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Old 05-21-2009, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default Grade School Science Fair

Hypothetical.

Your child is in need of a Science Fair project and turns to you for assistance. The school will provide any needed technical equipment provided it exists on their campus.

Alcohol production is strictly prohibited!




So, what aspect of brewing do you and your child examine in depth and build your project around?

I am thinking of Lactic Acid bacteria sudy or more obviously yeast reproduction but, the latter teeters on the brink of alcohol production.


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Old 05-21-2009, 07:28 AM   #2
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Isomerization of alpha acids.

Or

CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 (everyone sniffs and burns their nostrils)

Or

Saccrification



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Old 05-21-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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Malting...
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Mashing....the conversion of grain starch to sugars.....
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Mashing....the conversion of grain starch to sugars.....
Has enzymes and everything!
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Mashing....the conversion of grain starch to sugars.....
Take that a step further to mashing as a means to produce alternative fuels
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:57 PM   #7
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Various steps of yeast culturing.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Mashing....the conversion of grain starch to sugars.....
Had thought of that too but, photographic or visual supports are always nice.

Are enzymes even visible via optical microscopy? Like with yeast cells or bacterium.

Would be interesting to "watch" an enzyme cleave starch chains but I figured an electron scope is needed for that.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:08 PM   #9
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What grade is your kid in? That makes a difference.

I think yeast propagation and cell growth have infinite possibilities, especially exponential cell growth where yeast can increase a thousand-fold (3 log) in 24 hours.

Production of biofuels would be pretty cool, too.

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Had thought of that too but, photographic or visual supports are always nice.

Are enzymes even visible via optical microscopy? Like with yeast cells or bacterium.

Would be interesting to "watch" an enzyme cleave starch chains but I figured an electron scope is needed for that.
You would need an electron microscope. Just to see starch granules, you need 800 to 1000X and the starch needs to be stained with iodine.

I think a simple mash would be cool. Just converting starches to sugars via enzymes and verification by iodine testing.

Fermentation would be good too. Yeah, it's producing alcohol, but adding some yeast to a few mL of wort shouldn't be a big deal. You could just focus on bio-fuels or something instead of beer. I've tried to watch fermentation under a microscope. At work we have a decent microscope with micrograph capabilities (still photographs and movies). It wasn't very exciting. It was more exciting watching the contaminating rods of lactobacillus bouncing around! That was at 1000X.


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