Beer Birthday: Chris White

Today is the 47th birthday of Chris White. Chris founded the yeast company White Labs in 1995 and he’s also on the faculty of the Siebel Institute. He’s also a fixture at virtually every brewing industry and homebrewing conference, and was kind enough to talk to my SSU beer appreciation class about. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.

Chris and his brother Mike bookending Chuck, from Green Fash Brewing, Natalie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, John Harris, from Full Sail Brewing, and Vinnie Cilurzo, also from Russian River, at CBC in Austin, Texas in 2007.

Chris at the new White Labs taproom during the Craft Brewers Conference a couple of years ago in San Diego.

Surly brewer Todd Haug with Chris.

Chris with Technical Sales and Marketing Coordinator Ashley Paulsworth at the NHC.

[Note: last two photos purloined from Facebook.]

Patent No. 3888839A: Isolated Yeast Protein Product With Intact RNA And A Process For Making Same

Today in 1975, US Patent 3888839 A was issued, an invention of Jon Albert Newell, Robert Dudley Seeley, and Ernest Aleck Robbins, assigned to Anheuser Busch, for their “Isolated Yeast Protein Product with Intact RNA and a Process for Making Same.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it states that “We have discovered a process for obtaining a protein isolate from yeast cells. This process makes use of a neutral or slightly alkaline extraction of disintegrated cells to avoid the deleterious effect on nutritional quality and flavor.”

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Our process is comprised of the following steps: production of yeast cells, rupture of the cells, separation of the insoluble cell wall fragments from the soluble cytoplasmic fraction, treatment of the soluble fraction with alkali, recovery of the protein by precipitation and centrifugation, vacuum concentration, and drying. The substantially cell free isolated protein product contains about 40% of the solids, -65% of the protein, 60-65% of the nucleic acid, 64-68% of the lipid and less than 5% of the carbohydrate that was present in the yeast cell. The isolated protein product has the composition (dsb) of 65-85% crude protein, 9-14% nucleic acid, 2-8% ash, 9-14% lipid, and 2-10% carbohydrate, while including less than 1% crude fiber.


Patent No. 3887431A: Yeast Protein Isolate With Reduced Nucleic Acid Content & Process Of Making Same

Today in 1975, US Patent 3887431 A was issued, an invention of Ernest Aleck Robbins, Robert William Sucher Jr., Erich Henry Schuldt, Daniel Robert Sidoti, Robert Dudley Seeley, and Jon Albert Newell, assigned to Anheuser Busch, for their “Yeast Protein Isolate with Reduced Nucleic Acid Content and Process of Making Same.” Here’s the Abstract:

This disclosure relates to a yeast protein isolate (IYP) with less than 9% nucleic acid (RNA) and a Protein Equivalence Ratio (PER) of greater than 1. The yeast protein is made by a process which involves rupturing yeast cells, removing the cell wall residue from an alkaline medium, incubating in such a manner that the endogenous nuclease contained in the solubles portion degrades the nucleic acid present to a soluble form, insolubilizing the protein to separate it from the hydrolyzed nucleic acid, and separating the insoluble protein from the fraction containing soluble nucleic acid.


Patent No. 7943366B2: Genetically Modified Yeast Species And Fermentation Processes Using Genetically Modified Yeast

Today in 2011, US Patent 7943366 B2 was issued, an invention of Vineet Rajgarhia, Kari Koivuranta, Merja Penttilä, Marja Ilmen, Pirkko Suominen, Aristos Aristidou, Christopher Kenneth Miller, Stacey Olson, and Laura Ruohonen, assigned to Cargill, for their “Genetically Modified Yeast Species And Fermentation Processes Using Genetically Modified Yeast.” Here’s the Abstract:

Yeast cells are transformed with an exogenous xylose isomerase gene. Additional genetic modifications enhance the ability of the transformed cells to ferment xylose to ethanol or other desired fermentation products. Those modifications’, include deletion of non-specific or specific aldose reductase gene(s), deletion of xylitol dehydrogenase gene(s) and/or overexpression of xylulokinase.

Below are just three of the forty figures filed with the application. They all look about the same to my untrained eye.



Patent No. 2024484B1: Continuous Method For The Production Of A Yeast Fermented Beverage

Today in 2014, US Patent 2024484 B1 was issued, an invention of Hendrikus Mulder, Onno Cornelis Snip, Douglas John Banks, and Herman Hendrik Jan Bloemen, assigned to Heineken Supply Chain B.V., for their “Continuous Method for the Production of a Yeast Fermented Beverage.” There’s no Abstract, but it’s described as an “invention relat[ing] to a continuous method for the production of a yeast fermented beverage, such as beer. More particularly, the present invention relates to such a continuous method in which a high gravity mash is produced, i.e. a mash with a gravity in excess of 22° Plato.”It’s a fairly complicated application and invention, so you’re best bet is to read the whole thing.

Patent No. 114671A: Improvement In The Manufacture Of Yeast And In The Application Of The Same In Mashing And Brewing

Today in 1871, US Patent 114671 A was issued, an invention of Duby Green, for his “Improvement in the Manufacture of Yeast and in the Application of the Same in Mashing and Brewing.” There’s no Abstract, and in the description there’s never really any simple overview or summation of the invention, Green just dives right it to explaining his formula and how it works. I guess he figured the crazy long title was enough.

Patent No. 6051212A: Process For Producing Yeast Extract

Today in 2000, US Patent 6051212 A was issued, an invention of Hisao Kado, Takumi Shibata, Fujio Kobayashi, and Masaki Kubota, assigned to Sapporo Breweries Limited, for their “Process for Producing Yeast Extract.” Here’s the Abstract:

In accordance with the present invention, it is provided a method for producing a yeast extract with the improvement in the color and odor characteristic to yeast extract and with no modification of the useful substances such as amino acid, etc. compared with conventional yeast extract.

By a simple method in accordance with the present invention, color and characteristic odor can be removed, with almost no loss of the contents of useful substances such as amino acid, etc. from the yeast extract solution produced in a conventional manner. Because the resulting yeast extract can be mixed with other materials for use, the yeast extract is applicable to various fields, for example for cosmetic products and healthy foods other than seasonings, which expectantly enlarges the applicable range of the yeast extract.

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Patent No. 2372854A: Yeast

Today in 1945, US Patent 2372854 A was issued, an invention of Gustave T. Reich, for his “Yeast.” There’s no Abstract, but the descriptions states that the “invention relates to yeast and its production and it is particularly directed to a method of improving the quality of yeast obtained in the alcoholic fermentation of saccharine materials, particularly sugar rellnery materials such as black-strap molasses. It also claims to improve yeast production in twelve different ways, and then lists each way, if you’re curious.


Patent No. EP 0645094A1: Improvement Of Gas And Alcohol Production By Yeast

Today in 1995, US Patent EP 0645094 A1 was issued, an invention of Rooijen Rutger Jan Van, Peter Johannes Schoppink, and Ronald Baankreis, for their “Improvement of Gas and Alcohol Production by Yeast.” Here’s the Abstract:

Introduction of futile cycles in the glycolytic pathway of yeast strains enables enhanced gas production and ethanol production under stress conditions, e.g. in a sugar-rich dough having a sugar content of higher than 3% weight percentage based on flour, e.g. 20%, or at high ethanol concentration in an industrial ethanol production process.


Patent Nos. 2546250A & 2546251A: Process Of Concentrating Yeast Slurries & For Drying Yeast

Today in 1951, US Patents 2546250 A and 2546251 A were issued, both inventions of Stanley L. Baker, for his “Process of Concentrating Yeast Slurries” and “Process for Drying Yeast.” There’s no Abstract for either, but the description for the first is an “invention relat[ing] to the concentration of dilute suspensions or slurries of yeast and especially of brewers yeast slurry which will be referred to hereinafter as an example although it will be understood that the invention is not restricted thereto.”

His second patent is described as an “invention relat[ing] to drying dilute suspensions or slurries of yeast and especially brewers yeast slurry which will be referred to hereinafter as an example, although it is to be understood that the invention is not restricted thereto.” You may have noticed that this description is exactly the same as the first. What’s clear is while these are two different patents, they are vey similar and are both about roughly the same yeast process. Even the drawings are only slightly different from one another.