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Old 10-05-2012, 12:08 PM   #21
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Hasn't virtually all brewing yeast been technically "genetically modified" through selective breeding, to create specific beer-friendly strains? What's the difference?
The same can probably be said for brewing barley, it's very different and has been modified much since it was hundreds of years ago.


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Old 10-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #22
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Hasn't virtually all brewing yeast been technically "genetically modified" through selective breeding, to create specific beer-friendly strains? What's the difference?
That may be true but it is not genetically modified in the sense of man or Monsanto messing with the organism's genes/DNA like in is conventionally called GMO. The difference is those yeasts would never had let's say a gene from scorpion venom spliced into them for example (I believe this done with a type of GMO cabbage.)


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Old 10-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #23
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That may be true but it is not genetically modified in the sense of man or Monsanto messing with the organism's genes/DNA like in is conventionally called GMO. The difference is those yeasts would never had let's say a gene from scorpion venom spliced into them for example (I believe this done with a type of GMO cabbage.)
I confess, my comment was a little tongue-in-cheek. I personally feel the hysteria surrounding GMO foods is based on money and ignorance. I believe "organic" and conventional farmers have a vested financial interested in convincing the public to shun superior GMO products, because they cannot compete with a superior, yet cheaper, product. So they've come up with an effective compaign of fear, coining such creative terms as "Frankenfoods" in order to scare the flock back to their low-yield, high-cost, bug-ridden crops.

The "ignorance" part is based on people not really having a clue what "GMO" really means. It relies on using scary-sounding hyperbole (like your example of splicing a scorpion venom gene into cabbage, the implication being that your cabbage is now poisonous) to mislead people. It's like saying carbon dioxide is poisonous, because it only only differs from carbon monoxide by a single atom. Of course, they're completely different, and it's not nearly so simplistic. Nor is genetics, but that doesn't stop lobby groups and vested interests from preying on peoples' fear and ignorance in an effort to get them to continue to pay more for inferior products, and resist embracing scientific advancement (which could require investing in new equipment, seed strains, or training).

Personally, knowing how many people on this planet go hungry every day, I strongly feel that anything we can do to improve crop yield is worth investigating. To date, not one single person anywhere on the planet has ever been killed, or even made sick, by any GMO food. Yet over 20,000 people will starve to death today. 20,000 real people, every day, starve to death, while people shun GMO foods for no reason other than fear and marketing.

Just my opinion, you are of course entitled to yours.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #24
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The difference is those yeasts would never had let's say a gene from scorpion venom spliced into them for example (I believe this done with a type of GMO cabbage.)
This is what drives me crazy when people start talking about GMOs. The people who have a problem with them don't know what the hell they are talking about. Scorpion venom doesn't have DNA. Scorpions have DNA. And the DNA in a scorpion's venom glands is the same DNA that's in his eyes and @$$hole. Without a basic knowledge of science, genetics, and biology, these people are basing their opinions on bits of what they hear or read from organic hippy organizations who themselves don't base their statements on good science.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #25
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A reminder:

This is the appropriate forum for asking questions and having discussion about brewing ingredients, including the OP's question about what non-GMO sugars can be used for priming and where he can find them.

This is not the appropriate forum for debate on the merits of GMO foods generally, including bashing the OP for asking the question. That conversation belongs in the Debate Forum. Take it there, please.

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #26
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I'm going to try priming with maple syrup in my next batch. I'd also like to try to stay with from non-gmo products because even if the yeast consumes it like posters are saying, the GMO companies are still getting my $$$.

Northern Brewer has a PDF about alternative sugars ( http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/AdvancedBottleConditioning.pdf ) .

I'm finding it curious that people are getting angry rather than ignoring you. It's an internet phenomenon that is rather ... interesting. People have asked about non-cornsugar bottling alternatives before on here (that's how I found the PDF) and forumites were very helpful. But once you mention "non-GMO"....


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Old 10-05-2012, 01:20 PM   #27
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... removing original text just saw the this is not a debate thread note.

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Last edited by porcupine73; 10-05-2012 at 01:21 PM. Reason: not a debate thread.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:45 PM   #28
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Thanks for the alternatives, everyone.

And, for the record and not to extend an inappropriate debate that was never intended, I am a levelheaded and balanced person who has spent 15 years as a newspaper reporter, editor and photographer (including winning a Pulitzer Prize) investigating all facets of the issues I covered. I have researched GMOs and organic foods deeply, as well as their pesticide/herbicide ramifications, before reaching any conclusions. Meh, no need for anyone to get all heated up over the Interwebs.

I like the idea of honey, one of nature's basic sweeteners. I knew that regular cane or beet sugars were viable options, and have wondered about brown sugar. Do various forms of sugar impart different flavors on the final product (especially brown sugar and honey), or is sugar sugar? That question is one I hoped to have answered in this thread, and if someone else already has answered it, sorry I missed it.

Thanks again.

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Old 10-05-2012, 07:00 PM   #29
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I also use demerara sugar (raw cane sugar) for priming. It's natural,as in non GMO. They haven't modified sugar cane yet. & it has more flavor that the organic,lighter colored variety. It has a wonderful light brown sugar laced with honey flavor.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:10 PM   #30
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Thanks for the alternatives, everyone.

And, for the record and not to extend an inappropriate debate that was never intended, I am a levelheaded and balanced person who has spent 15 years as a newspaper reporter, editor and photographer (including winning a Pulitzer Prize) investigating all facets of the issues I covered. I have researched GMOs and organic foods deeply, as well as their pesticide/herbicide ramifications, before reaching any conclusions. Meh, no need for anyone to get all heated up over the Interwebs.

I like the idea of honey, one of nature's basic sweeteners. I knew that regular cane or beet sugars were viable options, and have wondered about brown sugar. Do various forms of sugar impart different flavors on the final product (especially brown sugar and honey), or is sugar sugar? That question is one I hoped to have answered in this thread, and if someone else already has answered it, sorry I missed it.

Thanks again.
different sugars will impart different flavors..

Maple syrup primed beers can be delicious for the right style and if you are into that sort of thing.

The short answer is that there are many alternatives...my long answer would need to be in a different forum. So until this thread gets moved, which It may, I'll leave my answer at that.


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