Day 89

We are into the last week of classes before end-of-semester final exams, so the days are busy busy busy.

First up: More about water preparation in Ingredients. In addition to balancing ion content, and adjusting pH as well as permanent and temporary hardness for the type of beer you want to brew, there’s also the matter of wildlife growing in your water–bacteria and other single-celled critters.

So how to get rid of them? Chlorine? Ultraviolet light? Ozone? Sterile filtration?

And there are also things like organic halogenated compounds such as trihalomethanes. Get out the activated carbon filter for those.

And also give a thought to the other water you use in your brewery. If you’ve gone to all the work of sterilizing and filtering the water used to make the beer, it wouldn’t make much sense to use untreated water to wash the fermenter or rinse out your bottles just before you fill them.

After class, several of us retreated to the student pub for a group think about a major paper due later this week for Jon Downing’s Practical Brewing class in the Teaching Brewery. The paper has to describe, step-by-step, all of the measures needed to take the brewing process from mash-in to fermentation–but due to the large size of our class (36 students), we actually haven’t had that many days in the Teaching Brewery. So we put our heads together to try to recall the exact process.

Student 1: “Then you open the valve.”

Student 2: “No no, turn on the pump, THEN crack open the valve.”

Student 3: “Was that with hot water or cold water?”

Student 1: “Hot”

Student 4: “Cold”

Student 2: “Or was it crack the valve THEN turn on the pump?”

I think we managed to get some semblance of the proper order of things onto paper–well, I guess we’ll find out if we got it right–before it was time to move on to Computer Applications for our final test of the semester. Then over to math for another session of mortgage calculations.

End of a long hard day–time for a long cool beer.

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