William Lee

Bubble Nucleation in Stout Beers


Stout beer

See also sinking bubbles in stout beers: link.

FAQ: Questions I've been asked about the research on stout beers.

Bubbles in Stout Beers

Figures from the paper "Bubble nucleation in stout beer" were taken from this movie.

Figures from the paper "Foaming in stout beers" were taken from this movie. Movie stills are on Flickr


These papers adapt an existing model of bubbling in champagne and other carbonated drinks to stout beers which contain nitrogen and carbon dioxide and thus require widgets. We show the same bubbling mechanism is active and could be a potential widget replacement.


The results and implications of the paper were discussed in the Economist Mathematicians invent a new way to pour stout and Nature Physics Stout Fizz-ics.
The paper was also mentioned by:

The team

William Lee is a junior lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Limerick and a member of the MACSI research group.

Scott McKechnie has a degree in Physics and Computer Simulation from Trinity College Dublin and was a summer intern with the MACSI research group.

Michael Devereux is a final year PhD student in applied mathematics.

Other papers on Stout Beers from the MACSI group

Modelling the initiation of stout beers was a problem submitted to the 70th European Study Group with Industry ESGI70. The study group was hosted by the MACSI group at the University of Limerick. This year we hosted ESGI82.

MACSI and University of Edinburgh Researchers investigated waves in the sinking bubbles of stout beers. M. Robinson, A. C. Fowler, A. J. Alexander, and S. B. G. O'Brien. Phys. Fluids, 20:067101, 2008 (pdf 0.5MB).


We would like to thank Science Foundation Ireland, SFI for making this research possible by supporting the MACSI research group through Mathematics Initiative Grant 06/MI/005.

Michael Devereux's postgraduate fellowship is funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, IRCSET.

University of Portsmouth
Department of Mathematics


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