A sea change in craft brewing

A bottle of beer labelled 'Morski kukumar' with a picture of a sea cucumber next to a glass of beer

New wave: Petar Puškarić used yeast remoted from the Adriatic Sea to make a beer that he named Morski Kukumar (Sea Cucumber).Credit score: Marin Ordulj

Petar Puškarić is an engineer, ecologist and head of beer manufacturing at LAB Cut up, a craft brewery in Cut up, Croatia. He graduated with a grasp’s diploma from the division of marine research on the College of Cut up final 12 months, after efficiently making a beer from Candida famata, a yeast that may be remoted from sea water. He now hopes to brew this sea-yeast beer commercially. He speaks to Nature about a number of the challenges in going from dissertation to commercialization.

How did your marine-yeast beer come about?

I’ve had an curiosity in brewing beer for a very long time, and began brewing as a passion after I was a scholar. Throughout a marine-microbiology lecture as a part of my undergraduate diploma in ecology, my mentor Marin Ordulj and I began to speak about marine yeasts, and one query led to a different. We puzzled whether or not sea yeast may ferment beer.

We researched the literature and couldn’t discover anybody who had made a beer with a yeast remoted from the ocean. Maybe we may turn out to be the primary to take action? The thought stayed with me for a number of years as I continued my diploma and moved on to my grasp’s course. Once I got here to decide on my dissertation matter, I made a decision it was time to place the thought to the take a look at. I mentioned issues with Marin, and he agreed to assist me plan an experiment. By then, I used to be working part-time on the LAB Cut up brewery, so I had some brewing expertise to carry to our investigations.

Our first process was to isolate yeasts from the ocean. We then examined the fermentation skills of the remoted yeasts and grew cultures from essentially the most promising samples. Lastly, we used these cultures to brew beer.

How did you handle your time between brewing and your diploma?

I wasn’t overorganized, however I at all times made positive to be disciplined and to do no matter was wanted as duties got here alongside. I saved energetic outdoors work as effectively, persevering with to play as a mandolinist in an orchestra, for instance.

I didn’t assume too strictly about my profession, and made time to do the issues I loved. I’d advocate that different college students additionally attempt to take pleasure in life and spend as a lot time as potential with pals. In any case, life is not only about constructing a profession. I used to be fortunate in proposing a graduate matter that I discovered attention-grabbing and that my mentor preferred: that helped me via the duller and tougher moments.

What was the toughest a part of the method?

The most important downside was created by marine micro organism, which might outgrow the yeast colonies and thus make the isolation of yeast tougher. We tackled this downside by utilizing selective nutrient media, which inhibit the expansion of micro organism. Ultimately, this resulted in pure yeast cultures.

What did the beer style like?

The primary beer tasting in any case that analysis, pondering and anticipation was actually thrilling. We famous clove and fruit aromas and a barely bitter tone. It didn’t carry the style of the ocean; the flavour was closest to that of bitter beer.

What affect do you hope this work could have?

The beer is an thrilling product of my graduate work, however I additionally hope that my thesis will encourage others to discover in additional element the yeasts within the Adriatic Sea, and to understand their potential in ecology, medication and diet. Cut up is on the Adriatic coast and I like the concept that we’re contributing in some small strategy to defending that shoreline.

Sea Cucumber, as we’ve named the beer, may not assist a lot instantly in that regard, however I do hope that it may elevate consciousness about what number of helpful issues there are within the sea.

Are you planning on taking the ocean yeast additional in your profession?

Any expertise in microbiology helps within the meals business. Sea yeast would possibly become helpful in brewing, however we’ve to think about the funds and infrastructure we’d have to assist its use commercially. For now, we’re concentrating on brewing extra normal beers. Sooner or later, I hope to brew a few of my very own recipes, whether or not Sea Cucumber or one thing else. I might positively like to mix brewing with the seek for new yeasts that can be utilized not solely in beer making, however in different industries as effectively.

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