Bitterness: Beer and Vinegar!

Instances where ‘bitter’ is bad…

[via Scientific AmericanBeer, for the most part, is not like wine—it does not improve with age. Quite the contrary, in fact. Old beer is a comparatively unpalatable shadow of its former self—skunky in odor, bitter in aftertaste.
So what happens between the brewery and the bottle opener to make long-in-the-tooth beer taste bad? A team of researchers from—where else?—Germany is on the case. A group from the Technical University of Munich and the Bitburger brewing company last month reported a comprehensive analysis of how beer becomes bitter over time in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Beer is supposed to have a pleasant bitterness, thanks to the contribution of hops. But over time some of those bitter compounds degrade into less appealing substances that lend the aged beer a harsh, bitter aftertaste. [Read More]

My advice: Drink the beer quickly. No reason letting all that goodness go to waste.

But not all bitterness is a bad thing.

Sometimes, in the right form, ‘bitter’ can be better and used for the forces of good, not evil.

Take vinegar…

No, seriously – Take it!

[via All Women’s Talk] Before the ingenuity of science and chemicals and synthetic materials, natural products or products easily processed by hand were used in every aspect of life. Things that we now use purely as foodstuffs were very popular household remedies. The properties that made these items right for the uses they were put to haven’t disappeared, we just have moved on and believe we have better solutions. Here are 9 uses of vinegar. (You can use any type of vinegar but remember that brown vinegar can stain certain materials)

1. A is for acid

If you love plants like azaleas, rhododendrons and gardenias but can’t grow them successfully because your garden soil is too alkaline, you can increase soil acidity by adding a cup of vinegar to a gallon of tap water.

2. Puppy Puddles

One of the great uses of vinegar is to eliminate pet urine stains and odour from carpet. Firstly blot up the urine with a soft cloth and rinse the area several times with lukewarm water. Mix equal parts vinegar and cool water then apply to the affected area, blot up, rinse and allow to dry.

3. Tooled up

This is a use for vinegar you can share with your partner. Vinegar can clean the rust from tools, bolts, widgets and spigots. Simply leave the rusted item in undiluted vinegar overnight then rinse clean. Dry thoroughly to avoid rust growing back too quickly.

4. Washday Blues

You can freshen up the washing machine, unclog soap scum and clean the hoses and pipes with vinegar. Once every month, tip one cup of vinegar into the machine and run a normal cycle without clothes. You can also treat your dishwasher in the same way.

5. Chop Chop

A really useful and hygienic use of vinegar in your kitchen is to wipe down your wooden choppingboards. Remove any food residue then wipe down with undiluted vinegar.

6. Downpour

You can use vinegar to unclog a shower head. Remove the head from the shower/hose, take off any rubber seals etc then place into a saucepan large enough to cover the head with equal parts waterand vinegar. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for a short while until the shower head is clean.

7. I Vinegar

You can remove bumper stickers and other decals with vinegar. Soak a cloth in undiluted vinegar and rub gently over the sticker for a few minutes until it soaks in. The sticker should then peel or scrape off easily.

8. Mirror Mirror

Vinegar makes a great glass cleaner. It will remove streaks that proprietary cleaners leave behind on mirrors or dishwasher water spot stains on drinking glasses.

9. Hair today, gone tomorrow

You can use vinegar to fight dandruff. After shampooing, rinse first with a cup of vinegar then with clean water. If you are concerned about the smell of vinegar in your hair crush some cardamom pods into some warm water, allow to infuse then sieve the cooled water before using it in your final rinse. [Read More]

Host Zoe Simpson explains the benefits of taking pure, unrefined, organic apple cider vinegar.