After an awesome weekend, we were back at class this morning. We started out finding out our grades for the week (I felt pretty good to get a 97%) and reviewing our quiz questions. To our surprise, our instructor for today was Ray Daniels, author of Designing Great Beers. If you are a home brewer and you don't own this book, you are missing out.
Ray was a great teacher, lecturing on mash enzymes and mashing techniques. He made it very clear to us today that we do not make beer, but rather we manufacture wort... Yeast makes beer. We talked a lot about how starches and protein are built and how enzymes break them down. We discussed advantages and disadvantages to different types of mashing (single infusion, double decoction, triple decoction, etc.) and we touched on how you can get the advantages of triple decoctions while doing a single infusion by altering your recipes. Hopefully, we will get another chance to learn from Ray when we talk more about recipe development in a few weeks. For now, the class is excited about our field trip tomorrow to Briess and then we have John Mallet set to be our teacher for the rest of the week.