Dairy that is fermented and brewed like beer could soon be on tap as Sam Alcaine, M.S. ’07, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science, turns dairy waste into a flavorful drink with an alcoholic kick.
The production of Greek yogurt creates acid whey, a leftover liquid with very little protein and few profitable uses. Alcaine, former product innovation manager at Miller Brewing Co., thinks there may be a place for alcoholic dairy beverages made from whey.
But turning dairy into a drinkable alcohol is no simple task. Lactose, a sugar in dairy, cannot be broken down and converted into alcohol by traditional brewer’s yeast. Alcaine’s lab is working on several fronts to form a solution.