From Beer to New Bio-Materials

Brew and CleanLab Demo's: Amsterdam Maker Festival

20 Aug 2016

How to go from beer to bio-based insulation panels? Over the course of one weekend Mediamatic’s Myco Insulation Brewery opened up its lab and processes. As part of the Amsterdam Maker Festival people were welcome to join in the making and learn why we think that mycelium is the material of the future.

Daily brewing and laboratory sessions. People were invited to walk in between 13.00 and 18.00 to see what is happening.

Free Entrance / Facebook


Myco Insulation Brewery Team - The team holding the grains used to make beer, the spent grains inside the sealed bag, the test beer and the panel mould that will be used as an insulation panel for the black barn. Anisa Xhomaqi

From beer, to waste, to new fungal bio-materials.

It is said that the mushroom, and especially mycelium has the potential to replace all sorts of (harmful) materials like plastics and batteries. Here at Mediamatic we are interested in the cultural and artistic implications of this 'new' bio-material and are currently developing our own bio-material factory: the Myco Insulation Brewery.

In the Myco Insulation Brewery we produce beer and grow mycelium insulation panels from the waste materials of this process. How? Join us this weekend! Our team will be there to share their expertise and we will have different samples for sale behind te bar. For the timed schedule scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Visitors learning about mycelium during Amsterdam Maker Festival. - During Amsterdam Maker Festival our lab was open to the public. Rosana explains how we locate the spent grains in to sealed bags. The bags go in the autoclave and are set for a 3 hour sterilization process. Germinated spawn is added to the grains to start the next growing phase. While in the background Isa explains to other visitors about the brewing process. Anisa Xhomaqi

The potential of fungus

Read our Myco Blog for more info about our most recent experiments and progress so far. Or listen to this interview and watch the video Schimmels, het plastic van de toekomst from Motherboard, Vice.


Inspecting material made with mycelium - Because mycelium grows on cellulose materials like grains or straw it has a lot of potential as new bio-based material. Lisanne Groenewoud

Amsterdam Maker Festival

The Maker Festival will take place from August 19 -21 and is based in the heart of Amsterdam: the Navy Terrain and Dijkspark. An area which is undergoing vast developments and is establishing itself as a Hub for startup and experimental bio-art and design.

During this weekend makers, companies and organisations will open their maker-space and showcase their innovative projects ranging from the fields of sustainability, robotics, biodesign, education and more.


Myco Brewery Beer at Mediamatic ETEN - A proud moment for Isa! Brendan Goodwin

With: Isa Miralles

How to get there

You will find Mediamatic's Clean Lab and Bar acrcos the waters of the Navy Terrain, on a 2 minute walk. Simply cross the bridge connecting the Navy Terrain with Dijkspark, turn left and stay close to the water. (you will pass through the greenhouse of Mediamatic ETEN)


The Amsterdam Maker Festival is part of a new concept called Nerderlands, which aims to connect makers with the public in order to inspire and show how fun and functional making can be.

Myco Brewing with Geeks
Amsterdam Maker Festival
20 - 21 August

Mediamatic Biotoop
Dijkspark 6, Amsterdam
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Brewing (both days)
1:00 PM - Introduction to the Mediamatic Beer Recipe
The Mediamatic Test Beer originates in the Myco Brewery project where we grow bio materials from the spent grains

1:30 PM - Milling Grains
Learn about the trade-off between particle size and extraction efficiency when mashing crushed grain

2:00 PM - Fill Grains into the Malt Pipe
Get some insights on how to operate the beer equipment and get the brew day started.

2:30 PM - Mashing
Mashing is the brewer's term for the hot water steeping process which hydrates the barley, activates the malt enzymes, and converts the grain starches into fermentable sugars.
If you ever wondered about the beer chemistry this is your space.

4:00 PM - Sparging
Sparging is the rinsing of the grain bed to extract as much of the sugars from the grain as possible

5:00 PM - Hop Additions
Beer wouldn't be beer without hops - hops provide the balance, and are the signature in many styles.
Come discover how hops are used.

6:00 PM - Cooling
Racking the wort to fermentor
Pitching Yeast
How the yeast turns wort into beer? We will discuss beer fermentation.

Mycelium (day 1)
4.45 PM - Introduction to the mycelium process
Taking the spent grains from the brewing process and growing a biomaterial to insulate the black barn

5.00 PM - Washing the grains
The spent grains are passed over to the mycelium team to be rinsed to get rid of the excess sugar, removing an extra risk of contamination. In the centrifuge the excess water is removed.

5.30 PM - Measuring, bagging and sterilizing
The grain is then measured and put in to bags to be sealed. The bags go in the autoclave and are set for a 3 hour sterilization process

Mycelium (day 2)
1.00 PM - Inoculation
The bags are now sterilized and cooled so they can be inoculated with spawn within the Laminar flow space. This is where the germinated spawn is added to the grains to start the next growing phase.

1.30 PM - Forming a panel
Transferring semi colonized mycelium bags into a panel mould.