Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Beer Blogging: Final Frontier Edition

Space: exploration, adventure, new worlds and…no beer. Bummer!

But wait, they’re working on it. Who? The beer scientists, of course.

For the tradition of beer and its fizzy cousins to continue as people begin settling space, a few questions must first be answered.

Will fermentation work the same in weightlessness? What happens to carbonation when there's no buoyancy to bring the bubbles to the top? Can space beer form a proper head? Scientists who study the physics of gas-liquid mixtures would love to know!

Two separate space shuttle experiments tackled these questions. Both were engineered and mediated by BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA-sponsored Commercial Space Centre at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


…technology should prove effective for carbonated space beers. Unfortunately it doesn't lend itself to the traditional frosty glass mug! Instead, beverages are dispensed into a special bottle…that screws onto the dispenser. The bottle itself, which contains a collapsible bag, is internally pressurized. The pressure around the bag is slowly released as the beverage enters, maintaining the drink under constant pressure and producing a palatable soda or beer.
Read the whole thing; it's pretty interesting.

The linked-to article also has this picture (and associated caption) of a drop of soda in space:

While not beer, the idea is the same. While smarter people than me work this out, let’s content ourselves knowing that the best beer in the Solar System is brewed right her on Earth. I here they even come from light years away to sample our suds.

No comments: