Do you know how many bubbles a beer has?
To know how many bubbles a beer has in a glass, a study revealed key facts and we summarized it for you.
According to a study published in the journal Sciences et Avenir, it is estimated that there are between 200,000 and 1.5 million bubbles in a glass of beer. These are released in a 250 ml glass. The bubbles are formed by tiny fragments in the walls of the glass.
Gérard Liger-Belair and Clara Cilindre, physicists at Reims-Champagne-Ardenne University, are responsible for the first detailed study of bubbles in a beer.
“A lot of research has been done on foam, a mixture of air bubbles and carbon dioxide, but almost nothing on bubble formation. So there was a whole scientific field to clear,” says Gérard Liger-Belair, who has been doing studies with wines and effervescents for almost 20 years.
To carry out the study, the two physicists relied on the most commercially available beers, i.e. those with low fermentation. These have a taste of hops and malt whose alcohol content is relatively limited between 4º and 5º.
Several quantities were measured, such as the density and viscosity of the beverage, but above all the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide (with chemical techniques using enzymes), which amounts to 5.19 grams per liter.
It should be noted that the formation of bubbles in a beer will also depend on the temperature, the shape of the glass, the amount of liquid or the ambient pressure. For example, “100 ml of champagne poured directly into the center of a vertically oriented flute will contain approximately one million bubbles. But champagne served more gently, poured along the wall of an inclined flute (a technique that better preserves dissolved CO2), will give tens of thousands more bubbles,” says Gérard Liger-Belair, lead author of the study.
The greater the anfractuosities in the glass, the more bubbles will be produced in beer compared to champagne.
Using a high-speed camera (high-speed photography), they observed how the bubbles grow and transport the dissolved gases to the surface, until there is no dissolved gas left in the beer. The result: between 200,000 and 2 million bubbles are released before half a pint of beer (25 cl) is completely “emptied” of its gas. Admittedly, this is not a very accurate estimate, but it is more reliable than counting the bubbles one by one.
Note that this estimate does not apply to champagne. Surprisingly, glass defects affect the two beverages differently, with more bubbles forming in beer when the indentations in the glass are larger, the researchers note, perhaps explaining why beer is often served in pitchers.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.
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