11-year-old designs NASA space brewery

8th October, 2013 by Rupert Millar

An 11-year-old schoolboy in the US has won a NASA competition to design an experiment to be conducted in space – on how microgravity affects brewing beer.

article-2449203-18987B8800000578-308_634x422Michal Bodzianowski (pictured), a student at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School and Academy in Douglas County, Colorado, came up with the idea when he thought of how future intergalactic colonists might produce drinking water and provide basic antiseptics in the event of an accident which deprived them of these facilities.

Entitled, “What Are the Effects of Creation of Beer in Microgravity and Is It Possible?” Bodzianowski’s project was selected by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and will be on its way into orbit this December.

The competition is part of the Student Space Flight Experiments Programme which was launched in 2010 and has so far seen 17,500 students take part in what is known as “real-life science”.

The competition is designed to inspire an interest in STEM careers.

Bodzianowski told US media he got the idea after reading a history book called “Gruesome Facts”, which explained the importance of beer in the Middle Ages.

“It was a punishment for crimes, that you couldn’t drink beer,” he said, “and most people didn’t survive (that) because the water was contaminated.”

He reasoned therefore that beer is, “an important factor in future civilization as an emergency backup hydration and medical source.The fermentation process could be used to make beer, which can then be used as a disinfectant and a clean drinking source.”

STS-134_International_Space_Station_after_undocking

The International Space Station – the new frontier in craft brewing?

Bodzianowski and fellow sixth and eighth-graders worked on the project while the school raised the US$21,500 needed to cover the costs for NanoRacks, the commercial firm that flies these scientific programmes up to the International Space Station, where it operates two small laboratories.

The experiment consists of a six-inch long silicon test tube filled with hops, malted barley, yeast and water which have been separated with clasps.

In orbit the astronauts will remove the clasps, shake the ingredients together and monitor the test tube for signs of fermentation.

“We’re just trying to get the yeast to react with the ingredients of beer,” explained Bodzianowski. “If it doesn’t react at all, this tells you it won’t work.”

The craft beer programme director for the Brewers Association in Boulder, Julia Herz, expressed an interest in the project, telling the Denver Post: “The history of beer goes back thousands and thousands of years.

“Why not expand beer to another element of our universe — space?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Manager – Midlands and South West

Pol Roger Portfolio
Midlands and South West

UK Brand Ambassador - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Grocery (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Wholesale RTM (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Digital Marketing Manager

Master of Malt
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Experienced On Trade Sales Person

Borough Wine Imports
London, GB

3 x Business Development Executive

The Lakes Distillery Company Limited
Newcastle head office and nationwide, UK

Editor

Master of Malt Ltd
Tunbridge Wells(Kent)

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Experienced On-Trade Salespeople Required

Portal Wines and Spirits
London, UK

Purchasing and Sales (Wine Trader)

JF Tobias
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 17th April 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th April 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more