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Better Bitter

What Beer and Vagina Have in Common

A 1907 American beer advertisement with tint and red color added by WBT.

The numerical pH scale, which measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution such a beer, reveals a remarkable link in acidic numbers between beer and the human female vagina. On the 0-to-14 pH scale the numbers below 7 are acidic and those above 7 are alkaline, with pure water, or neutral solutions, at 7. The pH (potential, or power, of Hydrogen) of the normal human vagina during a woman's reproductive years is acidic -- that is, a measurement of 3.5 to 4.5 that indicates a favorable amount of beneficial bacteria (lactobacilli) that discourages odor, irritation, and infection. Beer has similar acidic numbers that affect the beer's taste: The pH measurement of a lager may be 3.9 to 4.3, and ales and stouts 3.8 to 4.2. A cask-conditioned ale (often called cask ale or real ale) may range in pH value from 3.7 to 4.1. According to The Oxford Companion to Beer (2011), the "typical" barley-based beer has a "pleasant" pH value of 4.1 to 4.5. Meaning: Beer and the vagina of a still-reproductive woman are linked forever by the mathematics of acidity -- taste for beer and health for women. Sources: Nico Freccia, "The Power of pH," Brew Your Own (website), 5 Sep 2013; Megan Gannon, "Condoms May Boost Beneficial Vaginal Bacteria," Live Science (.com), 25 Jul 2013; Garrett Oliver (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Beer (Oxford, 2011), and WBT's pH-value files.

Danish factlet: The Danish chemist Søren Sørensen (1868-1939) developed the pH scale while working in 1909 at a laboratory (Carlsberg) in Denmark that specialized in acquiring biochemical knowledge about the beer-brewing process. Source: "Sørensen Invents the pH Scale," Carlsberg Group (.com), 15 Sep 2013.

Fruit pH factlet: Common fruit with pH numbers similar to beer styles and a still-reproductive vagina include blackberries, pears, nectarines, and grapes, plus fruit jams and fruit cocktail. Source: "Food and Foodstuff -- pH Values," The Engineering Tool Box (website), 5 Sep 2013.

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