A brewing puzzle
Warning: this post is not about programming. Andy suggested I should sneak some homebrewing material onto my blog, and I thought hmm, why not? If you violently object, let me know in the comments and I won't do it again :-)
Yesterday I brewed a traditional German hefeweizen, which was the first time I tried a decoction mash. This got me thinking about how incredibly accurate traditional brewers managed to be, long before the arrival of chemistry, biology, or scientific measuring tools. This particular trick might be obvious to people with a stronger background in physics, but I thought it was pretty amazing. So, a puzzle...
Hans is a 17th century German brewer. He wants to attract a loyal customer base who will seek out his beer in preference to that of competitors. To achieve this, he must:
- Make beer that people like to drink
- Make it the same way every time, so customers come to trust the quality of his product
Is it possible to do better? How can Hans heat his mash to exactly 152 °F without the use of a thermometer?http://blogs.msdn.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=10374266