Day 58

In Business Math, we went back to the mind-bending “I already have loan payments scheduled but I want to renegotiate the payment dates” problems (see Day 47) and made them even more fun by adding compound interest to the equations. And heck, since that’s such a surfin’ disco time, what if the interest rate and compounding periods change during the repayment period? “Take that, calculator!” I said, as I viciously stabbed its keys again and again.

In Gordo Slater’s Intro to Brewing class, it was time for some of the brewery assignments to be presented. A few weeks ago, we formed teams of four, with the idea that we could choose anywhere in the world to build a brewery, and make one type of beer. Today we heard the details of two of those projects, a brewpub near Sault Ste. Marie, and a brewery in Milton, Ontario. Okay, not exactly pushing the bounds of “anywhere in the world”, but the brewery plans themselves seemed sound.

We also had a short visit from a member of the Master Brewers Association, an organization that tries to raise the technical standards of brewing by presenting regular quarterly technical presentations on some aspect of brewing.

Then back to learning: Filtering Beer. Or, to be more precise, how to remove the yeast and protein haze from your beer. Of course, some brewers don’t filter–all of the beer I drank at Cask Days was more or less hazy, and it all tasted superb. However, obviously most beer in the market is “bright”–first of all for presentation, and secondly, to extend shelf life.

One could simply let the stuff settle out. However, according to Stoke’s Law, the smaller the particle, the longer it will take to settle. A yeast cell will fall perhaps 75mm (1/3 of an inch) each day, and pieces of protein and smaller microorganisms will take longer.

Then there’s the pasteurization route. However, many brewers decry “cooking” their beer, even if only for a few minutes.

Which leaves physical filtration. Who knew there were so many ways to filter beer? Diatomaceous earth, cellulose, Perlite, hydrophilic, hydrophobic, PVPP, horizontal pressure leaf, vertical pressure leaf…

However, classes are finished for the weekend, time to put my own filtration system to work. Cheers!

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