Here’s a thing you probably didn’t know about exploding beer: When you uncap a bottle and it spews a totally unprovoked amount of its contents — an injustice known as “gushing” — that’s because a protein called hydrophobin that made the carbon-dioxide bubbles go wild. Luckily, the world’s coolest scientists have discovered that this problem can be remedied with a simple magnet.
A group of researchers explain the epiphany in a Journal of Food Engineering article titled “Effect of a Magnetic Field on Dispersion of a Hop Extract and the Influence on Gushing of Beer.”
Here’s what happens: Hops actually have another function besides giving IPAs their bite, which is to act as an anti-foaming agent that keeps a beer’s carbon dioxide more mild-mannered. Theoretically, the hoppier the brew, the less it foams, which is one reason breweries add extra hops. But the researchers wondered if a magnetic field — which can also help things like mayonnaise emulsify — might also make the hops already in there more effective. The results: By quickly passing bottles through the field, the charge splits hops apart, increasing their surface area so they can bind with more of those geyser-making proteins. Just one more step for all you home brewers out there.