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Turning urine into beer. Yes, that's a thing now

Scientists in Belgium turned urine from festival goers into drinkable water for the purposes of making beer. But would you drink it?

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Would you drink beer made with water purified from urine?
Getty

The next time a friend says, "This beer tastes like piss," you might think twice about where it came from.

That's because scientists at a Belgian university have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer.

A machine like this could bring drinkable water to rural areas of the world that don't have access to clean water, or could be installed in public places like airports, researcher Sebastiaan Derese told Reuters.

Or, it could be used to make beer. Bear Grylls would be so proud.

Here's how it works: The machine uses solar energy to heat urine that's been collected in a boiler. The urine is then put through a membrane that separates the water from nutrients like potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen.

The team, which has been working on the project for two and a half years, brought their magic pee machine to a music festival in Ghent, Belgium earlier in the month and ended up nabbing 1,000 liters of water from the festival attendees. That water will get turned into beer -- which is probably how a lot of it started out anyway.

This isn't the first time brave souls have tried to turn urine into beer. A 2015 music festival in Denmark used festival goers' urine to fertilize barley to make beer. In another instance, Clean Water Services in Oregon was pushing for a homebrew group to use recycled toilet water to make beer. San Francisco-based Half Moon Bay Brewing makes an IPA using gray water -- or water recycled from toilets, showers and sinks.

In any case, we hope the system is more sound than Kevin Costner's urine purification rig from "Waterworld."