Season’s Eatings: The science behind seasonal cravings

Ever done a happy dance in front of a shelf of Oktoberfest or crate of Honeycrisp apples in fall? Or sighed with glee as you’ve sunk your teeth into fresh, buttery corn on the cob in the summer? We’ve talked to a few Midwest food scientists to get to the bottom of what’s behind our … [ Read more]

Capturing the science (and magic) of Pixar at Science Museum of Minnesota

Remember the first time you watched Buzz Lightyear fly “to infinity, and beyond?” How about the feeling you got when Dory told Nemo, “Just keep swimming?” Or how your jaw dropped when Lightning McQueen came speeding across your screen? This summer, you can get a glimpse into the science, engineering, filmmaking, and imagination it took … [ Read more]

New species of cold-tolerant yeast could yield better lager

Yeast—it ferments our beer, leavens our bread, and is found virtually everywhere on earth. But despite the many thousands of yeast strains catalogued in collections around the world, it’s estimated that we’ve only identified perhaps as little as 10 percent of what exists in nature. Thanks to a group of researchers at the University of Manchester, … [ Read more]

Study: The music you’re listening to impacts how your beer tastes

A Belgian researcher has found that people’s perception of the beer they’re drinking can be influenced by the music they’re listening to, according to a story in the Daily Mail. Or, as Dr. Felipe Carvalho of Vrije Universiteit Brussel puts it in much more science-y terms, “For the first time we have demonstrated that it is … [ Read more]

How yeast works: A layperson’s guide to saccharomyces

Barley, wheat, rye, hop cones, and hop pellets all have immediately tangible, readily identifiable qualities. You can inspect a jar of these raw materials on a brewery tour and instantly get a good idea of what and how they contribute to your beer. Yeast, on the other hand, is mysterious and intangible. While the brewer … [ Read more]

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The mystery of the puffin has finally been solved

For years, puffins have eluded scientists’ attempts to discover the oddly lovable birds’ wintering grounds. Now, their cold-weather lair has been discovered. Researchers with the National Audubon Society say that information from 19 locators show Maine’s Atlantic puffins spend the majority of winter about 200 miles southeast of Cape Cod, well offshore from New York and New … [ Read more]

Why everything tastes different on an airplane

Did you know that an airplane cabin is actually drier than some deserts? In some cases, humidity can measure in at less than 12%, reports Travel + Leisure. It should come as no surprise, then, that in an environment like this, your taste and smell start to drift. Scent starts to deteriorate the minute you step … [ Read more]

Scientists squeezing more out of wine industry’s used grapes

Last year, the global wine industry produced over 7.4 billion gallons of wine. In making that staggering amount of vino, wineries produced nearly 5 million tons of grape pomace—the leftover skins, seeds, and stems from the pressing process. While distilleries have made grappa from the grape pomace for years, Italian scientists have searched for a way to … [ Read more]

Beer in Space — Thanks to an Ambitious Colorado 6th Grader

By Joseph Alton, @JoeAlton Michal Bodzianowski may be too young to enjoy a pint of beer, but he’s old enough to understand its contribution to science. The eleven-year-old sees beer  as “an important factor in future civilization as an emergency backup hydration and medical source” for astronauts who may need antiseptics and an alternative source of potable water. Now … [ Read more]