Sunday, September 26, 2010

German Technology to the Rescue

A wreath Kolsch Beer - LA Times of Kölsch.Image via Wikipedia
OK.  This is cool and out of Agence France-Press (sorry, no link available):

Germany's giant Oktoberfest beer party, now celebrating its 200th birthday, is rising to a new challenge, stinky drinking halls, with a new weapon: stench-eating bacteria.

In past years, olfactory offences in the giant tents emanating from stale beer, sweat and bratwurst could simply be masked with cigarette smoke.
But now smokers hoping to enjoy a puff with their brew were advised to leave their packets at home after the southern state of Bavaria decided to ban smoking across the state in all pubs, cafes and beer tents.
This development led one enterprising German, Hubert Hackl, to cook up a cocktail of bacteria that "eat" the putrid smell of partying. Hackl's magic potion is a "brownish liquid with the pleasant scent of humus", or mature compost, he said, rounded off with a hint of seaweed and molasses then left to ferment.
The beer halls, where up to 7,000 revelers can gather, are usually poorly ventilated. The stale air combined with rotten food scraps, spilled drinks and body odor can form a noxious mix. Spread across the wooden floorboards of the beer tents at a volume of 200 milliliters per square meter per day, Hackl's concoction travels the same route as the spilled beer, seeping between the planks and into the soil.  The process eliminates the undesirable organic materials nestled under the tents, ensuring that what wafts back up has a neutral earthy smell.

What remains is "a natural fertilizer for grass growing back in the spring," said Hackl, who has been supplying detergents and other cleaning products to the beer festival for 28 years.
As I said - pretty cool. 
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