One brewery in the Czech Republic has a team of unlikely employees: crayfish. The Protivin brewery uses the help of these creatures to keep their water supply pure. By outfitting the small creatures with bio-sensors, they are able to sense their heartbeat and movement. Since crayfish react quickly to changes in their underwater environment, the sensors can tell when the water quality has drifted.
When a change occurs, a computer reads the animal’s body or behavioral change and the information cycles back to the brewery. Michal Voldrish, head brewer for the company told Reuters, “When three or more crayfish are moving or change their pulse activity, we know that the water parameters have changed. We react quickly because we have the result within three minutes.”
This high tech water device was created by scientists at the Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Water at South Bohemia University at Vodnany.
This may sound like a scientific experiment on the crayfish, but they are not harmed in the process. They go about their daily marine lives and help to create tasty brews without their knowledge!
By using these animals, breweries now have a natural way to test their waters. Pavel Kozak, Director of the university’s Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology noted to Reuters, “The crayfish react very fast on any non-specific change, which is different than any other detectors, which react fast on a very low concentration (of pollution) but only on one specific agent.”
So, next time you are either in the Czech Republic drinking a beer or are enjoying a Czech brew from the comfort of your own home, give a shout out to crayfish. They may have been a part of the process of making the beer that you now have in your hands!
Sarah is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp