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Old 02-24-2011, 06:55 AM   #11
Feb 2011
Miami, Florida
Posts: 868
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Hey, if they don't let you make beer, you can always try moonshine...! (Sorry, couldn't help it)

Seriously though, I'd think you can do a less controversial (and faster, more engaging) fermentation experiment by baking bread, than making beer. You can literally have the whole process down in less than an hour, and if you use one of those small toaster ovens, you can even show the fermentation in real time...

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Old 02-24-2011, 07:58 AM   #12
Sep 2009
Papamoa, New Zealand
Posts: 3,792
Liked 323 Times on 257 Posts

Little bit off topic but for a physics project at high school I once "investigated" the priciples behind why it is harder to skull a beer from a bottle compare with a funnel. Did time trials and conducted experiments into the amount of vacuum created inside a beer bottle if you try drink it without letting air back in. Some of it was done on school ground (but had to use water instead, but still was funny when some teachers walked past that had no idea what we were doing standing in the middle of a classroom drinking from a beer bottle with hoses hooked up to it!)
Good times....

Oh and I think I actually got pretty good marks for it, I think its all in how you present it!

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Old 02-24-2011, 08:28 AM   #13
Mar 2010
Tucson, AZ
Posts: 387
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You could show the process of alpha and beta amalyse breaking down starches into sugars. You could make the equivalent of the mexican drink "malto goya" which is pretty much unfermented beer. The kids could then drink the nice sweet wort which used to be simple grains. If you had a kegging system you could even carbonate it like a soda I imagine. No use mention of alcohol whatsoever and the kids get to learn.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:14 PM   #14
Jan 2011
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 119
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I would think with zero tolerance policies schools have nowadays, any mention of beer, wine, barley, hops, grapes/fruit would be pretty suspect. That's why I suggested the biofuels angle. It's all the same process.

Bread would be a good way to go too. Keep it simple with leavened bread versus unleavened.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:29 PM   #15
Aug 2007
Southern Maine
Posts: 3,942
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How about some other fermented food product...cheese, yogurt, sausages, etc?

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:34 PM   #16
nos33's Avatar
Dec 2010
Orem, Utah
Posts: 208
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My daughter just did her science fair project last month. I educated her on the uses of yeast and how you can use yeast to carbonate beverages. We ended up making home made root beer (extract type) and took pictures during the whole process. She got an A!

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #17
febbrewro's Avatar
Nov 2009
Royal Oak, MI
Posts: 136
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We made moonshine in my 10th grade science class, but that was 13 years ago, we're talking about 5th grade here, and from what I've heard times have changed with regards to what they can do in school now.
Boiler Room Brewing Co.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:40 PM   #18
Half-fast Prattlarian
GilaMinumBeer's Avatar
Jan 2008
Posts: 59,800
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Keep it about yeast reproduction/budding or about yeast metabolic pathways and you'll be fine.

Borrow a microscope from the school and get a hemocytometer and some methylene blue for cell counting and a way to show the kiddos what the cell looks like. If you can secure a digital microscope with a CCD and have her video the budding process that would be cool too.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:05 PM   #19
I may be drunk, but I'm not sure.
Sep 2010
South Elgin, IL
Posts: 736
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Originally Posted by grinder143 View Post
My daughter has a mandatory science fair project. So in my infinite wisdom decided lets make beer and show the fermintation process. what do you think the school will say.
I think the school would say - "Why are you asking? It is your daughter's project." At least that is the response you would get from the school my wife works at.

When your daughter asks her teacher, the answer would probably say "no" as I would imagine it would be illegal for your 5th grade daughter to be in possession of beer.

Many of the other ideas presented sound good, and next year my son may use some of them for his science fair project.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #20
gunner65's Avatar
Feb 2010
Lexington, KY
Posts: 843
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I would not see any issue....Oh wait my kids are in Catholic school
Single Vessel BIAB is all I need....Until we figure out the no vessel technique.

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