Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day Before Test 2- Lautering, Brewing Calculations, Boiling, and Sensory Training

The days have officially run together. I suppose that isn't a surprise since for the last 2 weeks I have been talking about beer for 14+ hours per day. When I was trying to write the title for this blog post, I asked my roommates to help me remember what we went over today. We all started throwing out topics that were covered between Monday and today. Maybe part of the reason for that was because we just studied the 15 chapters of review questions that will be covered on tomorrow's test, or the act of waking up at 6:00 a.m. to study every morning before going to class at 7:00, sitting in class until 4:30, and then eating dinner while studying until 10:00 p.m. every night is starting to really wear down on us mentally. I think we all knew this course would be a challenge, but I don't any one of us knew exactly how mentally challenging this would be.

Today we started off with brewing calculations. The main formula we use in the brewery is a very simple blending formula {A(a)+B(b)=C(c)}. However, when we started getting into questions about removing beer of certain strength and replacing that volume with beer of another strength to get to the same volume with a new percentage of alcohol, most of us were feeling pretty lost. Luckily, John was patient with us and helped break it down. It felt like being back in an algebra class where you know what you are looking for, but you don't know how to find it.

We then moved on to lautering, talking about different techniques to avoid polyphenol and tannin extraction, and talking about the constituents of extract. Typically, in a brewery this whole process involves a lot of waiting and it typically takes an hour to an hour and a half... We managed to talk about it for about 3 hours.

Next, we moved on to a lecture on boiling and the various effects that occur as a result of boiling wort. We also talked about different types of boilers and the advantages and disadvantages of different boiling systems.

We ended the day with a bit of a lighter session. Keith Lemcke lead us in a sensory/palate training. All the beers we tried today were Irish, Scottish, or English styles and they were examples of classic styles. One funny thing Keith said was that the use of Peated Malt is common and accepted in Scotch Ales (I'm looking at you Jim T.). This palate training session was much more enjoyable than last week when we drank Budweiser spiked with various off flavors. Now, it is time to hit the books again as I prepare for our second test tomorrow.


  1. CAN´T......STUDY.......ANYMORE!!

  2. might be accepted... but it doesn't produce the best results IMHO ;-)