July 10, 2007

Hops and Beer Have Real Chemistry

We have spent many a sleepless night wondering what gives beer its delicious odor. Maybe you haven't, but that's just because you're not as dedicated to drinking as we are...slacker. Anyway, scientists have apparently isolated individual chemicals that give hops their hoppiness, which could be a technological breakthrough for flavoring beers...and allow us to sleep at night.

To identify more chemicals that give hops a spicy character, the chemists hooked two people up to a machine called a gas chromatograph. That machine would separate out every single chemical in an essential oil extracted from high quality hops -- allowing the evaluators to smell each chemical one by one. That’s right, they lean over a tabletop machine while it delivers odors directly to their nose through a long, straight tube. The same technique, gas chromatography-olfactometry, has been used to study the aroma of wine, coffee, and even manure.
from Wired News

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at July 10, 2007 4:51 PM
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