Day 132

In Brewing Equipment, we looked at the different types of electric motors we are likely to encounter in a brewery. After an hour of theory about the various types of motors, their functions, and their advantages and disadvantages, Gordo Slater brought in some non-functioning electric motors for us to disassemble. Okay, there were actually only two motors and 30 students, so a couple of the students got to get their hands dirty while the rest of us watched. Up until then, most of the class had only seen the inside of an electric motor via PowerPoint slides, so it was valuable to be able to see the actual parts of the motors as the dissections progressed. One of the students was even able to diagnose the problem in one of the motors—a sticky graphite brush that wasn’t making contact with the rotor.

Brewmaster students in the lab

Brewmaster students in the lab

In our first Chemistry lab, everyone looked very scientific in their lab coats. The lab itself was fairly basic: we were tasked with taking measurements at five different stations—the volume of water in two graduated cylinders, the masses of two weights, the lengths of two objects, etc.

Admittedly there was some confusion over how to read a burette (a vertical pipette filled with liquid): We started by reading how much liquid was left in the burette, when actually we were supposed to read how much liquid had been removed. However, we got it straightened out.

We were then given a series of calculations to apply to our measurements, the object being to show that we could arrive at the correct number of significant figures in our final answers. So, basic but necessary background for brewery lab calculations.

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