Danish researchers make beer from sushi rice

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Danish researchers make beer from sushi rice

Related tags: Beer

A Copenhagen restaurant is offering consumers a new beer, which is made with surplus rice from its sushi production.

Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark have created a method whereby Sticks ‘n’ Sushi can use excess rice to brew the sustainable draught beer.

Making sushi requires large batches of rice to be cooked, not all of which is used. Surplus rice is sometimes turned into biogas or used as animal feed: but the National Food Institute at the University has been working with spinout company Science Brew to develop a beer recipe.

Rice beer 

While Danish beer relies on barley as its base ingredient, a number of Asian beers made from rice are available in the country.

“While brewing a beer based on rice is not a novel idea, the notion of using surplus rice is,”​ say the researchers.

The task was to develop a recipe for a beer that uses as much surplus rice as possible – a challenge as the starchy ingredient tends to block filters in a way that a grain-based mash does not.

German masters student Marlin Kersting succeeded in brewing 10 liter batches using almost solely surplus rice, water and a small amount of malt. Led by director and brewer Preben Bøje Hansen, ScienceBrew was then able to scale this up into a workable recipe for larger production volumes.

The resulting brew, called Gohan Biiru, contains around 20% excess cooked rice: but Hansen believes this can be increased.

The beer is currently available in one of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi’s restaurant in the Lyngby district of Copenhagen, but the chain hopes to be able to extend availability to all its restaurants.

ScienceBrew​ is a spinout brewer and food tech laboratory from the Technical University of Denmark.

It works with internationally patented technology and aims to be the centre for science, innovation, product and business development: and a showcase for new technologies and news in the field of food and fermentation.

Other brewers have also been experimenting with surplus food in their brewing. Founded in London in 2015, Toast Ale​ is brewed with fresh surplus bread, with all profits going to charities that address food waste. 

It has upcycled 1 million slices of bread and brewed 454,180 litres of beer.

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