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Cheers From Moon? Students Experiment On How To Brew Beer On Lunar Surface

First Posted: Jan 23, 2017 04:10 AM EST
Moon
The students do not focus on brewing beer alone; future experiments will be conducted on different products.
(Photo : Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

A team of engineering students at the University of California, San Diego, is experimenting on how to brew the first ever beer on the Moon. However, pharmaceuticals' priority does not focus on beer alone.

The UC San Diego team admits that this idea started as a bit of a joke. But there are a couple of reasons behind it. Of such is the fermentation of yeast, which is the key role of the brewing and can be carried out on the Moon. The team is looking for the possibility of making lunar bread and pharmaceuticals, according to News Atlas.

The experimental apparatus is more or less about a size of a soda can. Thus, the laws governing the unmanned probes mean that the experiment should be done very carefully to avoid biological contamination of the landing area.

As follows, the experiment will not start from scratch on the lunar surface. The unfermented beer or wort will already be processed here on Earth. The starting of the fermentation will simply be bringing the wort and yeast together and let nature take its course.

The UC San Diego reported that a fourth year nanoengineering major and the lead for the mechanical team, Srivaths Kaylan, said that, "Our canister is designed based on actual fermenters. It contains three compartments - the top will be filled with the unfermented beer, and the second will contain the yeast. When the rover lands on the Moon with our experiment, a valve will open between the two compartments, allowing the two to mix. When the yeast has done its job, a second valve opens and the yeast sink to the bottom and separate from the now fermented beer."

However, the Moon product would not be tasted by anyone. The emphasis on fizz may seem a bit abstruse, but it is needed because the traditional way of testing the fermentation of the yeast is by measuring the density that depends on gravity. The team decided for a measuring pressure alternative because the Moon has only sixth of Earth's gravity.

In line with this, a fifth year bioengineering undergraduate, Han Ling, said that, "Converting the pressure buildup to fermentation progress is straightforward, as long as volume and original gravity - specific gravity before fermentation, hence our name - are known prior to the experiment."

Meanwhile, in March, the experiment's final prototype is scheduled for an evaluation by an international jury in Bangalore, India.

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