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Beer Space Idle Science

Aussie Brewery Creates Space Beer 118

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the drunk-in-spaaaaaace dept.
astroengine writes "An Australian brewing company has created the world's first beer that can be consumed in space. 4-Pines Brewing Company teamed up with Saber Astronautics Australia, tirelessly testing different brews on zero-G flights last year. They have now finalized the winning formula, calling the beer 'Vostok' — after the spacecraft flown by Yuri Gagarin in 1961. The beverage is a strong-tasting stout with reduced carbonation to avoid the dreaded microgravity 'wet burp.'"
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Aussie Brewery Creates Space Beer

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  • by Maclir (33773) on Friday March 04, 2011 @03:27PM (#35382812) Journal

    Makes me proud to be an Australian. Now there are no reasons why we can't colonize space - we can take our slabs of VB with us, all we need is a barbie (that's the device for cooking hunks of dead animals over flames, not the de-sexed doll) that is safe to use in zero gravity.

    Crack a tinny, mate.

    • by smelch (1988698)
      Gross, you should take slabs of Java with you.... or pretty much anything other than VB.
      • by uradu (10768)

        That Victoria Bitter for the non-Aussies in the crowd. Not the best of Aussie beers, but hey, better than XXXX I guess.

        • by dwywit (1109409)
          Ohhhh, bring it on - are you a cockroach, a mexican, or a croweater? VB is what you'll find in the gay bars in Fortitude Valley. It's long been known as the "bachelor's drink".
          • even us mexicans don't drink VB...

            Now Coopers, that's an aussie beer to be proud of.

            • by dwywit (1109409)
              +1, that Dark Ale is a ripper. Prefer the Cascade stout, though.
            • by Phoghat (1288088)
              I live in Zacatecas and most of the people around here drink Tecate which colloquially translated means "Shit"
          • by Phoghat (1288088)
            Then why is it that VB has the highest market share [wikipedia.org] in Australia. Is most of Australia gay? (Not that there's anything wrong with that))
            • by dwywit (1109409)
              market share != quality

              I give you Fosters, Budweiser, and of course (although not beer-related) Windows. Q.E.D.

              • by .tekrox (858002)

                Don't forget West-End...

              • and from us dutchies, heineken.

                If you ever find a dutch brand anywhere, itll be heineken, while it is absolute crap, and i wouldnt drink it if it were free..

                Crazy foreigners always importing the wrong beer...

    • The Ruskies brought vodka into orbit, the Australians are doing beer. Americans? Well, I guess we made Tang. So there's that. Oh, and nukes, we probably brought weapons into space first.
      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        Actually I'm fairly certain the Ruskies were the first with weapons.
      • The Ruskies brought vodka into orbit, the Australians are doing beer. Americans?

        Mr. Jack Daniels and Mr. George Dickel both make a fine Tennessee whiskey. We'll supply that.

    • Don't forget the Vegemite.
      • No need for modification there.

        As a bonus, you can use it to spackle any cracked re-entry shield tiles.

    • This is why I love Australia. The people have their priorities straight.
    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      No proud Aussie would be drinking VB, it is barely a step above drinking fosters, the thought of consuming either of those makes me feel ill.
    • by arisvega (1414195)
      You should take a real barbie with you as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is real Nerd news, but there are sometimes I wonder why? Shouldn't we have higher priorities to spend money on? Space elevator, far space travel, populate Mars (coz frankly we are getting too crowded on earth)? But beer in space? Just what we need, some drunk space pilot docking to the space station. This is why I have no hope for the human race. Sure, I could lighten up, but I'm ready for the younger generation to get off my earth lawn!

    • This is real Nerd news, but there are sometimes I wonder why? Shouldn't we have higher priorities to spend money on?

      Diversity of projects is exactly the reason why a space elevator may become a possibility one day. This isn't Master of Orion where you can just pump all your assets into one technology and have it turn up in 21 turns.

    • Shouldn't we have higher priorities to spend money on? Space elevator, far space travel, populate Mars (coz frankly we are getting too crowded on earth)?

      This is Australia we're talking about, so "no" and "crowded?"

    • Science is important, and this is research!

      Besides, we're not going to have a significant fraction of the human population off the planet in your lifetime, or for centuries. (I don't count it as significant unless it's self-sustaining colonies, not dependent on having Earth around to supply them. Less than that is an important first step, but those kids aren't getting off your our lawns, so we've got to put up with them.) So relax, have yourself a beer.

    • Re:Priorities? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Facegarden (967477) on Friday March 04, 2011 @04:25PM (#35383490)

      This is real Nerd news, but there are sometimes I wonder why? Shouldn't we have higher priorities to spend money on? Space elevator, far space travel, populate Mars (coz frankly we are getting too crowded on earth)? But beer in space? Just what we need, some drunk space pilot docking to the space station. This is why I have no hope for the human race. Sure, I could lighten up, but I'm ready for the younger generation to get off my earth lawn!

      Umm, isn't this the same tired argument people use *every* time someone does something other than cure cancer?

      "OMG, why are you playing baseball, there's cancer to be cured!"

      "Why are you playing guitar, there are starving people in Africa!'

      "Why are you studying journalism, you should be studying engineering and solving the energy crisis!"

      No matter what you are doing, there is always something more noble to be done, but we can't all be doing noble things. There's nothing wrong with brewing beer for consumption in space, or making Justin Bieber lunchboxes for kids or making yet another iPad case. People should do whatever they're best at, or whatever makes them happy.
      -Taylor

      • by uradu (10768)

        Come on now, there's all sorts of wrong with making Justene Bieber lunch boxes, mate!!! FFS, what were you thinking?!

      • by bstender (1279452)
        No matter what you are doing, there is always something more noble to be done, but we can't all be doing noble things.

        sure we can, but then the world would become so incredibly fantastic and trouble-free that we would become hopelessly bored and increasingly unable to improve things in any noticeable way, leading to widespread chronic depression. Goofing off is essential for maintaining a healthy balance of SNAFU.
    • by Jezza (39441)

      I dunno, if you're being crowded by characters in the pub I think it only makes sense to hit the space beer...

      (Sorry... I thought it was funny. It should be noted I was insert mode when I thought of that joke [sorry, I stop now before I need braces {sorry - I'm done now}])

    • by Smauler (915644)

      I read something a little while back about the threshold theory (not sure if it was actually called this, but it's my post any I'll cry if I want to). Essentially, human space travel now, and in the past, is experimental and by drips and drabs because there is no obvious short term return. We need to rely upon governmental pioneers with massively funded projects with no financial results (note - this IMO is one of the primary reasons for government). We will reach a tipping point at some point in which p

      • The word you are looking for is 'economic' not 'benficial' (sic).

        New technologies become economic by being price and feature competitive with the old way of doing things. As they continue to drop in price they often completely displace the old way.

        For space flight 'the old way of doing things' is a tough question. e.g. ICBM's were feature and price competitive with bombers, but the only market is the government.

        As far as the dream of moving population off of earth. I'm afraid the old ways of reducing

      • Because, (and I'm not being nostradamus-esque here), there will be a point when it will be profitable to send people into space

        I'm not so sure. At the same time that the improvements in launch systems are going on to make it profitable to put people into space, we also have improvements in robotics. It's far cheaper to put a robot up there than a human, and once robots hit a certain point of intelligence and capability, there's no economic reason to send people.

        We might, in a post-scarcity future, send hu

      • by bertok (226922)

        Once the benefits of going into space outweigh the costs, _everyone_ will be doing it, and we'll be worried about unregulated access in space.

        What benefits?

        No really, I want to hear what these supposed benefits are. I hear a lot of discussion about "reducing costs", and "thresholds", and "privatization of space", all with a supposed long-term goal of colonization or private enterprise, but I just don't see what everyone is going to be doing up there, except perhaps tourism.

        You know what space contains? Cold rocks in a vacuum. What's so exciting about that that we should be spending trillions to make it more accessible to everyone? We have cold ro

        • by Smauler (915644)

          There's no resource in space that is not available here, on Earth, at a vastly lower price point. There is no territory in space that is more cost effective to inhabit than any existing uninhabited area on Earth.

          Solar power is one possible example. It is currently available on Earth at a vastly lower price point than sending collectors into space. However, space-based solar power is inherently better than trying to do it on Earth, for masses of reasons.

          I'm not idealising what is out there, I know it's a

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Look at 'em spending all this money on zero-g beer, when they've spent nary a penny researching zero-g sex!!!
    • I'm pretty sure a business can spend their own money on whatever field of R&D they choose. Just as you are free to invest _your_ money in that company, donate the money to starving orphans, or spend it on shiny toys for yourself.

  • by Zoxed (676559) on Friday March 04, 2011 @03:35PM (#35382890) Homepage

    A beer to be drunk in space: now that is what I call limiting your market ;-)

    • Well, I believe that's what we call a vertical market.
    • I'd say they have a monopoly. When people start taking orbital trips in a few years, theirs might very well be the only brew served, and you know that plenty of folks are going to want to have a beer in space. They can probably charge an arm and a leg for it too. It may be a niche market, but, for now, they have it entirely to themselves.

  • I don't claim to be a chemist, but I don't think Guinness is carbonated. It uses nitrogen to make the little bubbles, and it doesn't make you burp like a regular cabonated beer does. Wouldn't this accomplish the same thing without all the expense of creating and testing new beers in a zero G environment?
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Isn't (natural) carbonation part of the fermentation process? Nitrogen would probably help its shelf life by slowing the reactions that change the flavor but I doubt they 'carbonate' it with N.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Beer gas a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, but the real problem is the extra gas put into the stomach, which must be expelled via the mouth. in zero G, the bubbles don't agglomerate the way they do under gravity, so when the gas is expelled, out comes a bunch of stomach contents, as well.

      Lambic would probably be an OK beer to drink in space, as it's traditionally served flat.

    • by pthisis (27352)

      I don't claim to be a chemist, but I don't think Guinness is carbonated. It uses nitrogen to make the little bubbles

      Guinness is carbonated with CO2; it uses a nitrogen push.

      The next time you're at a bar that has Guinness on tap, take a look at the taps--the Guinness tap is a tall, vertical faucet that has a restrictor plate in it. The purpose of that is to knock most of the CO2 out of solution quickly, to form the fine, cascading bubbles that Guinness is known for.

      In order to push beer through the restrict

    • Couldn't they drink a _good_ stout instead?

      Guinness is piss.

      Obsidian Oatmeal Stout would be worth paying the cost of lifting it to orbit. Guinness? At $5K+ a pound? Fuck you very much.

      I'll be bringing a nice '91 Opus 1 if I'm paying that much anyhow. Bubbles must suck in zero g. You could get a red to breath nicely as a floating sphere of liquid.

    • by RichiH (749257)

      > Wouldn't this accomplish the same thing without all the expense of creating and testing new beers in a zero G environment?

      No idea, you would need to test it...

      But it would still taste like a hand full of mud ;)

  • by MachDelta (704883) on Friday March 04, 2011 @03:51PM (#35383110)

    Oh sure, invent space beer AFTER the last shuttle has launched. Way to fuck up the order of operations on that one guys!

    (tongue firmly in cheek)

    • by Vrtigo1 (1303147)
      I thought it was just the last flight for Discovery? Isn't Atlantis supposed to be up next, assuming the government actually gives NASA money for it?
    • There are one or two flights left (the second one may or may not be funded but was mandated by Congress)
  • by bareman (60518) on Friday March 04, 2011 @03:51PM (#35383112) Homepage Journal

    Beer (& Whiskey) open the way for civilization!

    There was a recent discovery channel program called "How Beer Saved the World" and in Life on the Mississippi Mark Twain wrote

    "How solemn and beautiful is the thought that the earliest pioneer of civilization, the van-leader of civilization, is never the steamboat, never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the Sabbath-school, never the missionary -- but always whiskey! Such is the case. Look history over; you will see. The missionary comes after the whiskey -- I mean he arrives after the whiskey has arrived; next comes the poor immigrant, with ax and hoe and rifle; next, the trader; next, the miscellaneous rush; next, the gambler, the desperado, the highwayman, and all their kindred in sin of both sexes; and next, the smart chap who has bought up an old grant that covers all the land; this brings the lawyer tribe; the vigilance committee brings the undertaker. All these interests bring the newspaper; the newspaper starts up politics and a railroad; all hands turn to and build a church and a jail -- and behold! civilization is established forever in the land. But whiskey, you see, was the van-leader in this beneficent work. It always is. It was like a foreigner -- and excusable in a foreigner -- to be ignorant of this great truth, and wander off into astronomy to borrow a symbol. But if he had been conversant with the facts, he would have said: Westward the Jug of Empire takes its way. "

    • Exactly. Without alcohol, exploration and colonization won't get far. Now that we can have beer, wine, and liquor in space, let the exploration begin.
  • If you stick to drinking Space beer Hangovers - headaches will be in the past The Sci-Fi-booze makes you healthy and wise Your dick and brain will grow in size If you're bald, it'll make your hair grow If you're not, drink it for fun Your liver wants more and more of it It keeps your stomach strong and fit We love it - a beermaniac Utopia We want it - oktobertest comucopia (Taken from "Space Beer")
  • Most stupid thing ever. Astronauts are doomed to drink their own recycled pee since the payload to carry a twelve-pack of beer is too high. So, there is no use for beer in space and the cost to send beer in space is way too high to justify it. However, it is a good marketing campaign idea.
    • There is, however, the hope for space homebrew made from recycled pee.
      • As long as you can make it instantaneously. Otherwise, putting aside you "water reserve" for fermentation for weeks may not be advisable.
        • You gotta do what you gotta do.

          One glass of water continually recycled would be enough to keep a person going while the beer brewed.

          Besides they also get 'new' water from fuel cells. So you just use all the water for the beer, then waste energy when you are thirsty.

        • There are 100's of gallons of water available. In addition, when and if we go to Mars or the Moon, there will be a need for a significant amount of radiation shielding, which will likely be made, in large part, of water.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      In a recent blind taste tests, astronauts were unable to distinguish between their own recycled pee and American beer...
  • Thank goodness Yahoo Serious wasn't involved. "Young Einstein" was bad enough for the image of Australian beer culture, an aftertaste that lasts a lifetime.
    • But imagine if we could split a beer atom. In space this could be used for propulsion. Maybe this is exactly what we need to get to Mars!
  • I remember back in the mid-80's, Pepsi and Coke sent soda into space and the astronauts drank it. I even have one of the replica Pepsi space cans somewhere. I never heard or read anything about them having "wet burp" issues, and soda is far more carbonated than beer. I tried to find info on whether or not bad things happened when the astronauts drank the sodas, but couldn't. Anyone have info on this?

  • "They added choice ingredients to brew a little brew, [tomsmithonline.com]
    But they didn't know the wires were crossed in Chamber Number Two.
    A tiny bit of space got folded, things were looking queer --
    They turned the spout and then came out the world's first Hyper-Beer."
  • I'm anticipating the anti-gravity bong. Beer makes me feel crappy enough as it is.
  • They invented flat beer?
  • The correct answer to this problem is to drink mead instead of beer. Mead doesn't need to be carbonated at all to provide its vaguely beer-like flavor. Also, while it's brewed like beer (no distillation) it is much higher in alcohol, so you needn't carry as much of it on your launch vehicle.

    Plus I've always wanted to know what Space-Berserkers would be like.
  • ...on the "dreaded microgravity wet burp"?
    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      ...on the "dreaded microgravity wet burp"?

      This [nasa.gov] is the closest I could find. The article is from 2001 and your particular query is only covered in the last paragraph, but the whole article is kind of interesting.

  • Let's make a rule before the lawyers get involved. Any disputes about damages due to intoxication must be taken outside and settled with fisticuffs!

    Remember, friends don't let friends dock drunk.
  • by 517714 (762276) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:37PM (#35385402)
    In space they can't hear you burp.
  • In-flight testing for this beer must have been quite a thing I guess :)

  • I knew that this had to come up sooner or later. Once the private space industry gets going into full swing then we can all look forward to the obvious TV show to come. (Que the stupid microphone effects) "Red Necks in Space!"

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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