01 Jun 2009 @ 9:22 AM 

If the Pilgrims had just a coffee maker, Plymouth Rock might be somewhere entirely different.

Behold How to Brew Beer in a Coffee Maker Using Only Materials Commonly Found on a Modestly Sized Oceanographic Research Vessel.

The blog (Southern Fried Science) is worth reading, just for the point-counterpoint “Sharks are Sub Par at Best” and “Deep Sea is Sub Par at Best” discussions, but the post I linked to up there is truly inspired. There was an article to this effect in All About Beer back in 2002, but it doesn’t have the same panache that these guys have. That is at least partially due to the fact that the AAB article actually suggests using real brewing ingredients.

Here’s a quick list of the materials presented by Southern Fried Science:

  • electric drip coffee maker with hot plate
  • a coffee filter
  • 2 1-liter sample jars
  • 2 handkerchiefs
  • 2 rubber bands
  • clean water
  • baker’s yeast

They suggest some sort of cereal to act as grain (I would suggest the Grape Nuts as it’s actually barley-based, but it didn’t come up in their post), Vegemite or Marmite to add a “malt” flavor, and “alfalfa or some other green roughage” to stand in the place of hops. I’ll let you read through the methods yourself, but the result is important:


A cool, smooth brew, flavored with whatever you found. It may be very bad, it may be good. It will be beer.

I’m half tempted to try this out, myself, just to see what it tastes like. This just goes to show that science is at its best when paired with creativity. After all, that’s how we get the best beer (and… apparently, this stuff).

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 01 Jun 2009 @ 09:22 AM

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Categories: blog


Responses to this post » (5 Total)

  1. […] more here: Top Fermented: Necessity is the mother of invention: Brewing beer in a coffee maker Share and […]

  2. Sean Coates says:

    I don’t see how this could actually make anything resembling beer (-:

    1) there’s no starch conversion from grain to sugar (no enzymatic reaction you’d normally see during the mash, unless the cereal has somehow already been converted)

    2) no hops = no beer

    You might get something that is slightly alcoholic, but it will be more like distilled whisky than beer.

    Doesn’t sound very good at all (-:


  3. Sean Coates says:

    *undistilled whisky. Oops.

  4. erik says:

    Gruit doesn’t have hops that’s still beer. Hell… hops are really a (lovely) recent addition in the history of beer.

    I’ve actually seen recipes that call for Grape Nuts. (BYO) It is really just cooked barley, though, yes, totally lacking any sort of enzyme for starch conversion.

    I suspect that a lot, if not all, of the fermentables that they’re getting in their beer is coming from sweetener and/or fruit that’s been added to the cereals in question, as well as any malted milk-stuffs and Vegemite they’d be adding.

    I do agree that this would probably taste like a big jar of ass, probably really cidery from fermentation of what amounts of a bunch of white sugar and high fructose corn syrup but you have to really admire the ingenuity, don’t you think?

  5. […] different. Behold How to Brew Beer in a Coffee Maker Using Only Materials. See original here:  Necessity is the mother of invention: Brewing beer in a coffee … Share and […]

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