Brewing Up Clean Hands

Fermentation students tap GoFundMe to make more hand sanitizer

  • 29 April 2020
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 2418
Brewing Up Clean Hands

American ingenuity is alive and well—if you need proof, look no further than 3Rewery.

The mock company was founded by CTAHR students with a simple goal: to create delicious alcoholic beverages, from Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i. But it has responded to COVID-19 by putting its original plans on hold and instead shifting to the production of hand sanitizer.

Distribution is currently limited to their immediate community: CTAHR students and labs, and the University of Hawai‘i. Until the pandemic subsides, their only goal is to distribute what they can, when they can.

The students have created a GoFundMe page in hopes of expanding operations and delivering their virus-killing product to more communities in need. View photos of the students hard at work. All funds raised will go toward sugar sources and bottles for distribution. You can help them help the community!

The 3Rewery Story

Under professor J.P. Bingham of the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, Nicolas Cetraro and fellow MBBE students in the Fermentation Biochemistry class learned about the interlinkage of biochemistry and business. The graduate-level class also teaches the processes needed to make a drinkable product, based on market demand, and ensure its commercial success.

Taking their knowledge beyond the lab and classroom, the students decided to create a brewery and distillery that would tap leftover materials and make something useful. Hence “3R,” to represent reduce, reuse, and recycle.

“Our class determined our mission to be ‘upscaling.’ We wanted to take a low-value ‘waste’ material and turn it into a desirable product,” says Nicolas. “We deliver sustainable, locally sourced products and craft specially flavored beverages like our signature hand-crafted Pineapple Cider and Lemongrass Seltzer.”

Upscaling began with obtaining pineapple cores, the part that’s usually thrown away, from commercial growers, then breaking the carbohydrates down into sugars and sequentially fermenting these sugars.

“I’m a local kid from Konawaena High School who came to UH Mānoa to study biochemistry,” says Nicolas. “But right now, we’re focused on helping the community. I’d like to give a special thanks to Andrew Santos of Fujitsu air conditioning. He believes in us, and his very generous donation will allow us to make more hand sanitizer for the Hawaiʻi community.”