We just wrapped up our last week of classroom lectures and took our final. It was a huge relief to get the final exam over with.
Throughout the week we did mostly hands on activities. We filtered, brewed, learned about draft systems, and we bottled the wheat beers that we brewed a few weeks ago. It was a bit of a bummer that we had so many people doing each activity because it meant a lot of people watched as others were doing things. Especially for brewing, we had groups of 10, but it is a mostly automated system that really only requires one person. As a result, a lot of the brewday was spent studying for the final and asking questions about various processes and techniques.
I had anticipated the final exam being pretty easy, but there was still a huge sense of anxiety going into the exam. We had 7 questions and we had to answer 5 of them. Two of the questions were calculations, and the other five were all essay questions. The questions were things like "Write an essay on the utilization of sugar by brewing yeast." Or "Write about the chemical composition of enzymes, the factors that influence their performance, and the role enzymes play in the brewing process." Unfortunately, I ended up filling up two pages with my responses, and our ten minute warning for turning in papers came much quicker than expected. As a result, I had to rush through the last question and a half. I still think the final went well for me, but I do wish that I could have had more time for my last response.
Now we have two more weeks to complete the program, and these last weeks are the part that we all look forward to the most. We will begin touring around Austria and Germany, visiting three breweries or brewing related companies each day. We have a break in the middle of the two weeks for a few days that will alow me to go to Belgium, Amsterdam, and Cologne. I can't wait to see what we have in store for the next two weeks, and then get back and start brewing again!