Beer In Film #27: The Chemistry of Beer Online Course

Today’s beer video is an interview with Mark Morvant, professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma , by the local newspaper blog The Thirsty Beagle. Morvant is teaching a free online course on The Chemistry of Beer. The class started January 13, but apparently you can still participate and catch up if you hurry and register soon. So far, over 7,000 people have signed up for his class. Watch the video below to see if it’s for you.

Sir John Barleycorn — Miss Hop — (and their only child) — Master Porter

Here’s a pretty cool historical artifact, from the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale. It’s a print that was created in 1808 by London publisher Thomas Tegg. It’s printed on woven paper, an “etching with stipple” and is hand-colored. The “plate mark is 25 x 35.2 cm.,” on a sheet of paper 27 x 28 cm, and the plate is numbered 151 in the upper righthand corner. When new it sold for one shilling, but I’m guessing it goes for a bit more now. It’s title is “Sir John Barleycorn — Miss Hop — (and their only child) — Master Porter” and is further “dedicated to the publicans of London.” Ah, they had a baby and named it Porter, too. Small world.


Dunedin’s Mobile Brewhouse On Wheels

My friend and colleague, Gerard Walen, has an interesting story on about a mobile brewery that drove from Florida to Oregon. In Collaboration On the FL-ORegon Trail, Walen details the rolling brewery built by the Dunedin Brewery and its journey to Oregon, and then on to Denver for GABF. Check it out. Gerard can normally be found on Road Trips For Beer, and recently finished the Florida Breweries book in the same series as my northern California guidebook, which will be published this April.

The Mobile Brewhouse.

Time-Lapse Bigfoot Fermentation

Here’s a very cool video of Sierra Nevada’s annual Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale being brewed in open fermenters. The video shows 12,400 gallons of barley wine fermenting “over six days in four traditional open fermenters.”

First made in 1983, Bigfoot has been released every February since, and will again be much easier to find than the real Bigfoot this coming February, as well.


Beer Birthday: Michael Lewis

Today is 77th birthday of Dr. Michael Lewis, who ran the brewing sciences department at U.C. Davis beginning in 1962, and became the Professor Emeritus in 1995, when Charlie Bamforth succeeded him, although Dr. Lewis remains active in teaching and in brewing. I recently ran into him and his wife having lunch at the school’s pilot brewery at Sudwerk last fall. He was my instructor, along with Charlie, when I took the brewing short course at Davis a decade or so ago. He’s taught countless working brewers over the years and has greatly influenced the industry as a whole. Join me in wishing Dr. Lewis a very happy birthday.

Michael receiving an award for a lifetime of achievement at the 2008 CBC in San Diego.

Michael with Ruhstaller founder J.D. Paino at Sudwerk (photo from the Davis Enterprise).

Michael (at far left) with the gang at Sudwerk Privatbrauerei in Davis (photo from the Davis Enterprise).

Varieties Of Beer Venn Diagram

Today’s infographic is a Venn Diagram showing the basic divisions in beer styles, created by A Drinker’s Guide to Beer. I might have preferred “hybrid styles” to “mixed,” but it’s an interesting way to show that some varieties are neither an ale or a lager, but share elements of both.

Click here to see the venn diagram full size.

Beer Tapping Physics

The Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society sent out a press release about a new study a couple of their members recently published on cavitation, which is a word you’ll understand better from the description.

An old, hilarious if somewhat juvenile party trick involves covertly tapping the top of someone’s newly opened beer bottle and standing back as the suds foam out onto the floor. Now researchers from Carlos III University and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Institut Jean le Rond d’Alembert, have produced new insight into the science behind the foaming, exploring the phenomenon of cavitation.

Take a look at the release, The Physics of Beer Tapping Fluid Dynamics Explains Why Bottled Beer Bubbles Over When Tapped, and thanks to regular reader Russ R. for sending me the link. I like this explanation a bit better, though.

“Buoyancy leads to the formation of plumes full of bubbles, whose shape resembles very much the mushrooms seen after powerful explosions,” Rodriguez-Rodriguez explained. “And here is what really makes the formation of foam so explosive: the larger the bubbles get, the faster they rise, and the other way around.” He adds that this is because fast-moving bubbles entrain more carbonic gas.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever done that to a person’s bottle. Of course, I tend to be around people who pour their bottle of beer into a glass.

Photo: Javier Rodriguez-Rodriguez / Carlos III University of Madrid, SPAIN Almudena Casado-Chacon / Carlos III University of Madrid, SPAIN Daniel Fuster / CNRS (UMR 7190), Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Institut Jean le Rond d’Alembert, FRANCE