Building A Better Beer Head

Nov 17 2012 @ 4:53pm

Science is hard at work:

As any beer drinker can tell you, a tall glass of lager without a white, foamy head on top just doesn't look right. And even if you start out with one, it can dissipate fast. And that's just sad. Now, microbiologists have identified the specific gene in yeast responsible for a beer's head and they say this discovery can lead to stronger, longer lasting, more aesthetically pleasing foam on your favorite brews.

It's called the Carlsbergensis foaming gene, or CFG1:

As [Tom] Villa and his colleagues write in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the gene resides in the yeasts used to ferment beer and it produces a protein that binds to the drink's CO2 bubbles, preventing them from escaping from the glass too quickly. … Now that we know exactly which gene is responsible for beer foam, Villa says it's possible to manipulate that gene to create beer with foam that lasts longer — potentially for hours and hours…