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Human urine and beer are superficially similar...? Answered

Human urine and beer are superficially similar...

Both are kinda yellow-colored. Both have bubbles, to the extent that if you shake up either you can get a good head of foam on them.  Both are mostly water.

I'm convinced that there must be a scientific, logical, concrete, fundamental, causal explanation for this similarity, and one of you punks and/or eggheads is going to tell me what it is. He, she, or it, (i.e man, woman, or robot) who best answers this question for me, will be bestowed with the honor of *BEST ANSWER* for this question.



Best Answer 8 years ago

The yellow colour in urine is a derivative of haem - see here what makes beer golden is usually malt.
Foam on beer is often a complicated thing but it involves proteins, there you've got a similarity, but probably not the same proteins.
Mostly water, so mostly the same...


Remind me never to accept a dinner invitation from you.

You're not thinking of beer, you're thinking of lager.

The only difference between lager and urine is the alcohol content.

I'll admit,  there are a lot of things wrong with the Former United States, and the substance we Former Americans call "beer" may be one of them. (Honestly though, that's really what it says on the side of the can,literally  "beer" [sic].)   Although kind of a minor one compared with the other problems of killing, torture, freedom-hypocrisy, etc.

Anyway... mindful of these concerns, I will make a conscious effort to expand my beer horizons, starting here and here:

I like making my own beer.  I made wine once and it wasn't really very drinkable.  But I've had pretty good luck with beer.

You stole my answer - 5 hours before I wrote it!

That's a good one. :) 
Not a fan of Lager beer, ah?

You wouldn't be either if you'd had ale. It has flavour. :)

Similarities - both are a bunch of stuff dissolved in water - be it salts, or alcohol and other goodness.  Anything dissolved in water will change its physical properties - density, surface tension (makes head of foam), colour, etc.

Answer:  Most all american beer is piss.

Lager like the one pictured often resembles piss.
BEER is served warmer and nearly flat - often heavier, darker, and much more flavourful. 
Bust out some import brew and start enjoying the beer experience!

Good advice, but even better, go pick up a few inexpensive supplies and brew your own. Homebrewed beer is a joyous thing, and you get to make exactly what you like. Just remember - lager yeast is evil, and all hops are not created equal.

Indeed - I grew up (ages about 6-15) with my dad brewing at home.  I we never much of a drinker...obviously - but it was a fun family project to make all sorts of beer and spirits.  Trouble with homemade beer is you have 3 options:
Unfiltered and carbonated - good til just before the last drop, where the goo in the bottle makes you want to throw up :(
Filtered and flat :(
Filtered and recarbonated with relatively expensive/time consuming rig.

I always went with the unfiltered & carbonated option. The trick is to never drink it straight out of the bottle. Pouring carefully into a glass and leaving about a half-inch in the bottle gets rid of the nasty goo problem.
The other two options are not options at all, IMHO.

I would like to suggest that if You can't tell the difference then maybe you had too much of one and are about to produce too much of the other.

I have to admit, the realization that beer and urine look a lot alike, occurred to me after I'd been drinking a few of them, as did the incredible idea of taking a picture of both side-by-side and sharing this epiphany with the Instructables Answers community. 

I think that this is further evidence that beer can be source of inspiration, erm,  without any guarantees about the quality of the ideas it can inspire.

Hello, and thank you, to everyone who took the time and effort to answer this question!

I decided to choose Lemonie's answer as best, as his answer provided  a pretty convincing explanation of both the similarities I asked about:  yellow-color, and foaminess. 

On doing some further research on foaminess (if you can call reading Wikipedia, "research") I re-discovered the legend of  the surface active agents, um here:
Also Wiki has a pretty good article on foam too:
Burried deep within the Foam article, I found this gem:
"Many biological substances, for example proteins, easily create foam on agitation and/or aeration. "
I mean I think the interesting thing here is that there is that there is a large class of substances which when added to water, will make it foamy.  Maybe a good name for this class would be water foaming agents.  This class includes:
  • soap and detergents
  • proteins or some organic something in beer
  • proteins or some organic something in urine
  • other stuff too, probably
All these things, added to water, will make it foamy. That's the hypothesis.

I noticed a number of answerers who suggest the ubiquitous mass-produced American-style Lagers, like the one pictured in the mug on the left, basically are piss, er, metaphorically speaking.  I'll admit,  there are a lot of things wrong with the Former United States, and the stuff we Former Americans call "beer" may be one of them.   Although kind of a minor one compared with the other problems of killing, torture, freedom-hypocrisy, etc.

Anyway... mindful of these concerns, I will make a conscious effort to expand my beer horizons, starting here and here:

As a long standing (and occasionally lying down) British beer drinker, I will give you Joshu's answer when asked if a dog has Bhudda nature . . . "MU!"  It 'unasks' the question because the question is not a question at all.

Beer, to me, is anything from the lightest golden brown, through amber (possibly with a reddish tinge) to dark, dark, dark brown, and when a sip is taken it should overwhelm the senses with the aroma of hops and malt. It should conjure up visions of drying sheds, malt shovelling and barley fields rippling in the summer breeze.

Some breweries catering for the less discerning palate in the UK seem to have a problem realising this.  In the US, this sort of drink appears to be a way of life.
I have not tasted urine, but as the common utterance goes when referring to a sub-standard brewed beverage of this nature goes, I will just say "This beer tastes like piss!"

I would think that breweries catering for the less discerning palate have no problem at all - the objective is to make the stuff go down the neck easily and shift volumes. They'll know about flavour in order to avoid having too much of anything challenging, and if you chill it it gets blander still.


Are you suggesting.... warm beer? Granted, I've not tried beer either way so who am I to judge.

Its an old calumy against our (English)  beer drinking. Beer is NEVER served "warm", it IS served at UK cellar temperature, which I'd guess at about 10-12°C.

Like Lemonie says, its never served CHILLED.

The taste experience Andy' is referring to comes with not-cold beer. Serving beer chilled or "extra-cold" dampens the flavour such that pretty much anyone can drink it (e.g. Guinness), and that is the point.
Ice-cold suds on a hot day are not necessarily the same thing though.


Very true. Beer (not lager) should be served cool, but not ice-cold. Serving too warm can release nasty flavors we don't want, but a decent beer can stand up to regular room temp (72F) just fine. I prefer mine a few degrees cooler than room temp, but that's personal preference, not because the beer requires it.
The only legitimate use for lager is to serve it ice-cold with a bit of lime juice added in, on a very very hot day, when you've been doing hard labor in the sun. Then, and only then, is lager a pleasant experience. Still, lager should never be mistaken for beer.

They are different things, what I object to is super-chilling stuff because people won't drink it otherwise. It's energy-expensive and relies upon marketing to persuade people they'll look good drinking it, but they won't have to hold their noses...


I'm just very impressed that you went to the trouble of peeing in a salsa jar to get a pic for this question. And also, you're apparently very well hydrated.

Um... thanks for the compliments.  BTW, I didn't produce all that volume in one attempt.  What you're looking at represents the sum of maybe 2 or 3 urinations. 

This trick is also great for road trips, with the caveat that its usually easier for guys, than it is for girls, to pee in jar.  Although I am convinced that such feats are possible for both genders, after all the great Former American tradition of randomly announced drug-testing relies on this ability to put ones urine into a small container.

It appears as if he put dish soap in water to get foam. That's a tricky state of hydration to maintain.

I really hope you're mistaken about the dish soap. Does that make me a bad person?


8 years ago

Yes, superficially, urine and beer are similar. Why is that? Let's break the word “superfiaially” down into its constituent parts:

First there is the word “super”, meaning; great or way above average or really hot stuff (as in “she's really hot stuff”.) So you could use these meanings instead of saying super. You could say “great-ficially, or way above average-ficially or she's really hot stuff-ficially, but super is much shorter and we're lazy by nature, and its easier to type “superficially”.

And you can also preface many other words with the “super” prefix. For example, Superman, or super-duper, or supersalad. Can you imagine how cumbersome it would be to try and say, “Man that is way above average-califragilisticexpialidocious," instead of “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Think about it,supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, if you say it loud enough,you'll never sound precocious.

Now on to “ficially.” Ficially, is a word that hardly ever gets used alone. Consider, for example, “oficially.” There it is again, ficially with another word in front. Well, a letter in this case, but it can be a word if you want it to be, like, “O, look!”

So to sum it up, I will almost quote Douglas Adams here,However, no one knows quite why ...but a cupful of urine ...is... almost, but not quite, entirely unlike ...beer.”