Beer Science 101

Everything's made of molecules, including beer. Good news for those of us who like a perfect pint! The science geeks have been turning their attention to the sweet, sweet taste of cold brewskis lately, with awesome results.~

Magnets make the perfect head

Ooer missis. Double entendres aside, if there's one thing guaranteed to ruin a night out it's bad head. That's particularly true in Europe, where beers in busy bars can be served like Flake 99s. The lager-quaffing travelling community is breathing a sigh of relief this year, as pub mega-boffins unleash their latest discovery: magnetic fields that can control the size of the cap on your pint!

The technology works in conjunction with hops extract, which beer-makers already inject into their brews in an attempt to counter over-foaming. Foaming is caused when fungal intruders get busy with the malt in your amber nectar. The two combine to attract CO2, causing a massive head.

Hops extract controls foaming by forming a protective coat around the fungus, preventing it from attracting the carbon dioxide. But on its own it isn't enough to prevent foaming in all situations. Beer researchers in Belgium found that magnetising the extract increased its effectiveness significantly. You get less foam and more brew, which also means the cost of beers could begin to come down as bars have less wastage to deal with. Good times.

Dutch glass keeps your beer fresh

Great news for fellers heading off on an Amsterdam stag do: not only do you get to see naked chicks in windows, you're also guaranteed a fresh beer no matter how long it takes the bride's dad to down his pint! Look for bars serving their lager in FnF glasses, and you'll enjoy a clean, fresh-tasting pint all the way to the bottom.

The FnF glass has a slight fluting at the top, which acts as a surface tensioner and oxygen releaser. It's been designed by Dutch beer geniuses to assist bartenders in busy pubs, who have to pour huge rounds in double-quick time.

The bartender simply pours the beer as per usual - but as soon as the head hits the top, he sets the glass aside and moves on to the next one. And that's when the magic happens.

In a normal glass, you'd have to top the beer up once the foam settles down. In the FnF glass, the wide opening lets the oxygen out of the liquid (carrying away a lot of the residual bitter taste you can get from the hops), and acts as a natural'stretcher', pulling the head of the liquid tighter and forming a smooth meniscus (the bit at the top of a full pint, which stands slightly proud of the glass rim). The result: uniform pints that taste of lager, not dregs. Nice work, nerds.

If you don't like the taste, you need a Randall

Bored of same same but different lager varieties? Persuade your local to install a Randall 3.0! This nutty invention came out of the Dogfish Head Brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware - and basically, it alters the flavour of draught brews according to the ingredients you put in the cap.

Looking like a manhood-enhancement device for beer - which it kind of is - the Randall is a pump filter that attaches to the head of your standard tap, pulls beer through a big plastic module filled with whatever you want to flavour the liquid with, and ejects it out the other end. Nice.

'Beer enhancement device' would have done for a name, btw, but no - the inventors decided to call it an'organoleptic hop transducer module'. Organoleptic means taste, basically. Trust those science dudes to use big words. Sounds like something out of Back to the Future, though, which can only be awesome. Marty! Martyyyy!

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Date Posted: Friday 10th April 2015

Author: Jim Alexander