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Researchers Solve Age-Old Problem of Beer Foam With Science and Magnets

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Your bottled beer may never overflow again.


This Fall, a group of Belgian scientists put all of their brain power and research dollars into a study meant to solve a problem near and dear to their hearts: Unwanted beer foam. According to the Atlantic, the researchers used magnets to stop "freshly opened, unshaken bottles of beer" from overflowing. Beer contains a protein called hydrophobins which creates a "fungus that infects malt grains during the brewing process." This causes carbon-dioxides molecules from within the drink to surface. Too many of these carbon-dioxide molecules "at the beer's neck" causes the beer to gush and run over when the bottle is opened.

To fight this, the scientists from the Centre for Food and Microbial Technology in Belgium decided to run batches of beer through a glass tube that had "a magnet wrapped around it." The result? When beer was passed through a magnetic field "the hops broke apart and spread throughout the beverage, effectively increasing their surface area," which in turn lead to more hydrophobins binding with "tiny antifoaming particles."

Best of all, not only did the magnetized beer produce less foam, but it only took a few minutes to achieve the results, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Food Engineering. Will magnetized beer soon be the brew of choice at restaurants across the country?

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