back to article Hip hop-eration: Hopless Franken-beer will bring you hoppiness

In news to delight eco-friendly hipsters the world over, boffins at the University of California, Berkeley, have come up with a way of creating hoppy craft beer without recourse to, er, hops. Hops, while key to imparting flavour and aroma, are a bit of an environmental disaster, with 100 billion litres of water required to …

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Whatever next?

Orgasm-free sex?

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Pint

Re: Whatever next?

Which is something apparently a lot of females are used to.

Up to y'all to find a connection between women, no orgasms and hop-less beer here.

Have one on me, while you're at it.

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Joke

Re: Whatever next?

"Orgasm-free sex?"

Didn't do my parents any harm.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever next?

Who is going to come up with that one?

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Re: Whatever next?

I believe the traditional response now would end with "your mum".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever next?

>Have one on me, while you're at it.

Fnaar.

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Re: Whatever next?

If they can do that, sex free orgasms ought to follow close behind!

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Re: Whatever next?

Rule 34. SO many different ways this is A Thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever next?

"Orgasm-free sex?"

So your not from the UK then?

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Re: Whatever next?

Yeast-free sex might be okay...

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Is it Friday already?

I think my calendar has stopped.

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Re: Is it Friday already?

No, it's just taking a rest before the clocks change (the wrong way) this weekend

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Best Before Date?

Hops have traditionally been used to stop the beer going off at least as much as to provide flavour.

So my question is, how long does it take this hop-free beer to go off?

Or, are they suggesting we keep our hop-free ale chilled as though we're all filthy colonials?

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Re: Best Before Date?

... and let's not forget the soporific effect of hops. How am I going to nod off and miss the end of a film if an IPA doesn't make me sleepy?

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Re: Best Before Date?

Hops are also good for your bones, bring a source of dietary silicon.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/beer-can-strengthen-bones-study-suggests-1892261.html

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Re: Best Before Date?

as though we're all filthy colonials?

Or, we could all drink the one drink still produced like the ancestors did - scrumpy cider.

If it ain't cloudy and doesn't contain unexplainable bits, it ain't scrumpy. Unbearable hangovers the next day are just a bonus feature.

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Soporific effect

I could definitely do without that, so I'm all for the hop-free IPAs if it leaves that "feature" behind...

I have really started to get into IPAs in the past five years, but the fact I fall asleep about 45 minutes after sitting down in front of the TV when I get home is really annoying. If I've had a nap in the evening it typically takes me 6-8 hours to get sleepy again, which leaves little if any time before I have to get up! Sitting in front of the computer isn't a problem, so I'm forced to go online and post while buzzed until the wee hours when I'd normally go to bed!

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Windows

Re: Soporific effect

@DougS "Sitting in front of the computer isn't a problem, so I'm forced to go online and post while buzzed until the wee hours when I'd normally go to bed!"

Are you Donald Trump?

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Pint

filthy colonials

Or, are they suggesting we keep our hop-free ale chilled as though we're all filthy colonials?

As a filthy colonial it always made me laugh when in some British pubs they served up mostly mainstream Aussie Piss beer as Posh Foreign Beers. It was either that or a pint of Wife Beater :)

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Over-h(y/o)pped

Ahh, Americans and their obsession with over-hopping their IPAs and turning them into bitter, undrinkable crap.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

I'd normally say each to their own, but sadly many pubs put on three or four overly hopped pale ales and neglect to offer a standard Best Bitter.

These so called 'craft beers' ( purely a meaningless marketing term) usually come from new inexperienced breweries and they all taste of grapefruit or elderflower due to the American variety of hop used.

It's the lack of choice masquerading as diversity that gets me. And the 'lets just whack a load of cascade hops in' masquerading as 'craft'.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

I don't think it's fair to blame Americans, one of my favourite, hoppy IPAs is 'Old Empire', and you know, they kind of put up a fair struggle to not be part of that any longer.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

To clarify, I'm writing from the UK. In the USA 'craft beer' is a legal term because it can only be used by breweries whose output is less than X gallons a year (where X is actually a fairly big number). Such beers used to be referred to as 'Regional Beers' since the sheer size of the US means that it is impractical to transport anything which isn't pasteurised and kegged. In the, 'craft beer' doesn't have any protected meaning, unlike 'Real Ale' which does.

In the UK this fashion for US style 'craft beer' started in London amongst those follow anything else to come out of Portland, Oregon.

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Pint

Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

Let not be too hasty to judge, it is nice that the yanks have remembered how to brew real beer again, rather than the 'making-love-in-a-canoe' type efforts of the previous few decades.

Still though, not only do they seem to add as many hops as they can fit in, but most American craft beers seem to be aiming to be as alcoholic as possible. Personally I'd rather have a nice session ale, say about 3-4%? That way I can drink more than a couple without wanting a snooze.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

(where X is actually a fairly big number)

6,000,000 barrels1 per year is only a fairly big number?

I also don't know that it's a legal term as it's defined by the Brewers Association.

1. Per barrel that's 31 US gallons, ~26 UK gallons, or 20.2455 footballs in proper units.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

over-hopping their IPAs and turning them into bitter, undrinkable crap

To be fair, most beers are bitter undrinkable crap..

(I might be slightly biased given that anything other than Weissbier gives me appalling headaches. Cider doesn't - or at least, proper cider doesn't. The cheap fizzy alcopops masquerading as commercial cider sometimes does)

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

When I first tried IPAs I found them exceedingly bitter - I am very sensitive to bitter and can't stand even the tiniest sip of coffee! Maybe not "bitter" as such (I don't know exactly how that is tasted) but whatever it is that makes coffee taste bitter I absolutely cannot abide.

The craft brewers have got better at getting the hoppy flavor without the bitter accompaniment, and while there are still some I can't manage most of the IPAs - even a few double or triple IPAs - now avoid the extreme bitter sensation. You might be surprised at how much things have changed in the past five years.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

Lagunitas stuff usually isn't over the top and quite good. But then I'm a colonial. Favorite is their occasional WTFO brew.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

"the 'making-love-in-a-canoe' type efforts...most American craft beers seem to be aiming to be as alcoholic as possible."

Those two assertions may well be related. Action and reaction.

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Re: Over-h(y/o)pped

"20.2455 footballs in proper units."

Proper footballs or American Footballs.

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Happy to be living near Germany

In Germany there is this nice law called the Reinheitsgebot which so much dictates that if you label your beverage as "beer" and want to sell in Germany then it had better be made with the three main ingredients of beer: Water, Hops and Barley.

Needless to say that this mockery wouldn't be allowed there, which I only consider to be good news!

"And, as beer aficionados are all too aware, hops can subtly change in flavour from year to year, resulting in some deeply unpleasant surprises."

In other words: brewers need to know what the heck they're doing. And if they screw up then that could have its result in the drink they're brewing. Welcome to real life!

Seriously: this is how it's supposed to be. Sure, the flavor can change, but that's what makes the whole thing great. A beer from 2 years ago could taste slightly different than this year. I don't see the problem.

To me it's just like saying that all wine should taste the same. Because oh dear: some people don't like certain wines so in order to cater to them we'll just make all the wine taste the same!

Are we sure this experiment wasn't secretly done in an attempt to get people to stop drinking beer?

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

The EU doesn't allow GMO to protect it's farmers against American imports, so this wouldn't fly in Germany anyway, but ignoring that you could put a minute amount of hops in to qualify it as a beer.

If this beer means that one of the main hops in beer can be replaced with just the yeast, that means lower prices *. Pale ales often contain one hop variety, so we could do away with expensive hops altogether in those drinks.

* Unlikely at the pump, but increased profits for pubs wouldn't be a bad thing these days.

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

We used to have the same Beer Purity Laws in England a hundred odd years ago, but some brewers became so rich that they successfully lobbied to have the law repealed.

In Germany and the Czech Republic, the title of Brewmaster carries serious social standing, just as they respect proper Engineers. Shit, in the UK the title of Engineer is abused by applying it to the *technician* who fixed your photocopier. It's like calling a paramedic a Doctor.

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Pint

Re: Happy to be living near Germany

"Chartered Brewmaster"? Has a nice ring to it.

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

which is why Budweiser as in the American kind is not beer according to the German Laws. Why? Bud use Rice in the brewing process.

Here's a thought... Hows about we grow the hops and send them to the USA???? The Hops grown near me don't need any irrigation. The clay soil really holds the water.

Ah Wait... this comes from California. The state where most crops grown south of San Francisco need huge amounts of extra water. Perhaps it is time to abandon the central valley as a place to grow stuff?

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

Germany's beer laws have done some good but they've also stifled diversity.

The reason German beer is good is that by and large their brewers are skilled and their customers are discerning - restricting ingredients doesn't by itself guarantee anything in terms of quality.

In any case I don't think the Reinheitsgebot (or its subsequent updatings) would prevent this brew as they are proscriptive rather than prescriptive so not having any hops would not be a problem. (If there's an expert who can confirm or contradict this that would be great).

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

Indeed, I was amused by the environmental disaster stuff - not if you grow them somewhere appropriate.

They grow like weeds here in the UK (and with the gentler climate get subtle flavour differeces compared to grown in more harsh climate)

Caveat - I like a hoppy beer .. occasionally, but also like trad bitter on occasion.

Only reason for US style chilled hoppy beer is hot Summer (that 1 or 2 days in the UK) as cooling beer alternative to a cold lager

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

Actually, lots of great German beer are made with wheat, which was one of the reasons to come up with the law. Wheat for bread, barley for beer. Also, in 1516 they didn't knew about yeast which is a mandatory ingredient of beer. They thought the beer had to be blessed by a priest so fermentation would occur. But these days the isn't being strictly followed, is it? :)

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

" It's like calling a paramedic a Doctor. "

Hmmm.... There's an argument that those poxy medics have nicked a perfectly good academic research title and given it to students after a longer-than-usual undergraduate degree....

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

all wine should taste the same

For about the last ten years I've been sampling red wines in order to prove whether they do or not. Purely in the interests of science of course!

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

as they are proscriptive rather than prescriptive

It's like the difference between UK Common Law and the majority of European Law systems (mostly those based on the Napoleonic Code). Here, what isn't expressly forbidden is allowed. There, what isn't expressly allowed is forbidden..

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

In Germany and the Czech Republic, the title of Brewmaster carries serious social standing

I'm sure this has no connection with the fact that the Czechs drink more beer per capita than any other nation on Earth (142 litres per year, or 250 pints in real money).

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Re: Happy to be living near Germany

"Perhaps it is time to abandon the central valley as a place to grow stuff?"

The Central Valley is a swamp, from Redding to Bakersfield. It's not until you cross the Tehachapis that you run into desert.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Happy to be living near Germany

Czechs drink more beer per capita than any other nation on Earth

I asked a Czech friend about that, he said "what do you expect, when a bottle of beer is cheaper than a bottle of water?".

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N2

Re: Happy to be living near Germany

Excellent idea,

Happily living in France, where 'beer' is almost free until you buy it in a bar and most of the wine is rather good.

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Headmaster

Nomenclature

"Hop-free beer" has been around for centuries. It's called ale. Beer, by definition, is made with hops. So what these people have produced is hop flavoured ale, not hop-free beer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nomenclature

That's a historical distinction as I understand it, that does not apply today. Have a look at http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-beer-and-ale.htm

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Re: Nomenclature

Dude, you need to open up Wikipedia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nomenclature

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-beer-and-ale.htm

I'm not sure I've give much credence to an article that claims 'The term lager is often interchanged with “beer”'

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Pint

Hang on....

Hops have a number of roles in brewing beer. Firstly they are used to bitter the beer as it is very sweet in its raw state. A second role is to add flavour and aroma. Thats why they are added at various stages of the brewing process. They also help protect the beer from infection.

If you aren't using hops where does the bitterness come from?

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