Friday, February 7, 2014

Day 5- First Test and Water Chemistry

Last night and this morning really have blurred together at this point in the day. Today we had our first test, and although I felt really well prepared, I was also very nervous. Talking to my classmates, it appears that I am not the only one that only slept for a few hours last night. I stayed up as late as I could handle last night, and then woke up about three hours before the test and resumed studying. The test did wind up being about what was expected... 35 questions, mostly fill in the blank with a few short answers. Getting the first test out of the way was a huge relief for all of us.

After the test, we jumped right back in to lectures on water chemistry. From what I understand, Ray Daniels normally teaches this portion, but he is teaching us in a few weeks about mash chemistry, so Mike Babb volunteered to teach the water chemistry portion. Mike is very obviously passionate about brewing and teaching. I do think with most other teachers, the class would have been asleep by the end of the morning lecture. Even with Mike, I still did see a few people nodding off a bit (or as Tony with the Moustache puts it: Bobbing for Dicks).

Mike did show us some real world problems that he has encountered with brewing water before and showed us how he fixed them. We talked a lot about brewing salts, using historical brewing areas as examples for different types of water. We looked at Burton-Upon-Trent, Munich, and Pilsen. I'm looking forward to taking a night off from studying and going to the Map Room here in Chicago with classmates.

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