Fog harvester! Well, the name says it all! It harvests fog and extracts water. But a fog harvester used to catch fog to make beer sounds a bit weird. Nonetheless, that is what is actually happening in Atacama Desert, which also goes by the name Andean Desert.
In case you are not aware, South America’s Atacama Desert is known as the driest non-polar desert to be existing on Earth. Dry air and water scarcity are two of the commonest perils for those who live there. For centuries, people and animals and trees – all of the resident life forms of the Andean have been totally dependent on The Darkness.
Now what the hell is that? Well, The Darkness is actually the name of the early morning fog that comes from the pacific. All residents of the Andean Desert, which spans over Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Chile, have been dependent on this dense fog for survival. There is an unfortunate twist to this however! The Darkness or the Camanchaca as it is known in Aymara language is a result of massive evaporation from the Pacific because of the Sun. This massive amount of water that gets evaporated forms a dense fog and rolls in every single morning with the wind directly into the desert. The problem however is that The Darkness is actually short-lived. The desert is so dry that the fog – despite being super-dense – quickly evaporates. It doesn’t convert into rain or even mist.
About the Fog Harvester and Beer Production
Now, the fog harvester is in place. Its purpose is to collect water from the fog before it evaporates. The water thus collected is intended to be used for household works, irrigation and yes, BEER production!
An interesting thing about this fog harvester is that it already existed but it has been newly patented. Why on earth will someone patent a thing that already existed? Here is why: The previous version of the device was not efficient enough. So, some researchers from Chile teamed up with MIT experts to improve its efficiency. The end result was a giant screen. The screen is actually made of woven polypropylene threads. A crisscross weaving pattern has been used with very tiny perforations. These perforations are big enough for the air to pass through but the water droplets of The Darkness are stopped right on tracks. The new and improved harvester is now capable of extracting 14 liters of water a day, which is about 10% of the water in the fog. It may not sound too efficient but it is far better than the old version. The patent is actually a result of improved efficiency.
Now, if one giant screen catches 14 liters, multiple screens placed in single row can extract enough water that can be used for irrigation, household use and of course making beer. We know you are getting impatient about this beer part but have patience. We are saving the best part for the last.
Getting back to the fog harvester, the system is very simple and pretty economical. There are at least 17 countries in this world where similar conditions exist as in Atacama Desert. These harvesters can actually be used in all these places to give some relief from water scarcity.
Fog Harvester Harvests Fog to Make Beer – Someone Was Growing Impatient!
The beer that is produced out of this fog water is known as Atrapaniebla or A Heavenly Brew. The masterminds behind this brew are Miguel Carcuro and Marco Carcuro – two brother from Coquimbo, Chile. They only use the water harvested by these giant screens to produce their beer, which they claim to be better than every other beer in this world. Well, that cannot be said for sure because different people may have different opinions after all. However, the Carcuro brothers have a reason for calling their beer to be the best in business. The water that they use has low nitrate, sulfate and carbon content. As these components are found in lower proportions in the water, there is no doubt that the beer tastes different.
So, how does the beer taste? We haven’t tasted it and so, we cannot give our firsthand experience here. However, connoisseurs have something to say. According to them,
Atrapaniebla tastes like Scottish ale… a golden amber foam slightly cloudy and light brown and medium intensity, good consistency and low adhesion to the glass … medium complexity … light touches of caramel … [goes with] white meat, white fish.
As of now, the Carcuro brothers are brewing 500 liters of beer every week and they are aiming for production of 11,000 bottles of Atrapaniebla every single month. Will you like to taste this fog beer or have you tasted it? Let us know about your experiences!