A conundrum keeps cropping up on social media about when to drink beers, especially hoppy beers such as IPAs and DIPAs; whether it be just as it rolls off the canning line or 3 weeks later or even 6 weeks later. When is the beer perfectly balanced between bitterness and aroma? When will the yeast profile be perfectly melded with the hop profile?
Working with a local brewery, leading researchers at a university in Manchester have developed a printing solution that reacts with the isomerisation chemical reaction of hops to indicate the perfect timing to drink your beer. The label will be indicated for approximately 24-48 hours before clearing again and the beer will no longer be good enough for public consumption.
“By telling the consumer the perfect moment to open the beer, the drinker no longer needs to think or post their opinion of the chosen beer on social media. Everyone will be drinking exactly the same beer in exactly the same condition”
The label, currently only available for canned beers; is covered with a protective layer of which the thickness varies depending on the original bitterness of the beer (measured in IBU). When bitterness of the beer (IBU rating) and the concentration of hydrocarbon compounds in the beer are at the perfect ratio, the reaction takes place the layer is diminished and a reaction with the air develops the label ink. Due to the bitterness and aroma of a finished beer deteriorating at different rates this thickness must be carefully calculated as a 0.05 micron difference could alter the date and determine whether the drinker is trying to stomach an under-attenuated hop juice or a mouldy old IPA.
“Although in it’s early stages we are hoping that in the future our drinker’s will stop debating about when their beer is ready and concentrate on enjoying it”