Big NASA nerd - usually have NASA TV streaming on my desktop all day at work. One of the most fascinating things are some of the experiments run in space.
Being a bunch of engineers and tinker-ers, I thought it would be fun to start a discussion on making beer in space...and who better to have that fun mental exercise than with the Rocket Surgeons on the DIY forum.
So here's my idea -
Space, mass, and interaction would need to be carefully considered. And NASA's not gonna let you mash or boil in the lab on the ISS. So i think this would be more of a fermentation experiment than anything else.
We could package sterile wort, in a light proof vessel (dont want skunked space beer) that would also serve as it's fermentation vessel. Yeast could then be added on orbit, and fermentation could begin.
What do you do about all the CO2? Had a chemist brew buddy estimate that a 5 gallon batch of 5% beer will put off around 100 Gallons of CO2 at 1 atmosphere. That would cause a big problem on orbit.
What do you think would happen to the fermentation process in zero G? there is no "top" or "bottom" for ale or lager yeast to be on.
What recipe would be best to determine the effects of 0 G on fermentation, and what yeast would you want to use.
Given the time it takes for interstellar travel, i think that we need to know how to make beer in space. It might be vital to our survival as a human race
So have fun at it!