An ultrasound for your beer?

This is science, so we don’t recommend reading these sentences if you’ve been drinking:

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have devised a way to quickly measure and track the quality of fermenting liquids, such as beer, without having to draw samples from a batch. Sampling fermenting liquids is necessary to ensure quality, but it can be time-consuming and potentially contaminating. By using ultrasonic backscattering, a method of reading sound signals as they bounce off targets and back to a sensor, the PNNL team’s system avoids these drawbacks and gives the brewer greater control over the fermenting process.

Here’s the full explanation.

And Robert Cannon, a brewer at the Boston Beer Co., says that it could make a difference: “A real-time, in-line sensor is something I couldn’t imagine any brewer not being interested in.”