Water sanitation is something we takeor granted now in many parts o the world.Tousands, to just dozens, o years ago thiswas ar rom the case. Water-borne diseaseswere a pestilent reality or all o our ancestors.Beer and distilled spirits, by virtue o containingalcohol, were liquids that drastically quelledbacterial contamination. In the case o beer,since it had lower alcohol content than wineand distilled liquors, even more preservationand decontamination eorts were needed.Until roughly the 12th century, beer wasexclusively avoured and ‘bittered’ with gruit—
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Should you be drinking wine or beer or betterhealth? For you beer acionados, the news isgood. It turns out the scientic consensus isnow leaning toward either one. In other words,the magical “French Paradox”, that leads many to believe that wine is the most healthul way to imbibe, may not be totally accurate,as alcohol itsel is now thought to be thecardiovascular protectant.Just to assure you that more seriousscience is going on, everyday, toward theurther development o all that is beer, I pointyour attention to the ollowing two articles:“Enantioseparation o isoxanthohumolin beer by hydroxypropyl-gamma-cyclodextrin-modied micellar electrokineticchromatography”, and, “Preparation o novelsolid-phase microextraction bres by sol-gel technology or headspace solid-phasemicroextraction-gas chromatographic analysiso aroma compounds in beer.” Now then, resteasy, as you can see, the nerds are on it! Usually,this produces a good outcome.Also, rom the obviously underappreciated
Journal of Colloid Interface Science
comes anarticle “Gushing in canned beer: the eect o ultrasonic vibration”. Tis beauty o a study startswith the memorable line—especially or a peer-reviewed scientic publication—o “Everybody has had the experience o a canned carbonateddrink overowing and soiling their clothes.”“We observed the beer drinking behaviouro 308 university students in several bar andparty settings. Te ollowing relationships wereound: males drinking beer in bars consumedmore than emales, and stayed in a bar or alonger time period; patrons drank signicantly more beer when drinking in groups and whenpurchasing beer in pitchers versus cups orbottles; and intervals between party arrivaland rst drink and between party departureand last drink varied inversely with bloodalcohol concentration.” Tank your lucky stars that these researchers made sucha set o startling discoveries!a mixture generally made o herbs such as gale,yarrow, heather, rosemary and occasionally,either by mistake or malice, items such as toxicnightshade. Te gruit herbs unctioned asstimulants, versus the now, totally dominant hops(more on them in a second), which are actually depressant in nature. As more was appreciatedabout beer spoilage, contamination, etc., gruitwas phased out rom around 1100 to 1516 whenBavarian brewers dumped it and implementedthe Reinheitsgebot in 1516: the rst ocial
A 15th century bishop takes a delivery of beer.
The ofcial rules for brewingbeer date back to the 16th century.
Ofenwith excellententertainment value, most eldso scientic inquiry employ someoneready to ask a ar toodetailed questionabout a givensubject. Tis ofenmaniests as theorcible ramming o a resh technologicaladvance down thethroat o an oldquestion. Whilethe science and arto brewing are indeed ascinating and complex,perhaps these guys went a bit ar in theirexplorations o ermentation methods: “Antcolony system algorithm or the optimization o beer ermentation control.” However, and muchto their credit, they displayed a rare moment o printed scientic humbleness, by concluding that“the satisactory results obtained did not requiremuch computation eort”. When ants nally take over the world, and learn to read, they willprobably get a big kick out o that publication.Finally, rom the overstued les o the“Why was this study done, and who the hellpaid or this?” comes some shocking ‘ndings’: