Vostok 4 Pines Stout Space Beer brewed for zero gravity

first_imgThere’s nothing like having a nice, cold beer at the end of a long day, and it seems that soon, even astronauts in the depths of space will be able to knock one back. Two Australian entrepreneurs are working on a beer intended for drinking in space. If making a space beer was easy, we’d most likely already have one, but in fact there are a few major issues that have kept the duo busy in finding the perfect zero-gravity space beer.Jason Held, a space engineer working for Saber Astronautics Australia, teamed up with Jaron Mitchell, owner of 4 Pines Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Sydney, to create the first beverage made specifically for space. However, there are some things to take into account when creating space beer.AdChoices广告First, when you’re up in space in zero gravity, your face and tongue swell up a bit, which Held compares to having a bad head cold. Because of the swelling, your senses are dulled and a normal beer would most likely taste like water. The duo wanted to develop a beer strong enough to cut through the impaired senses. They came up with a full-bodied stout called the Vostok 4 Pines Stout. The name is obviously a play on the Vostok 1, which was the first human spaceflight in history.To test the stout, Held and Mitchell bought a spot on a zero gravity flight over Florida and managed to get a microgravity expert from a non-profit organization called Astronauts4Hire to try it. The lucky test subject was able to drink the beer, but it was rather difficult to do so from the bottle because of the zero gravity.Held said that when looking at a normal beer glass, you can see that gravity is weighing the liquid down and surface tension is pulling  it to the side of the glass. Drinking a beer on Earth is easy because the beer follows the side of the glass as you tilt it towards your mouth. In space however, there’s no gravity to pull the beer down. There’s only surface tension, so technically a glass can be turned completely over and the beer will still stay inside of it.Obviously, Held and Mitchell have some work to do on creating an acceptable receptacle for their beverage. The guys are also still doing tests to see how alcohol actually affects the body in space.The other big, and we mean big, problem is carbonation. Bubbles and liquid apparently don’t separate well in zero gravity. There’s just no place for the gas from the carbonation to escape except, as Held calls it, in a “wet burp.” Gross. This burp releases both gas and liquid, which Held said is “uncomfortable.” He did say that there could be beer without bubbles, but then it would basically be alcoholic tea.Space beer is clearly still in the works, but there’s hope for beer-loving astronauts and for future space tourists to get a bit tipsy while looking down at the Earth.More at New Scientist and Reuters, photo via Brisbane Timeslast_img read more