Love to grab a drink on a fun night out? Sure, you could get something great to drink during the weekends, at the game, or while you binge watch on a movie.
Or, when you’re making beer at home with the gang. Want to try something new and exciting?
Helium beer is one of those marvels that science has brought to us. It’s the perfect combination between the wonders of the universe (beer) and helium.
I guess many of you already saw the hype brought by helium beer a while ago. Thousands looked forward to being able to elevate both their happiness and the pitch of their voices with one drink.
Then, what we can only describe as a conspiracy decided to destroy people’s hopes. Claims started to appear, stating helium beer to be nothing but a hoax.
However, since truth can’t stay hidden for too long, you’ll learn the truth today: how to make your helium beer.
So, what exactly is helium beer?
It is a product that was launched by a US company between 2014-2015 and went viral on social networks. It became a prominent, fascinating, and mysterious product. It became an instant craze thanks to the virality of the internet.
This beer became famous after a series of videos that showed the changes that occurred when drinking the beverage. It involved catching the high-pitched voice that makes helium known by the masses.
The helium beer test showed that you could achieve that result by drinking. It aroused great curiosity, receiving thousands of visits from Internet users. It represented a revolution for the world of brewing: a unique beer that could achieve what nothing else could.
It was—finally—the beer we all needed: one that made your voice pitch higher.
How to Infuse Helium into Craft Beer?
Well, beer already has gas infused into it, doesn’t it? Remember: most industrial beer companies infuse carbon dioxide into beers.
As if that wasn’t enough, Guinness is a brand that’s known to use nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide.
Well, here’s a fun fact: nitrogen has a reasonably similar solubility level than that of helium. As such, if we used the same steps for infusing those gases into beer, helium beer is nothing but possible.
That’s what we’re doing. We’ll show you how’s the process to infuse helium into a beer. All we need to do is replace Nitrogen for Helium, and voilá!
Preparing The Barley.
Beer comes from crushed malted barley. People mix the grain with water. The water shouldn’t have any impurities on it; distilled water works best.
First, the water warms up, and the freshly ground barley goes into it. One must add it before mashing the mixture into a puree. This way is how you can extract the unique sugars for its preparation easily.
Then, workers separate the puree from the liquid in a container. The resulting liquid is called “sweet wort”. On the other hand, you must have a dark brown barley container previously toasted; this gives the beer a distinctive and rich flavor.
It should be heated to around 232 degrees Celsius to achieve a darker shade. Then the maker should combine it with the secret ingredient they prefer. An example could be hops, to give the drink an utterly original flavor.
These ingredients should boil for 90 minutes. After that, the components must remain still and cooling down.
But one ingredient is missing!
Man has used yeast for survival through time; by “survival” we mean making beer. The excellent ingredient captures the freshness of the elements already made and ensures the fermentation of craft beer. But wait!
One thing is necessary when developing this product. It must settle down and “ripen” to establish its particular flavor and consistency. Don’t rush it; slow and steady wins the race.
But (again) an innovative ingredient is still missing!
Adding The Helium… at last.
… It’s nothing but helium!
It’s first added to the bottle while packaging it. Then, professionals must test the beer’s physical properties. The small bubbles in helium beer fall downwards. After that, the foam topping forms.
The bubbles are easy to push around the beer. The natural release of carbon dioxide pushes the bubbles upwards. It’s especially true in a traditional pint glass.
Testing The Quality.
The beer reached its final form. It can be packed in a barrel, a can, or a bottle. Here, it must go through a series of tests. Said tests are carried out by a group of experts. If it meets the standards, they approve and guarantee the quality of the product.
The cfffreation process will vary somewhat depending on the volume of beer that gets produced. Gas cylinders or helium generators are your options for getting the helium for the craft beers.
Smaller Producers and Helium-Infused Beer.
Small producers tend to use a pressure tank to infuse helium into beer. For weights, a pressure of 7 psi above atmospheric pressure will allow 40 parts of helium per million to remain in that solution. It’s necessary for providing a good head and a creamy texture.
The tanks classified for this low pressure—in their majority—are considerably less expensive than the tanks with higher pressure levels.
Helium beer from a keg is best when served from a dedicated tap. These taps have a restrictor plate with small holes just before the faucet. It helps the helium bubbles to break out, and it ensures a substantial head and its particular texture.
Developments in technology concerning helium have opened many possibilities. It’s made it possible for all beer producers to take advantage of helium. Both small and large brewing houses can produce tastier and more visually appealing beers.
Helium or carbon dioxide can be used to provide beer freshness, but the two substances are very different. Both of them react with a beer under pressure. However, carbon dioxide is highly soluble in water-based liquids, while helium has a much lower solubility.
Tanks have some disadvantages when integrating the helium to beer. For large volumes, the brewers will need to use prominent stainless steel tank. Another problem is the low solubility of helium.
Where can you buy Helium beer?
We know that science evolves as time goes on. Not only that, but the recent discoveries come to light in a fast and impressive way. For that reason, it is not a surprise that there are helium beers in the market already.
However, the large corporations don’t want you knowing the mysterious ways of this elixir. For that reason, these two recognized brands today.
As of this article’s writing, these are the only known ways to buy helium beer. Use them wisely.
Stone Brewing’s Canned Helium Beer.
The Stone Stochasticity Project “Cr (He) am Ale with helium” has been in high demand. It has to thank its particular innovative ingredient. It’s available in 16-ounce cans at stores. You can also get a hold of them at different restaurants in town, as well as bars in select markets across the country.
This latest brewing experiment goes beyond what people can expect. Adding nitrogen widgets to beer cans is not something that has not been seen before, but the time has come to add a new ingredient to the brewing territory hitherto unimaginable.
That is why the Stone Stochasticity Project Cr (He) am Ale took the first step to welcome the world in a beautiful can of 16 ounces to helium.
After announcing the launch of his second project, Stone comes forward and gives us information about this new production, which is revolutionizing all over the world.
The result is a strange but pleasant sensation. Starting today, you can find this fantastic new beer in a bottle store or a pub near you. Watch the video on the Cr (He) am Ale Stochastic Stone Project website to discover what inspired this unique product.
HeliYum is what started the helium beer craze. It was more than a fad; it was an eye-opener for many. Samuel Adams created this beer infused with helium.
The release came with an article detailing the properties of the now-famous beer. The noble crusade to find perfection gave way to exploring the—-also noble—-gases.
The main advantage of HeliYum is its lighter composition. The unique refraction index from helium provides both unrivaled clarity and light feeling in your mouth.
Even better, helium is odorless. That may not sound like much, but it means that you’ll experience all the natural aromas from this beer. If that’s not enough, helium doesn’t oxidize. You can have HeliYum stored for longer than regular beers!
The beer not only became famous because of those properties. People who don’t care about beer culture still find this product surprising. Just a few sips are all you need to elevate the pitch of your voice.
It’s like breathing from a balloon, but it also refreshes you!
How To DIY Helium Beer?
Beer scientists have studied foam for decades. They’ve used a wide variety of techniques. They have searched for answers to the questions: What is beer foam? How can it be improved? Is there a magic key that promotes or destroys the foaming potential of beer?
In one study, a group of researchers proceeded as follows:
The scientists put beer in cylindrical vessels and passed helium bubbles through the beer to create foam. This foam was collected and dissolved in a mixture of beer and water. It re-formed, passing more bubbles through it.
One must keep in mind that specific components favor the formation of foam and others that inhibits it.
One of the most critical aspects of foam retention is the viscosity of the beer. The bubbles are maintained as long as there is liquid surrounding it. Thickness creates the right conditions for this. Otherwise, it would explode.
In a beer with high viscosity, the liquid between the bubbles drains slowly, so the foam lasts longer.
Aspects that favor the elaboration of this beer include:
- Make 100% malt beers (avoid rice, corn, sugar, etc. They are a good source of sugars but not proteins).
- Use the 4 main ingredients for making beer, such as 4-5% wheat malts,
- Do not exceed the 50 degrees mark for more than 20 minutes in the maceration stage.
- Carbonate correctly, at a slightly higher level (here. use helium).
- The glasses have to be scrupulously clean.
- Avoid chemical residues in any element of the equipment, bottles, glasses, etc.
- Use a generous addition of hops, especially those of bitterness. The iso alfacids from hops contribute to the formation of the lace.
- Do not exceed 75 minutes when boiling.
- Also, a proper elimination of hot turbines will favor the removal of acids that attack the foam.
Additional information so that the elaboration of your beer is not ruined:
- Avoid excessive use of attachments.
- Use little hops
- Oils and fats (oatmeal, chocolate, coffee, etc.). Avoid using these ingredients if you want a good foam.
- Soaps and detergents. They destroy the foam of the beer. The containers have to be completely clean.
- A low carbonated beer will not form foam.
We can directly use bottles, barrels or kegs. We can also make a helium scale in barrels, and then fill the containers through the backpressure filling. It allows us to fill bottles with beer. But initially, it is more complicated and requires much more equipment.
However, it is good that you know that there is such a possibility. You can find the padding and its instructions for use with the usual supplies.
Why is it really impossible?
Is helium beer only fiction? With a little science, we will solve what is behind the helium beer.
A Dream Begins.
In 2014, public relations team Samuel Adams of the Boston Beer Company published a video for April’s Fool. It announced the launch of HeliYum. It was supposed to be a radically new beer with an exciting quality.
It took advantage of the beautiful properties of helium. In that same year, experts started to hold numerous debates. The topic was one: was helium beer possible?
Around the same time, Stone Brewing published its advertisement for “Stochasticity Project Cr (He) am”, or “Ale with Helium”. The video caused a stir over the seriousness that was taking the matter concerning helium beer. It created widespread speculation and confusion.
The First Resistance.
Once the video of Alex and Ralf exploded, articles began to circulate. They kept discarding the idea of a helium infusion. The most prominent of these was published on CraftBeer.com, entitled The Hard Truth About Helium Beer.
The article clearly explains that it wasn’t possible. It’s because helium is not soluble in water, so adding it to beer would be impossible.
Stone Blankemeier Rick, explains the three reasons why helium beer is not scientifically possible. The reasons are:
- Water cannot dissolve helium. You cannot carbonate beer with helium as with carbon dioxide or nitrogen.
- Adding liquid helium would be impossible, as it turns from liquid to gas at -220 ° F. You would end up freezing your beer.
- Even if one could add helium to the beer in some way, it would cause jets of water. Again, it’s because the helium is not soluble in the beer.
A New Hope?
It turns out that no challenge can remain unsolved by a group of scientists. The team belonged to the Newscripts page of Chemical & Engineering News. Their plan was simple: demonstrating that the dream of helium beer was at hand, but how could a beer with helium infusion be created? It seemed scientifically impossible before!
The writers of C&EN explain in their article that there are beers that use nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide. He reasoned that—because the solubility levels of helium and nitrogen are relatively similar—a helium beer could be possible to create.
An interesting fact to add: the videos published about helium beer saw their airing on April 1st, 2014. April 1st is April’s Fool as mentioned above.
But No, It’s Not Real 🙂
At this point, we can see an undeniable fact: there are different verdicts for helium beer. Supporters rely on credible evidence to attract the attention of Internet users, but the reality is that all this is nothing more than a joke from April’s Fool.
The Snopes team checked the issue. They found a similar joke by Boston Beer. It even had its fake beer brand “HeliYUM”. Snopes concluded that helium beer is just a lot of hot air (pun unintended).
A final statement was released to close the issue. Rick Blankemeier said. “I suppose I could make a fortune if I could violate the laws of thermodynamics and physical chemistry to put helium in beer.“
In the end, the first countering statements were right. It’s technically possible to infuse helium into a beer, but making helium beer—as showcased—it’s not possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Helium Beer?
Helium beer is a concept that emerged from the combination of beer and helium. It gained popularity due to the idea that drinking it could elevate both the drinker’s happiness and the pitch of their voice.
How is Helium Infused into Beer?
The process of infusing helium into beer is similar to how nitrogen or carbon dioxide is infused into beer. The helium is added to the bottle while packaging it. The small bubbles in helium beer fall downwards, and then the natural release of carbon dioxide pushes the bubbles upwards, forming the foam topping.
What is the Origin of Helium Beer?
Helium beer was launched by a US company between 2014-2015 and went viral on social networks. It became famous after a series of videos that showed the changes that occurred when drinking the beverage, particularly the high-pitched voice that helium is known to cause.
Where Can You Buy Helium Beer?
As of the writing of the article, helium beer can be purchased from Stone Brewing’s Canned Helium Beer and HeliYum by Samuel Adams. These are the only known ways to buy helium beer.
Is it Possible to DIY Helium Beer?
While it is technically possible to infuse helium into a beer, making helium beer as showcased in popular videos is not possible due to the laws of thermodynamics and physical chemistry. The solubility levels of helium and nitrogen are relatively similar, but the process of creating a drinkable helium beer is not feasible.
Related: Puppers Beer
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy. I’ve been homebrewing for +20 yrs, an aspiring pro-brewer and micro brewery owner!