TV series:

  • Hinterland (loved seeing the Borth setting where we lived for a while)
  • True Detective
  • An Honourable Women

Podcasts:

  • Serial

Journalism:

  • Fivethirtyeight

Movie:

  • The Imitation Game
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Belle

Music:

  • Our Love by Caribou
  • Here and Nowhere Else by Cloud Nothings
  • Lost in the Dream by War on Drugs
  • In the Silence by Asgeir

Drink:

  • The Brother Imperial IPA by Fremont Brewing
  • Red Chair NWPA by Deschutes Brewery
  • Pow Town Porter by Townsite Brewing
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The sinking bubbles in Guinness and stouts in general have intrigued drinkers and scientists alike.  Research into this phenomena has been highlighted before on this blog (post linked here).  The latest research published in arxiv (academic paper linked here) demonstrates the importance of the shape of the glass in generating the fluid circulation necessary for the creation of the sinking bubbles.  Numerical simulations and experimentation show that the standard pint glass which has a narrower base cause the falling bubble effect whereas a glass that has a larger base does not i.e. results in rising bubbles.  Essentially the small (nitrogen, as opposed to carbon dioxide used in most beers) bubbles are being carried along by the local fluid motion in the glass and the shape of the glass influences the circulation of the beer as it is poured determining a sinking or rising bubble effect.  More explanation is provided in a BBC news article here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Enjoy your Guinness.

Stout is my favourite type of beer.  One of the things that are fascinating about stouts, such as Guinness, are the bubbles.  Firstly, beers are carbonated by carbon dioxide, but stouts use a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide – this makes a creamier as well as less acidic taste and for a longer lasting foam head.  Another thing is that the bubbles sink.  Here’s the science and mathematics of sinking bubbles in Guinness, with the academic paper here.

On tap the bubbles are created by forcing the beer at high pressure through tiny holes as it is dispensed, the turbulence does the rest.  This method obviously doesn’t work for canned beer and this is where the widget comes in.  Apparently recent research suggests that bubbles in stout can be nucleated without the widget by potentially coating part of the can’s interior with cellulose fibres.  Here’s the link to the research, with the submitted academic paper here.