UC San Diego students hope to brew beer on the moon

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 21:44:55-04

A group of UC San Diego students is taking their love for beer to a whole new level - outer space.

A year ago, the members of Team Original Gravity were strangers. Now, they're preparing to put their brewing device on a rocket headed to the moon. The undergraduates are all part of the Jacobs School of Engineering.

"We all love beer, we all love the craft behind it, in San Diego it's huge," said one of the team leaders, Neeki Ashari.

Over the past few months, they've tried and tested several devices. Now they have a prototype they're confident will work on the moon. The canister is roughly the size of a soda can and is able to ferment yeast and wort.

Srivaths Kalyan is the team's design lead, "The latch would open and the gravity will open the valve and all the liquid will flow out and mix with yeast."

Over the past few months, Kalyan says he's missed plenty of meals and sleep working on the design.

"A successful project is always fun and gives us a reason to celebrate, which is great. Hopefully, we'll have plenty of beer for it," said Kalyan.

The private company Synergy Moon is allowing the students to put their canister on its rocket launching in December.

Han Ling, the brewing lead, says the idea first started as a joke. However, they quickly realized it wasn't a bad idea at all.

"There's a lot of people studying yeast in space," said Ling.

Not only would they be the first to brew beer on the moon, the students will learn more about how yeast reacts in space.

"Yeast is one of the most prevalent microorganisms around, it's in our food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, so it can have many applications far beyond brewing," said Ashari. "Earth has an expiration date and so does everyone in it. I think it's important we start to think about other alternatives and resources to sustain life outside of earth."

The group says they wouldn't be able to do this without the support of Synergy Moon and their sponsors: Qualcomm Institute, Xometry and Omega Labs.

They are still looking to name the beer, if you have any ideas you can reach out to Team Original Gravity on Facebook.