Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 Uncommon Uses for Beer

Let us begin today's post with a little wisdom from our old school buddy, Benjamin Franklin. I was going to use the quote, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," but upon further investigation, I found that is wasn't actually our boy BF that said that! I don't want to tarnish this blog's sterling reputation, so here is our inspiring quote of the day.
It is wonderful, and quite applicable to today's topic, Uncommon Household Uses for Beer. At this point, I might be losing you, or maybe you are intrigued! I'd advise sticking around for these nuggets of information I'm about to feed you! At the very least, you will  have some fun conversation starters!

1. Pour it on your compost!
Beer is a wonderful beverage for all (of legal drinking age) to enjoy, even the microorganisms that live in your compost bin and make the magic happen! These wonderful little bugs live on sugar and adding flat beer to your pile can really jumpstart the process. Next time you're cleaning up after a bbq, pour the dregs onto your compost for a little boost.

2. Cure brown spots in your lawn!
Beer is an acidic beverage compared to water {Chemistry interlude: Pure water is 7.0 pH, anything lower is considered acidic, higher is alkaline. Malts - especially darker malts - in beer have phosphates in them that react with the calcium and magnesium ions in alkaline water freeing up H+ ions that make the mixture acidic, thus lowering the pH of beer. Here is an interesting article on the topic if you care to learn more.}and that acid will kill the bugs are are harming your lawn, while the yeast and residual sugar in beer will nourish the grass and encourage new growth!

3. Supplement the garden!
Relating back to what we just touched on, flat beer can nourish your plants as well. Think of your leftover beer as food for all your plants. FLAT is the keyword here, the delicious bubbles in beer are CO2 aka Carbon Dioxide, which is naturally produced by yeast during fermentation. It is acidic, which may be harmful when applied directly to plants, so flat (all CO2 escaped) is better. 

4. Take a bubble bath! 
Just as some use beer for a cure for a rough day, a bath in beer can be used as a cure for rough skin! Sound strange? Give it a try! Brewers yeast is added to many beauty products, as it claims to help skin maintain a healthy pH balance. Hops (the bittering agent in beer) help exfoliate dead skin cells, and the yeast will reactivate in warm water, creating wonderful frothy bubbles! Most shocking of all, after you rinse off, you won't smell like a bar after game night. I am happy to report after my beer bath, my hubby commented I smelled like fresh bread and vanilla! I'll take it! I also found this recipe for a DIY beer face mask on

Combine 1 tbsp. of your favorite beer with 1 tsp. plain yogurt, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 egg white, 1 tsp. lemon extract and 1 tsp. almond extract.
  1. Mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Lightly wet the face with warm water and apply the mask.
  3. Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
  4. Complete the experience with a cold water splash, and step back and admire your beer-kissed skin.
 I am definitely trying this tonight! 

5. Marinate your meal before grilling! 
I touched on this a couple weeks ago when we talked about Chainbreaker Coriander Chicken Skewers. 
Many studies have shown the reduction of cancer-causing carcinogens on grilled items from marinating in beer! We love to grill, and any way we can make it better for us is good news! I recommend using a beer that has like flavors to what you are cooking, that way you have a logical pairing when it comes time to eat! For example, a dark roasty stout to marinate those baby back ribs with BBQ Sauce. A lemony weiss or Hefeweizen for your salmon. An herbal, grassy pale ale mixed into your burger patties. The options are endless and if it sounds good to you, chances are it will taste great! And remember, when cooking with any type of alcohol, the alcohol content (what makes you drunk), cooks off over heat so it is safe for those who don't drink, such as children or pregnant women! 

Beer is more than just a refreshing beverage! What other uses do you have for it, besides enjoying a cold one and catching up with friends?! Share in the comments! 


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