Day 125

Two more new classes today. The first was Brewery Equipment and Technology. In first semester’s Intro to Brewing with Gordo Slater, we skimmed the surface of brewing equipment. Now Gordo is back to give us a more in-depth look, this time with an eye to designing a brewery. We’ll also look  at standard operating procedures and record-keeping required by a modern brewery.

Today’s class was a primer in electricity, and we zipped through a lot of material in three hours: amps, volts, ohms, Ohm’s Law, single phase versus 3-phase, AC versus DC, North American versus European electrical standards, fuses, circuit breakers, and stepping voltage up and down. Of course, none of this was supposed to make us a qualified electrician. The idea was that if we know something about electricity, we can ask the electrical contractor intelligent questions when budgeting a brewery design; and when problems do crop up, we might also have an idea of what the electrician is talking about.

In truth, we covered a lot of ground very quickly, and it seemed from some of the circuit diagrams that flashed before our eyes that Gordo assumed this was just a review for us. However, it’s been many a long year since Grade 9 electrical shop–I may have to do a bit of supplementary reading.

The second new class was our Chemistry lab with lab instructor Sam Corbeil of Sawdust City Brewing. No experiments today–we were given a mandatory lecture on lab safety procedures, and a quick overview of the course outline. Out of class early, so I had enough time to head to the bookstore to buy a lab coat and safety goggles for next week’s lab. Given that we have had no new text books to buy this term (yet), the $25 cost seems like a reasonable amount.

Then back on to the highway for the drive home. I haven’t mentioned the winter driving conditions because–knock on wood–they haven’t happened yet. Due to wacky weather patterns, winter seems to be on vacation. Temperatures have, for the most part, hovered around 6C. My lawn, usually either frozen into dormancy by this time or covered in a lot of snow, is currently still green. We even had daisies growing in our garden until Boxing Day.

However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder–a classmate from Florida believes these conditions are pretty darned harsh.

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