While some home brewers may appreciate the more detailed breakdown of the various ingredients and each stage of the brewing process in the article by Dr. Bamforth, “Progress in Brewing Science and Beer Production,” I enjoyed the opening section on the history of brewing:
“Despite the enormous depths of understanding of the brewing process, it is nevertheless a fact that the fundamental shape of the brewing process has not changed in millennia. Were one to be time-transported to the Middle Ages, one would find fundamentally the same unit operations that continue to be employed in the brewing of beer.”
I’m always delighted to read the autobiographies, or watch the video interviews, especially when the subject turns out to be a wonderful storyteller. I really enjoyed “A Conversation with John McKetta” by Thomas Truskett. The questions were interesting and the answers revealed a few of McKetta’s extraordinary experiences:
“I looked forward to the time when I could work in the mine because they paid you $0.25 for every ton that you brought to the surface. And I did this after I graduated from high school. I just couldn’t wait until the day that I could go into the mines…until I went that first day, and then I hated it. I never liked it all. What happened was, our mine was 100 and some feet deep—that’s kind of shallow. And the first day that we were in the mines, the couple working right next to us were under a fall. There was a rock fall over their heads. And it took us a couple of days to scrape away the dirt and get them out as well as we could. And of course, they were dead the minute the rock hit them. So I just hated it.”
I’ve been hearing about the possibility of making oil from algae since childhood when my grandfather mentioned it as we were fishing at a local pond with some spectacular algae infestations. I found the note in the abstract of “Algae to Economically Viable Low-Carbon-Footprint Oil” by Bhujade, Chidambaram, Kumar & Sapre about the historically cyclical research really interesting:
“Whenever crude prices declined, research on algae stopped. The scenario today is different. Even given low and volatile crude prices ($30–$50/barrel), interest in algae continues all over the world. Algae, with their cure-all characteristics, have the potential to provide sustainable solutions to problems in the energy-food-climate nexus. However, after years of effort, there are no signs of algae-to-biofuel technology being commercialized.”
Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.