be yeast DNA, hops DNA and malted cereal DNA. Maybe from fruits and spices added, and even from a variety of bacteria that were present on the grains and in the water.Last updated:
Nope. We look at the DNA inside the beer bottle.Last updated:
DNA sequencing is technique that becomes more popular every day. Also cheaper. It is used in medicine, in forensics, so why not beer? Science is hypothesis driven. Our hypothesis is that the ingredients used for brewing partly contribute to the beer taste. We still need to test this, so let's make it together!
We are also pretty confident that we will find other interesting things. We are curious about the microbes: are they different between American and European beers? Do they recapitulate the brewing process? Are there unknown microbes in our beer? You know, sometimes scientists organize long expeditions to find new species and they never looked at the beer bottle in their fridge!Last updated:
Like computers, the technology behind DNA sequencing has become cheaper and cheaper, following a similar trend (actually an inversed trend, called the Carlson's curve).Last updated:
We will send you the results in a human-readable format so you can learn something about your beer. It will be the tree of beers. I may not look like a tree, but that does not matter.
However, the real catch is this: because BeerDeCoded is an open source project, you will have access to the raw data of every sample we process and do whatever you want with it.
We will also ask our backers to join the BeerDeCoded advisory board. If you are a scientist or a beer passionate, this is an opportunity to meet and do some amazing science together.Last updated:
Absolutely. If we would look for specific DNA sequences, we could tell if fish or egg proteins, or any other animal components was used in the process. However, we cannot certify it. We have no control on how the beer is manipulated before joining our lab. It is also easier to prove something is there, than proving something is not there.Last updated:
Again, we just look at the beer DNA. If we specifically look for GM crops DNA, we can tell if it is present. We cannot certify that it is absent. We are studying the DNA already present in beer. We are adding more DNA or making any GMO whatsoever.Last updated:
Beers brewed at different temperatures with the same yeast have different taste. Will they have identical DNA?
Very interesting question. We think no and we want to verify it. Our hypothesis is that some bacteria will follow the brewing process. For instance the bacteria that grow well at high temperatures may be more present if a beer is brewed at high temperatures. Same reasoning for the beer acidity, the minerals present in water and every other environmental parameter that can change the brewing equation.
It is true that most bacteria are killed during the brewing process. But their DNA is still there, waiting for us to be decoded.Last updated:
We do think the DNA in beer is a bit degraded. We are not worried because the DNA sequencing technology we are using reads very short fragments of DNA. If the beer DNA is not fragmented, we will have to do it ourselves.
DNA is a very resistant molecule. One example: every biology student may remember the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). In this manipulation, DNA is boiled 30 times or more and it does just fine. It would not be possible to sequence the Neanderthal genome if DNA is not stable.Last updated:
Exactly the sum of the chromosomes from all the ingredients used for brewing.
For those who care, this is way it is more scientifically accurate to call the beer genome a meta-genome.
Beer can be made by mixing:
Barley – Hordeum vulgare (14 chromosomes)
Wheat – Triticum aestivum (42 chromosomes)
Rice – Oryza sativa (24 chromosomes)
Oats – Avena sativa (42 chromosomes)
Rye – Secale cerale (14 chromosomes)
Corn – Zea mays (20 chromosomes)
Sorghum – Sorghum bicolor (10 chromosomes)
Millet – Panicum milleaceum (18 chromosomes)
Hop – Humulus lupulus (10 chromosomes)
Different hop varieties can be mixed together. Among them:
Admiral, Ahtanum, Amarillo, Apollo, Aurora, B. C. Goldings, Banner, Bramling Cross, Bravo, Brewer's Gold, Bullion, Calypso, Cascade, Centennial, Challenger, Chinook, Citra, Cluster, Columbia, Columbus, Comet, Crystal, Domestic Hallertau, East Kent Goldings, Eroica, Falconer's Flight, First Gold, Fuggles, Galena, Glacier, Goldings, Hallertau Hersbrucker, Hallertau Mittelfruh, Hersbrucker, Horizon, Huller Bitterer, Kent Goldings, Liberty, Lublin, Magnum, Millenium, Motueka, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Nelson Sauvin, Newport, Northdown, Northern Brewer, Nugget, Olympic, Pacific Gem, Palisade, Perle, Phoenix, Pioneer, Pride of Ringwood, Progress, Saaz, Santiam, Simcoe, Sorachi Ace, Spalt, Sterling, Sticklebract, Strisselspalt, Styrian Goldings, Summit, Super Alpha, Super Styrians, Talisman, Target, Tettnanger, Tomahawk, Ultra, Vanguard, Warrior, Whitbread Golding, Willamette, Wye Target, Yakima Cluster, Yamhill Goldings, Zenith, Zeus, Zythos and others...
Ale yeast – Saccharomyces cerevisiae (17 chromosomes)
Weizen yeast – Torulaspura delbrückii (8 chromosomes)
Lager yeast – Saccharomyces carlsbergensis (29 chromosomes)
And others: – Brettanomyces, Kloeckera
Then there are the bacteria, the most present are: Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Hafnia, Klebsiella, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus. Usually bacteria have only one chromosome.
Ready to do the math?Last updated:
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