Tag Archives: Beer

LIKE BEER? DON’T DRINK IT IN A FROSTY MUG

blank LIKE BEER? DON’T DRINK IT IN A FROSTY MUG

Kills the taste. Unless the beer already tastes not so great so using a frosty mug just deadens your taste buds.

There’s a bar in my neighborhood that has a huge sign up that says “No Frosty Glasses” on it, presumably because people would ask for beer in one. While the idea of banning frozen glasses might seem like a stunt by a hipster bar, there’s actually a lot of good reasons to not drink your beer out of a frozen glass.

Let me preface this by saying that if frozen glasses are your thing, have at it. There’s definitely something to be said for going outside with a cold glass of beer on a warm day (your beer stays colder longer). But, if you’re in a temperature-controlled bar where you’re not at risk of ending up with a sun-cooked beer, that frozen glass is doing you more harm than good.

Killed Flavor

The biggest reason to ditch frozen glasses, in my opinion, is that cold temperatures kill the flavors in beers. While that’s likely a good idea if you’re drinking an inexpensive lager that might not have the most ideal flavor, doing it with a fuller-flavored beer is just destroying the flavor of it. The ideal serving temperature for most beers is between 40° – 50° F. When you go colder than that you start to change the flavor. Don’t believe me? Try a side-by-side of a beer in a frozen glass and one in a room temperature one. You’re going to get a lot more out of that slightly chilled beer than you are out of the ice cold one.

Presumably, you spent $ 5 on that nicer beer because you wanted to taste it. Don’t ruin it by putting it in a crazy cold glass and killing the nuanced flavors of it.

Off Flavors

Since your glass was presumably cleaned right before it was put in the freezer, there’s a good chance some of that “frost” on the side of your glass is actually sanitizer used to clean it. That’s not something you want to drink.

Also, that glass has the opportunity to pick up tons of crazy flavors you don’t want in your beer. Take a hard look at that bar freezer. Would you eat a sandwich that was just sitting on a rack in it? Probably not. That same funk is also now frozen to your beer glass. Essences of the bartender’s lunch that was put in there to stay cold, flavors from the cleaners used to wipe down the freezer at night.

The same could be said for your home freezer. Think about what food tastes like that’s been in there too long? Why would you unnecessarily do that to your beer?

Foamier Presentation

Carbonation bubbles stick to the frost on the side of your glass. That means your beer is going to be a lot foamier than it should be.

No one wants a beer with a massive head on it, but when you put it in a frozen mug you’re pretty much setting yourself up for failure.

Again, if you love frozen glasses don’t let me stop you. But give both versions a try. You might be surprised at how much better a non-frosty glass can be.

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As Craft Beer Industry Explodes, White Labs Goes Global with NetSuite OneWorld

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

White%20Labs As Craft Beer Industry Explodes, White Labs Goes Global with NetSuite OneWorld

Small and independent craft beer brewers grew eight percent in 2016 and now account for 99 percent of the 5,005 breweries in the country, according to the Brewers Association, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the segment. Meanwhile, there are now 1.2 million homebrewers in the US.

That’s good news in a lot of ways for White Labs, a company full of “die-hard science and beer geeks,” according to Kathryn Small, Special Project Manager, for the San Diego-based company. Not only are the employees big craft beer fans, they also sell roughly 200 different strains of liquid yeast, preferred by the craft beer and homebrew market for its superior taste. The growth in the industry has led to growth in demand and White Labs is taking its products around the globe.

Founded 22 years ago by a Ph.D. candidate who created a liquid yeast for his friends that homebrewed their own beer, White Labs took off as word got out liquid yeast tasted better and the market expanded rapidly. It now operates tasting rooms to show off the capabilities of its liquid yeast at its headquarters in San Diego and sales office in Boulder, Colo., with a distribution center in Hong Kong, a separate lab in Davis, Calif. and European headquarters in Copenhagen. Just recently, it opened an Eastern U.S. headquarters in Ashville, N.C. with production facilities, tasting room and a boutique restaurant.

Yet, despite all the success, something was still capping the company’s growth. Its back-end financial and inventory management software. White Labs was running Goldmine for CRM, BusinessWorks for accounting and homegrown systems for manufacturing operations and ecommerce, limiting visibility into the organization and creating many inefficient processes. In fact, the Excel-based processes used to forecast production of the approximately 200 yeast strains were so cumbersome it made it difficult to keep someone in that role.

After evaluating Salesforce.com and InfusionSoft for CRM, White Labs elected to turn to NetSuite OneWorld instead, choosing a single platform for financial, customer and inventory data that could scale with the business. Better yet, NetSuite OneWorld can manage multi-currency transactions for the Hong Kong dollar, Euro and Danish Kroner, plus support for more than 190 others as White Labs expands.

One immediate benefit was the streamlined reporting. Reports that once relied on assembling data from three different systems, became far easier.

“My experience with past CRM systems is the reporting tools are hard to use and time consuming,” Small said. “With NetSuite I get the report I need every day. The thought process is golden. It’s awesome to have that.”

That transparency into the business allowed White Labs to take a long look at its existing processes and find efficiencies.

For example, there are 90 400-liter containers of yeast growing in the “clean room.” With the NetSuite advanced manufacturing module, the company built a forecasting tool to identify when the different yeast strains should be taken into production along with timelines. Additionally, mobile inventory management from NetSuite partner RF-SMART has been integrated with financial and production data streamlines manufacturing and planning, identifying bin locations.

In fact, White Labs has changed the way it propagates and delivers yeast to “PurePitch® packaging,” to ensure the yeast remains pure.

“With PurePitch®, the yeast are packaged inside the same container it’s grown in.” Small said.

Learn More

For more on how NetSuite is helping food and beverage manufacturers, download the whitepaper.

Posted on Wed, July 19, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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About Krisgo

I’m a mom, that has worn many different hats in this life; from scout leader, camp craft teacher, parents group president, colorguard coach, member of the community band, stay-at-home-mom to full time worker, I’ve done it all– almost! I still love learning new things, especially creating and cooking. Most of all I love to laugh! Thanks for visiting – come back soon icon smile Beer opener

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Deep Fried Bits

Creating the Lyrics of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Creative Misuse of RapidMiner

One of the most fun events at the RapidMiner Wisdom conference is the live predictive analytics process design competition “Who Wants to be a Data Miner?” In this competition, participants must design RapidMiner processes for a given goal within a few minutes. The tasks are related to predictive analytics and data analysis in general, but are rather uncommon. In fact, most of the challenges ask for things RapidMiner was never supposed to do.

During RapidMiner Wisdom 2016 in New York City, we again had two tasks prepared for the audience.  Three brave contestants battled against each other and the clock to find the right solution (or at least something which is close enough).  The first task this year was:

Create the full lyrics to “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”

According to Wikipedia, “99 Bottles of Beer is an anonymous United States folk song dating to the mid-20th century. It is a traditional song in both the United States and Canada. It is popular to sing on long trips, as it has a very repetitive format which is easy to memorize, and can take a long time to sing.”

Well, yeah.  Some say that there are numerous problems with this song but this is – although a funny read – not the subject of this post.  (By the way, the song has appeared many time in popular culture as well: maybe most notably, at least for some, in the game Monkey Island.)

Anyway, here is how the song goes:

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.
98 bottles of beer on the wall, 98 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 97 bottles of beer on the wall.
97 bottles of beer on the wall, 97 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 96 bottles of beer on the wall.

1 bottle of beer on the wall, 1 bottle of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 0 bottles of beer on the wall.

Full lyrics can be found here but I think you got the idea.

So how can we solve the task above with RapidMiner?

Let’s start with a screenshot of the solution first:

process Creating the Lyrics of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

We start with the operator “Generate Data” and generate a random data set with only 1 column and 100 examples (make the appropriate settings in the parameters of the operator). This is maybe not the most elegant way but one of the easiest ways in RapidMiner to get a data set with a specific structure and size.  As a next step, we now need numbers from 1 to 100 in an extra column.  Again, there are multiple ways to achieve this but the simplest is probably to use the operator “Generate ID” which is doing exactly that.  We can now use “Select Attributes” and remove the columns which have been originally generated by “Generate Data”, i.e. we only keep our new “id” column.  The result is a data set with 100 rows and the numbers 1 to 100 in one column named “id”.

Now all the logic happens in the next operator: “Generate Attributes”. The main problem which needs to be solved is how do we transform the sequence of numbers from 1 to 100 into a sequence from 99 to 0? Well that is easy: we can just generate a new value by subtracting the current “id” in each row from 100.  At the same time we add the rest of the lyrics around those numbers.  Here is how you need to set the parameters of “Generate Attributes” to achieve this:

generate attributes Creating the Lyrics of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Now you could even concatenate all these new columns into a single one if you want to.  I leave it to you to figure out how.  The final result after executing the process then looks like the following screenshot (only showing the beginning):

result Creating the Lyrics of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

If you run the process yourself, check out the last line as well.  I admit that we could handle this a bit better since the created lyrics end on: “0 bottles of beer on the wall, 0 bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around. -1 bottles of beer on the wall.”  Well, there is nothing wrong with -1 bottles of beer for mathematicians and physicists but some IT systems might not like negative numbers of objects.
Using RapidMiner for tasks like this is of course a bit, well, strange.  But it also shows how flexible and powerful the visual approach of RapidMiner actually is.  Others have created solutions in practically every programming language on earth, some shorter and some longer than others.  But I would always prefer the RapidMiner solution over the code of most of them.

Below is the XML of the complete process.  You can save it into an arbitrary file on your system and use “File -> Import Process…” to get it into RapidMiner.

Have fun trying this out!

XML of the Process:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<process version="7.0.000">
  <context>
    <input/>
    <output/>
    <macros/>
  </context>
  <operator activated="true" class="process" compatibility="6.0.002" expanded="true" name="Process">
    <process expanded="true">
      <operator activated="true" class="generate_data" compatibility="7.0.000" expanded="true" height="68" name="Generate Data" width="90" x="45" y="30">
        <parameter key="number_of_attributes" value="1"/>
      </operator>
      <operator activated="true" class="generate_id" compatibility="7.0.000" expanded="true" height="82" name="Generate ID" width="90" x="179" y="30"/>
      <operator activated="true" class="select_attributes" compatibility="7.0.000" expanded="true" height="82" name="Select Attributes" width="90" x="313" y="30">
        <parameter key="attribute_filter_type" value="subset"/>
        <parameter key="attributes" value="id"/>
        <parameter key="include_special_attributes" value="true"/>
      </operator>
      <operator activated="true" class="generate_attributes" compatibility="6.4.000" expanded="true" height="82" name="Generate Attributes" width="90" x="447" y="30">
        <list key="function_descriptions">
          <parameter key="c1" value="100-id"/>
          <parameter key="l1" value="&quot; bottles of beer on the wall &quot;"/>
          <parameter key="c2" value="100-id"/>
          <parameter key="l2" value="&quot; bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around &quot;"/>
          <parameter key="c3" value="99-id"/>
          <parameter key="l3" value="&quot; bottles of beer on the wall.&quot;"/>
        </list>
      </operator>
      <connect from_op="Generate Data" from_port="output" to_op="Generate ID" to_port="example set input"/>
      <connect from_op="Generate ID" from_port="example set output" to_op="Select Attributes" to_port="example set input"/>
      <connect from_op="Select Attributes" from_port="example set output" to_op="Generate Attributes" to_port="example set input"/>
      <connect from_op="Generate Attributes" from_port="example set output" to_port="result 1"/>
      <portSpacing port="source_input 1" spacing="0"/>
      <portSpacing port="sink_result 1" spacing="0"/>
      <portSpacing port="sink_result 2" spacing="0"/>
    </process>
  </operator>
</process>

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RapidMiner

Beer maker uses big data and graphics chips to create a better brew

Jason Cohen wanted to help microbrewers craft a better batch of beer. So he created an app, and then he got it to run three times faster using a graphics processing unit (GPU), or graphics chip.

logo placeholder 160x160 Beer maker uses big data and graphics chips to create a better brew

Most people might just be content with arguing about “less filling, tastes great” in a bar.

But Cohen is a data scientist and fan of microbreweries, which are surging in popularity across the country, accounting for 19 percent of the industry’s $ 101.5 billion in sales, according to the Brewers Association.


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But the entrepreneur in State College, Pennsylvania, was annoyed that beer batches didn’t always turn out the way he wanted. His story shows how a random problem — which has nothing to do with technology — can be solved by big data analysis and the latest computing tech.

So he created a program, Gastrograph, that can find flaws in a beer with just a handful of tastings. The app allows tasters to fill out their impressions of 24 different flavor characteristics, Cohen said in an interview with VentureBeat.

“Everyone likes to believe they are an individual snowflake and everything tastes differently,” Cohen said. “When we model the artificial intelligence, we model a physiological responses to an underlying stimuli. The taste doesn’t change. But their perception of it does. So we identified 24 flavor attributes that are independpent of age, sex, race, and past tasting experiences.”

The app sends the data to a data center where the company applies its artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms. Then it provides data to a dashboard. Customers can log in and see their results in real time.

Running it on Nvidia’s GPUs returned the analysis three times faster. That’s critical when a beer maker is deciding whether to put beer crates on a truck or not.

Cohen is also using GPUs and deep learning to create models that help analyze taste profiles against 100,000 beer reviews.

Cohen has some customers lined up, and he is working on raising his first round of venture funding. The microbrewery industry has grown to around 3,000 brewers.

“Most microbreweries have more variation than they want to admit,” Cohen. “That’s bad for the industry.”

Cohen’s parents were connoisseurs of fine olive oil, and he inherited their eclectic tastes for fine food. He was professional tea taster before moving from Florida to Penn State, where he studied political science.

At Penn State, he founded Penn State’s Tea Institute, now one of the worldʼs leading authorities on tea and tea culture. To try to improve tea, he had to beg college students to slurp tea and record their impressions. That wasn’t easy.

So he turned to offering free beer. The volunteers came in droves. Within weeks, Cohen had a trove of data, and he used it to figure out what was wrong. He found that beer that tastes like fresh-cut grass has too much of a compound, cis-3-Hexen-1-ol. And that comes up when the hops are stale.

Cohen said that his data lets him tease out 20 common flaws in a beer with just a handful of tastings. To speed up the analysis, Cohen and his team of 11 employees tapped Amazon’s GPU-based servers. The software is now able to identify dozens of beer styles in seconds, rather than minutes. It’s also able to detect bad beer.

Cohen’s company, Analytical Flavor Systems, has 11 employees. His first customer that he can identify is Otto’s Pub and Brewery in Pennsylvania. Cohen said that eventually the company has plans for a consumer review app.

logo placeholder 160x160 Beer maker uses big data and graphics chips to create a better brew

VB’s research team is studying web-personalization… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.

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