Day 51

Business Math test. There were a few head-scratching moments, but overall, I think I got the job done on break-even analysis and simple interest.

In Intro to Brewing, more head-scratching moments as Gordo Slater ran through the six main biochemical reactions that a yeast cell completes in order to convert glucose into CO2 and alcohol.

I should interject here that in order to be admitted to the brewery program, you need to have either OAC-level (that is, Grade 12) Chemistry or OAC Biology. I took Chemistry and Physics in high school, but not Biology. No problem, the course admission guidelines imply I should be able to get by on Chemistry, right?

Back to our story: Gordo drags us through a dense thicket of biological terms. ADP to ATP. Glyceradlehyde. Acetyl Coenzyme A. Pyruvate. Cofactor Mg++. Didn’t understand much. Looks like Biology might have been a better choice than Chemistry.

After a short break to let the words ooze through my brain in the hopes that some of the six processes would get stuck in there, we were on to aging and maturation–leaving the beer to sit for a while for a while after the end of fermentation. This clarifies, stabilizes, carbonates and standardizes what’s in the fermentation vessel.

In the final half hour, we hurried through a bit about cask-conditioned ales. I was disappointed that we didn’t spend more time on this, with perhaps more of an introduction to the subject for the students who have not yet been inducted into the brother/sisterhood of real ale. Real ale is becoming more popular in southern Ontario, and brewpubs of the future had better understand what it is and how to serve it properly, so it would seem like a good subject to spend some time exploring.

And then, speaking of real ale, it was time to prepare myself for a weekend immersed in cask-conditioned ale. Tomorrow, three lectures at Bar Volo in Toronto:

  1. Making cask conditioned ales (with Charles MacLean of Battleaxe Breweries)
  2. Serving cask ale (with Ralph Morana of barVolo and  George Milbrandt of C’est What)
  3. The history of cask ale in Ontario (with Nick Pashley and Robert Hughey).

A pint of cask ale is served at each lecture, so my note-taking may decline in quality as the day progresses.

Then on Sunday, a chance to sample a few of over 70 casks of real ale at Cask Days, this year at on the University of Toronto campus at beautiful Hart House. I’ll be serving for a while at the Niagara College  Teaching Brewery booth, so come by and have a taste! (But if you don’t have a ticket, too late! SOLD OUT!)

And somewhere in there, I have to study for the Ingredients mid-term at–you guessed it–8:30 a.m. on Monday.

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One Comment on “Day 51”


  1. […] We had already covered this in Intro to Brewing in the fall, but that had been a hasty 20-minute explanation with some hastily scrawled diagrams that created more questions than answers. Today, Mark took his time to explain the processes, using many good analogies to illustrate his points. […]


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