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Researchers Test Space Beer 113 113

With space tourism becoming a real possibility in the near future, brewers are trying to figure out how to provide a good beer in space. To this end, a non-profit space research corporation Astronauts4Hire will begin testing an Australian brew created to be enjoyed in microgravity. From the article: "In the past, NASA has also sponsored studies on space beer, and whether or not the popular beverage can be brewed in space. Under current policies, however, alcohol remains forbidden on the International Space Station."
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Researchers Test Space Beer

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  • Re:0G beer (Score:5, Informative)

    by toastar (573882) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @07:13PM (#33741494)

    What do the bubbles do in zero-g?

    You've seen this [youtube.com] right? the part your asking starts about a min in

  • Fermenting in space? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @07:17PM (#33741510)

    I thought the article would be about how to formulate a beer that drinks well in space. Instead it seems to be about actually brewing in space.

    I really don't see why you would want to do that. Even a simple brewing setup involves several bulky pieces of equipment. And five gallons of beer fermenting will release somewhere around 200 liters of CO2 (number pulled from the depths of my memory, could be wrong) which is obviously not something you want an excess of in space.

    However, the observation that the yeast seemed to be more "efficient" in space makes sense to me. Fermentation in beer basically consists of three phases. During the first phase, the yeast consumes oxygen (aerobic respiration) as it reproduces in the wort. Once the yeast population gets high enough, they switch their metabolism to anaerobic and commence the fermentation proper. Finally, the yeast begin to aggregate together (it's called "flocculation") and form large globules which drop out of suspension and form a "cake" on the bottom of the fermenter. In a zero-G environment, these globules will instead stay in suspension and the yeast will remain in an active state for a longer period of time.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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