Despite the claims from fool-hearted teetotalers who state that beer is no good for you and that it is even worse for you when consumed in the cold, comes proof that beer really can keep you warm on a ridiculously cold day.
Well by-products of the brewing process can that is and when combined with the ingredients to make bricks. But hey, as far as I’m concerned that’s another win for beer. More proof that it is the single greatest gift to mankind sent down from the heavens.
According to a study printed recently in the American Society Of Civil Engineers, bricks made with just 5% spent grain were nearly 30% better insulators then regular bricks.
Via New Scientist:
Bricks are often impregnated with polystyrene as a way to enhance their heat-trapping abilities. This is appealing, because the bricks remain strong, and they can be built into energy-efficient buildings, says Eduardo Ferraz of the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar in Portugal. However, EU restrictions on carbon emissions have made it expensive to incorporate polystyrene and other synthetic materials into bricks.
Ferraz and his colleagues have now shown that brewery grains can be mixed into clay bricks to enhance their ability to trap heat, without compromising strength.
Spent grain for the process should be easily available, because commercial breweries produce huge quantities of it as a pulpy mixture that is usually used in animal feed or ends up in landfill.
With a clay paste containing 5 per cent spent grains, the team was able to create bricks just as strong as the conventional type, while reducing the amount of heat they lost by 28 per cent (Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, doi.org/p6k). The reason for this, the team says, is that the grains make the bricks more porous, and so they trap more air, which increases heat retention.
Beer truly is the building blocks of a better world!