Open source beer for your weekend

Summary:Most of the recipe is fairly conventional -- hops, malt, sugar -- but the students also added nearly a pound (300 grams) of Guarana beans, an ingredient from the Amazon that is usually found in sugared energy drinks, which also brings some caffeine with it.

Vores Ol beer bottlesStudents at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have come up with what they call an open source beer.

Vores Ol (Our Beer) looks to be an ale recipe offered under a Creative Commons license. Anyone can use it, but if you change it, that recipe is also subject to the license. (The picture is from the students' Web site.)

Most of the recipe is fairly conventional -- hops, malt, sugar -- but the students also added nearly a pound (300 grams) of Guarana beans, an ingredient from the Amazon that is usually found in sugared energy drinks, which also brings some caffeine with it.

The malt is left hot for an hour, then filtered and boiled with the hops. The beans and sugar go in halfway through this cooking process and, after the result is filtered and cooled, the yeast goes in. It takes about two weeks to ferment.

The students told the BBC they worked under Rasmus Nielsen of Superflex on their recipe. He was teaching a workshop on intellectual property and copyright at the Information Technology University and asked them to apply the open source concept to something beyond computing. The guarana was in his honor. He demonstrated the manufacture of a guarana soda in Los Angeles last year.

The recipe, which is dubbed Version 1.0, is darker and heavier than your typical Danish brew, the students said. What Nielsen wants to teach isn't beer-making, but the use of open source concepts applied to the making of things that carry intellectual content, from beer to soda to drugs.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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