Day 176

The second half of Brewing Equipment‘s semester started with a test. Instead of handing out the test questions, Gordo Slater projected them onto the classroom screen. Since only two or three of the 32 questions would fit on the screen at a time, it was a somewhat awkward way and intrusive way to do a test. Some of the time, I finished the questions quickly and had to wait until Gordo scrolled down to the next three questions. Most of the time, I looked up from working on one question to discover Gordo had already scrolled down to the next set of questions. This meant at the end of the test, various people (including me) had to ask Gordo to scroll back to Question x or Question y.

With that out of the way, we then watched a video of someone disassembling a rather complicated valve and then reassembling it. Since the reassembly required a hydraulic press to reseat several O-rings, it was pretty obvious that only a fairly large brewery with a well-equipped shop would be doing this in-house. Nevertheless, for simpler valves, it was possible to see that the process might be possible using tools you might find around the brewery.

We also started talking about designing automated systems in the brewery. First, each process has to be broken onto a series of “inputs” and “outputs”. An “input” is data sent by monitoring equipment: the temperature of the mash, the rate of flow inside a pipe, etc. An “output” is a reaction to a particular “input”: turn off the water, close the steam valve, etc.

Our Chemistry lab was cancelled, so we gladly called it a day.

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