Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Instant Alcohol

Synthesize Yeast Enzymes
  (+3, -11)(+3, -11)
(+3, -11)
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If the particular enzymes that yeasts use to convert sugar into alcohol could be identified and synthesized, one could make a powder that could be mixed into any sugary liquid, producing instant alcohol.
goldbb, Sep 21 2009

[link]






       *sigh*
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2009
  

       Seems [MB]'s secret has been discovered.
bigsleep, Sep 21 2009
  

       Instant water... just add water to this powder.
xenzag, Sep 21 2009
  

       No, "sigh" because this unlikely to yield anything worth drinking. Evidently, to [goldbb], "Chablis" and "Sauternes" are foreign words. No, wait...
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2009
  

       This does touch on a subject I don't understand. What is the difference between setting fire to a ton of corn, sugar or alcohol ? Why do you need yeast at all ?
bigsleep, Sep 21 2009
  

       You mean as a biofuel? It's perfectly true that a given mass of corn will have a greater energy content than either sugar or alcohol prepared from it. On the other hand, do you really want to put corn in your gas tank? Alcohol burns more easily and more cleanly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2009
  

       Fellow bakers, this idea merits more than your initial one liners.   

       The only problem with it is that the process to isolate these enzymes would be very expensive, making a single glass's worth of powder costing, let me do some math, about two million sand dollars.
daseva, Sep 21 2009
  

       This is an interesting development. From what I understand, if I have 10 bowls of cereal it will yield more energy than 10 pints of beer, thus saving the majority of the cost. All we need now is instant hangover powder.
bigsleep, Sep 21 2009
  

       Since when have trivial economics been a consideration of this august body, [daseva]?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 21 2009
  

       My point exactly. Since the lonely problem is beside our interests, there should be more praise. I'll bun it.
daseva, Sep 21 2009
  

       I am neither bunning nor boning. However, from an aesthetic and oenological perspective I must add a notional bone.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2009
  

       it'd be even nicer if you could just tap a water bowl three times with a stick and produce alcohol... wibni [-]
FlyingToaster, Sep 21 2009
  

       //Instant water... just add water to this powder.//
And if it tastes a bit too strong after that you can always dilute it.
gnomethang, Sep 21 2009
  

       I would have though if sugar=>alcohol is a one step wonder, then yes. But don't enzymes need environments and procedural, geometrical staging which only a mothering cellular structure can give.
wjt, Sep 21 2009
  

       In effect, the alcohol is what the yeast shits out, after eating the sugars.
Ian Tindale, Sep 22 2009
  

       There are a couple of processes whereby ethanol can be synthesised from other compounds. Why choose sugar and yeast enzymes? I would've thought making it from paper or cotton would be better.
nineteenthly, Sep 22 2009
  

       The sugar-alcohol pathways are understood in some depth, so i guess the only reason this was not baked on an industrial scale is that synthesising enzymes to create a substance that can be harvested in abundance via natural pathways is not economic. Still, baked in labs around the world.
loonquawl, Sep 22 2009
  

       i could explain why this is impossible but to do it in any reasonable way would require the words "catalyst" "gradient" "membrane" "soluble" "reversible" "energetic" "active transport" "reaction rate". I won't instead because i just spent the last 48hrs tending to yeast, I will simply say [marked-for-deletion] WIBNIFty.
WcW, Sep 22 2009
  

       //48hrs tending to yeast//   

       A weekend bender you mean ?
bigsleep, Sep 22 2009
  

       no, wine vats. it's early in the crush season here but the first few lots always seem to need more work than the rest.
WcW, Sep 22 2009
  

       Do you take special precautions to stop yeast mutating or getting shocked?
Ian Tindale, Sep 22 2009
  

       Are yeast such prudes, that shocking them is that much of a concern? Better keep that issue of Playboy away from them :)
goldbb, Sep 22 2009
  

       Seriously, WcW, do you have nowhere else to boast about the winemaking hobby you took up, probably recently since your understanding of fermentation is clearly slightly limited?   

       "Nevertheless, it was known that yeast extracts ferment sugar even in the absence of living yeast cells. While studying this process in 1897, Eduard Buchner of Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, found that sugar was fermented even when there were no living yeast cells in the mixture,[8] by a yeast secretion that he termed zymase.[9] In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research and discovery of "cell-free fermentation."" -- wikipedia   

       In other words, The catalytic reaction rates for the key enzymes in a given fermentation reaction are not entirely reduced outside the confines of the cell membrane. dependencies on active and passive (gradient) transport are thus avoidable and all that is required is that the enzyme be soluble and active in the aqueous. Though reversibility would be a keen advantage in a non-cellular fermentation, it's not necessary. Finally, I have no idea why you needed the word 'energetic', as it's not really used when speaking of enzymatic reactions, to my knowledge. 'Active' is much better. This is probably due to the fact that most enzymatic reactions release very little energy, and instead result in conformational changes in the enzyme and bond rearrangements in the reactants. That is, chemical potential is exchanged, and thermal effects are negligible.
daseva, Sep 22 2009
  

       yes there are many enzymatic processes for for reducing glucose to ethanol and yes these processes happen both inside and outside cell walls. The grape itself is capable of producing 2-3% alcohol within anaerobic metabolism. And we do a test for reducible sugars using zymase and invertase that can accurately detect reduceable sugars to .01% BUT an artificial pathway for the production of the enzymes in the Zymase complex has not yet been found, and you can imagine that the person who finds a cheap way to synthesize large quantities of any enzyme(without cells) will make $$$. Why is it so hard to produce the complicated enzymes involved in core cellular processes? This is due not only to the number of steps required to produce these compounds. Cells use a combination of catylized and thus reversible processes and energetic reactions that are not reversible, the products of these reactions are actively transported across membranes within the cell to segregate the steps so they do not interfere with one another as they would under the conditions of a test tube. Some of these reactions require different ionic conditions requiring the cell to produce osmotic gradients within it's structure using active transport. As you can see these are very hard conditions to achieve in a chemical process due to the contradictory requirements of each step. If we had yet developed the chemical engineering capability to produce these powerful macromolecular compounds we would not face the insurmountable energy and waste product challenges that we currently face.Synthetic Enzymatics is like nanotech, it holds extreme promise but still lies in the realm of magical thinking.   

       As the winemaker at a 2k case winery who does all of his own enzymatics using an ancient Beckman DU and basically everything else on any given day I take no offense at your suggestion that this is a "weekend" thing for me. At this time of year it's an every day of the week thing 18 hrs a day from first punch down. If you feel I "wear it on my sleeve" you are right, I wear it all the way up my arms.
WcW, Sep 22 2009
  

       Well, send me a freakin' bottle and take a few Jacksons off my hands. My mind is tired from reading your (insightful) garble. Seriously, my alchemical side would have it no other way than to tooth and nail for a drunk from, arguably, one of the most annoying-with-your-knowledge type halfbakers on earth. You wear it well, anyways, whatever it is crawling up your head.   

       I can't help but feel that you set me up to set you up for that tirade, however. Which is fine, a tad victimizing.
daseva, Sep 23 2009
  

       As a bedroom brewer, my hat's off to you, [WcW]. Where do I order from?   

       [Ian], I always thought that yeast ate sugar, farted CO2, and peed alcohol.
normzone, Sep 23 2009
  

       well we could go into the whole dna - rna - ribosome - shepherd - folding - hydrolising - pairing - transport = enzyme thing but I don't think that that would make it any simpler. Suffice it to say Zymase is not a single enzyme as many internet sites claim but a family of ten or more enzymes that all have to work together to strip carbon from glucose using the plant pathway . I'm not always right and sometimes I'm an outright bone headed fool when it comes to arguing petty and pointless things. I LIKE to argue. On the other hand your annotation was ad-homonym and actually full of wrong information. Let's be friends, we really have a lot in common.
WcW, Sep 23 2009
  

       //dna - rna - ribosome - shepherd - folding - hydrolising - pairing - transport// That would be dna - rna - ribosome - chaperone - folding - hydrolising - pairing - transport, shirley?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 23 2009
  

       Ehh, sure! Why not. Anyways, yah! Max you tell him! What the shit is a shepherd, some cockney outdated backwoods biochem slang... Tune in man!
daseva, Sep 23 2009
  

       // cockney outdated backwoods biochem slang //   

       [marked-for-tagline]
8th of 7, Sep 23 2009
  

       damn. it is chaperon. I need to get more sleep.
WcW, Sep 23 2009
  

       You certainly do.   

       // ad-homonym //   

       "Ad hominem...."   

       // Let's be friends, we really have a lot in common. //   

       We've been saying that for a long time .... come, join us..... don't be afraid .... you'll wonder why you ever hesitated.....
8th of 7, Sep 23 2009
  

       // cockney outdated backwoods biochem slang// Hmmm. Cockney rhyming slang molecular biology - YESSSS!   

       Far from = far from 'ome = ribosome.
Spot = spot o'rain = membrane
Pearly = pearly gate = phospate
Weak tea = insipid = lipid
Double = double time = enzyme
Floppy dog = Hector = G-protein-coupled receptor.
  

       I think we should try translating the original Double Helix paper into Cockney rhyming slang.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 23 2009
  

       Bugger all to serve with nachos = I've got no dips in = alpha chymotrypsin.   

       This could revolutionize Western alliance.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 23 2009
  

       Brewer's - Brewer's Droop - Flaccid - Deoxyribonucleic acid.
DrBob, Sep 25 2009
  
      
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