Bursting The Bubble Of The Helium Beer Fantasy

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Anyone interested in home brewing, like me, gets excited when they come across new, innovative ways of brewing beer. I was not surprised when I first heard about the most talked trend among beer lovers— the Helium Beer.

I was very intrigued when the videos about this new kind of beer, and its hilarious effects on the drinker, appeared in my newsfeed.

I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and watched the famous Helium Beer video by Samuel Adams. It went viral minutes after it appeared online.

On the 1st April, 2014, Samuel Adams’ founder Jim Koch presented a new type of beer — HeliYUM. If the date rings a bell to you, you are right that it was an April fool’s Joke. Jim Koch took a sip of HeliYUM. His voice immediately became high-pitched, showing the effect of helium beer.

On the same day, Stone Brewing Company also uploaded a similar video about helium beer. This helped further the viral myth of helium beer. This joke was repeated by many more videos on YouTube and other social networks.

What is Helium Beer?

Jim Koch, in his viral video, explained that helium beer is produced by infusing helium gas with beer. Most commercial beers infuse carbon dioxide in beers to create carbonation. Guinness is an outlier that infuses a nitrogen/carbon dioxide beer gas in their beers. That creates a smoother mouthfeel than CO2.

As an April fool’s joke, Jim Koch claimed that the helium beer used the properties of the noble gas, helium. The caramel flavor came out with a biscuity character, which is suppressed in normal beers. The video goes on to joke about the high-pitched, cartoonish voice of the drinker. Which they claim is an effect of helium beer.

Is Helium Beer Real?

Soon after the Samual Adams helium beer video became viral, social media users started asking questions.

Where can I buy helium infused beer near me?

Is helium beer real?

The joke was debunked by various YouTube videos and articles. Here are a few examples:

Helium Beer: It’s Time to Set the Record Straight

Helium Beer And Hilarity? Maybe.

Helium is one of the least soluble gases. That means that it is hard for it to stay suspended in a liquid. Chances are we will never be able to infuse helium into beer.

When compared to carbon dioxide, helium is about 700 times less soluble. Only 0.0016 g of Helium can dissolve into a liter of beer as opposed to 2.5 grams of CO2.

This sums up the harsh truth for all beer lovers who will never be able to experience helium beer.

Stone Stochasticity Project Cr (He) am Ale

Stone Brewing uploaded a video on 1st April 2014 on YouTube. They announced their Stone Stochasticity Project Cr (He) am Ale project.

They claimed to have gone a step ahead in the brew industry by adding helium to beer. The video said that their helium beer was in 16-ounce cans was available in stores, restaurants and bars.

Moreover, they claimed to have double dry-hopped it to add a more tropical touch to it. This video, like Adam Samuels’ video, also showed that your voice changes after drinking helium beer.

Sam Adams HeliYum

Samuel Adam’s heliYum beer is what began the fad of helium infused beer. The 2014 YouTube video showed founder Jim Koch introducing HeliYum.

After taking a sip of the beer, his voice immediately changes into a funny high-pitched voice. He then offers the drink to other people at the bar and the same thing happens to the voices of all the drinkers.

Both of the videos were April fool’s pranks, which was as far fetched as finding beer on Mars. Yet, a great number of people fell for it and started looking forward to the arrival of helium beer.

What Does The Science Say About Helium Beer?pouring a glass of beer

The hype of helium infused beer is not only fictional and fake, but also impossible.

Helium is the least soluble gas in beer. Unlike carbon dioxide, helium can’t create a fizz when infused in beer because of its insolubility. Helium cannot dissolve into beer because liquid helium turns into gas at -220°F. That would freeze your beer.

Even if you force helium into the beer and seal it in a can, it would still be useless. As soon as you open the can, the undissolved helium would rush out of the can. Most of the beer would shoot out before you try to take a sip. Helium infused beer will never be possible because of physics.

Conclusion

Despite all the fun and hype around the helium beer videos, its only a joke that fooled many people. So, unless science discovers a way to manufacture helium beer, we wont get to experience it.

FAQ

How do you make helium infused beer?

It is not possible to make helium infused beer. Helium is insoluble in beer and cannot be infused with pressure. Unlike carbon dioxide and nitrogen, the helium would escape as soon as you open the container, also spilling the beer.

Where can you buy helium infused beer?

Contrary to the claims made in videos by Stone Brewing and Adam Samuels, you cant find helium beer anywhere. It was all an April fool’s joke.

Will helium beer give you a high-pitched voice?

Helium beer or, as a matter of fact, any type of beer cannot give you a high pitched voice. This was a mere joke to fool people on April fool’s day. The video effect of the high pitched voice was achieved through post-production software.

Helium is one of the least dense gases and sounds travel faster through less dense gases. Faster sound has a shorter wavelength, which results in a high pitched sound. So, unless you inhale helium from a helium balloon, you will not be able to have a high pitched funny voice.

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