This is where I will try to post, as often as I can, on beer topics that are related to my beer, the beer I drink, and my beer education.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Day 25, Exam 5 in brewing and bonus lecture

The exam today caught me a little off guard. I only studied hops and hop chemistry all week, thinking that was all we covered. The hop question seemed to go pretty well (I even managed to correctly draw the structural diagrams of the alpha, beta, and iso-alpha acids). The enzyme question did not go too great. Now that I think about it, I remember covering the effects of enzyme action in mashing on the final wort during our bonus Tuesday morning lecture. Of course I wrote my notes that morning in a completely different section of my notebook, so they never got studied. Whoops.
Today's bonus lecture was kind of fun. It was delivered by Charles Bamforth. He gave us a couple of lectures earlier in the semester on the inter-workings of the malthouse. Today he gave us an overview of the entire process; from malthouse to brewhouse to water analysis to malt and hop chemistry and everything else he deemed important. He is originally British, has a thick accent, talks with his hands a lot, walks all over the room, uses extension cords and upside down chairs as props to help us visualize protein structures and lauter tuns respectively, and overall puts on a pretty good show. I guess I should expect a good show, since I am paying these guys way more than I would pay to see Jack Johnson or ColdPlay.

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