Tag Archives: science


The complete genome for barley has been sequenced! This could have some very cool impacts on “cereal grains” at large which, of course, means some more interesting beer.

The article has more; check it out.

Also, I just want to let readers know that I’ll be out of town for the next few days, so there won’t be a Friday or Monday post. Everything should resume Wednesday and, if all goes well, I should have some cool beers from California to talk about soon after!

The Impact of Dry Hopping

I, like most other homebrewers, have been told that to make a good IPA and sometimes even a good pale ale, dry hopping is a necessary step because it offers the nose that the style is looking for. However, doing so just adds aroma, not bittering qualities so we didn’t have to worry about making the beer less palatable on the back end.

Or so we were told.

But Jeff Alworth differs on this and tells us why here. There’s science and everything!

Now, the impact of dry hopping in Jeff’s article applies a little more to commercial breweries but clearly has ramifications for homebrewers who are throwing as many hops as the wort can take. It also means that there’s a space for research into how dry hopping impacts a beer and what flavors may be produced that might be considered undesirable or even beneficial.

Sure, it leaves me with more questions than answers but at least these things are interesting!

The Biologist

There are a lot of reasons why I’m interested in the environment and protecting it. This bit from Guardians of the Galaxy probably sums it up best though:

Rocket Raccoon: Why would you want to save the galaxy?

Peter Quill: Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!

Which brings me to the history of this man, who spent a lifetime researching strains of barley , at first to help diversify the kinds of malt available to brewers but through his life to help diversify…well, everything.

It’s a pretty cool history and I hope the protection of the environment continues because…well, I’m one of the idiots who needs it.

Also, happy National Beer Day! Because why not?

I Close My Eyes And Walk (5)000 Years

If I get a chance to make a Soundgarden reference, I’m going to do that.

Students at Stanford University made a 5000 year old beer recipe.

In addition to being pretty cool, the article goes into why this kind of thing matters. Turns out, these are archeology students, not chemists!

Now, as a tiny beer geek note, I have to say that they couldn’t make the precise recipe, of course. If nothing else, the yeast from that era has evolved more times than I can calculate but even if somehow yeast didn’t evolve, the strains of barley, rice and millet have all changed too through farming techniques, climate, and other variables I’m sure I don’t have the expertise to take into account.

Still, this is neat!