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Beer Science

Condensation On Your Beer != Good 275

Posted by timothy
from the except-in-england dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Turns out that condensation on your favorite chilled beverage is a bad thing for keeping it cold. Two researchers conducted an experiment in their bathroom proving that condensation can raise the temperature of your beer by nine degrees!"
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Condensation On Your Beer != Good

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  • Doesn't matter (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:48AM (#43609127)

    My beer is never in the glass long enough to form condensation.

  • by invid (163714) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:55AM (#43609235) Homepage
    High school physics is now a surprise to people. I am sad.
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:55AM (#43609239)

    The condensation pays a latent heat penalty, warming the beer when the beer is super cold. But conversely the evaporation pays back the latent heat penalty at some higher temperature. Where the equilibrium point is I'm not sure.

    But there is an easy solution to this problem: mist the outside of your beer glass with cold water. This will tie up all the condensation nucleation sites without paying the latent heat penalty.

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:57AM (#43609267) Homepage Journal
    By the time there's any condensation, it should have been drank already!
  • by Doug Otto (2821601) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:04AM (#43609347)
    That advice works fine in England where room temperature is 55F but no so much in the desert where I live.
  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:06AM (#43609383) Homepage Journal

    They're drinking beer out of a can?? Well I guess that makes since. You have to keep the standard mainstream American beer very cold so you can't taste it.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:09AM (#43609417) Homepage
    this is simple highschool physics. the real problem we need to research and investigate is why do beer bottles unexpectedly and inappropriately become empty.
    I have, as a scientist, conducted extensive research myself and have to date been unable to conclude a definitive cause. I implore slashdotters, if you have any experience in this phenomenon or have experienced it personally, please adhere to your diligence as scientists and provide additional research data. bottles, glasses and even steins will exhibit this behavior, so please consider this in your testing protocol.
  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:14AM (#43609493) Homepage Journal

    Most beer shouldn't be ice cold to begin with. Good beer at least. I agree with your sentiments about the mass market fizzy piss they call beer though.

  • Re:As a Belgian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:15AM (#43609507)

    The reason for this is very simple.
    The brewer does not pay for the cooling, the bar or customer does. This means they can continue to use cracked rice, cracked corn, the lowest grade of barley known to man and hops extract. When you are making a billion gallons of brew you can make a lot of profit by using animal feed instead of proper ingredients.

    Then you simply advertise the hell out of serving this garbage as cold as possible, which covers up the taste.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:17AM (#43609537)

    1. Stella is overpriced crap, for the same money you could buy good beer.
    2. No one said warm, celler temp is what you want.

  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:34AM (#43609741) Homepage

    Mod parent up, it's not even surprising.

    If this is a new discovery for someone then it's really an indication of how bad education is in the western world.

  • Re:As a Belgian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @10:46AM (#43609895)

    Why not spending a couple of extra cents on quality ingredients to make a quality beer instead of blowing money on cooling?

    Because that wouldn't be the American Megacorporate Way. Why spend more on product quality, when you could spend half as much on ubiquitous ad campaigns to redefine the country's understanding of what "beer" even is?

    WRT beer, what is this American Megacorporation to which you refer? AB InBev? Grupo Modello? SABMiller? Molson Coors? (I guess that last one's half-American, but not really "mega" compared to the first two.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @11:27AM (#43610437)

    Lots of craft brewers are going to cans, at least here in Colorado.

    No. Not gonna work. If you want good, go for good. If you want something that's good for your camping trip, then don't pretend that would be the same a beer connoisseur would drink. I'm sure it's better than bud in a can, but for the good beer, there's europe. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @12:07PM (#43610869)
    I am curious why you feel glass bottles are superior to cans, because right now, you're coming across as an audiophile who ignores all evidence that their $1000 cable is no better than a coat hanger.
  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @02:01PM (#43612159)
    Even easier. If you don't drink BMC (Bud/Miller/Coors), there's no need to keep it so damn cold [slate.com] to kill the taste.
  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @02:11PM (#43612229)

    Because they aren't as expensive to make and reasonably easily replicated by someone else who will sell it cheaper?

    Take your $500 bottle of scotch. It's probably aged for 25 or 30 years. So if I decided to make a competitor it would take me 25 years from when I started to bring it to market. And on every one of those 25 years I'd have to decide "I won't sell it all this year and make some money to pay the bills, I'll instead age it some more".

    Though I suspect the real answer is that wine and whiskey snobbery are off the charts. A $500 bottle of wine is quite possibly nicer than a $25 bottle of wine - it's not $475 nicer though. Wine just happens to be a luxury good that people use to show off wealth and hence the wealthy will spend a lot of money on it just so that everyone knows they have a lot of money. Beer doesn't have that status and hence people won't pay such ridiculous sums for it.

    That doesn't mean that "premium" beer isn't much better than "non-premium" beer. In fact it's a great thing for people who happen to like "premium" beers.

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @04:01PM (#43613483) Homepage Journal

    Expensive wine takes ages to age, and it's rare. It's not necessarily fantastic compared to more reasonably priced wine. Same with whisky. Beer? Yeah, I suppose you could hand-select your grains and hops, and use your private limited supply well water ... but, as you say, water chemistry for brewing is pretty straight forward science (and common knowledge even among homebrewers, so I suppose there's nerd spooge in your average craft beer as well), so it's not like you can't get identical but more consistent results with reverse osmosis and a handful of mineral salts.

    The reason why beer snobs dislike your Bud is because it doesn't taste much like all. It's designed primarily to be inoffensive. You might as well ask why music snobs prefer Arnold Schönberg to Justin Timberlake, when the latter has had contributions from market research and advanced statistics to make music that's perfectly acceptable to a much larger share of the market.

    Of course, you're also full of shit when talking about craft brewers. Hardly any of them know anything about the soil their hops come from (they source them from the same farms that grow for the macros), and if you hear much hippie bullshit, you're most likely talking to their PR guy. Brewing is geeky stuff, the big guys just have bigger toys.

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