Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blinding me with science: Helium beer ... for real.

And it's tasty, though the effect isn't quite as imagined.

I'm a raconteur, not a scientist, but this is an informative and interesting read. Thanks to RC for the link.

Helium Beer, From Prank To Tank, by Craig Bettenhausen (Chemical & Engineering News)

 ... A quick Internet search yields several pages explaining how helium beer is impossible because of the low solubility of helium in water. Indeed, helium’s solubility, 0.0015 g/kg, is roughly three orders of magnitude less than that of carbon dioxide, 1.7 g/kg.

And then the Newscripts gang took pause: A nearby listing on the same data table notes that nitrogen’s solubility is 0.019 g/kg. That’s not as low as helium, but still much lower than carbon dioxide. Yet beers such as Guinness famously use nitrogen in place of carbon dioxide to achieve a creamy mouthfeel and a fine, stable head of foam.

So we decided to make our own helium beer. For real.

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