Day 183

In Brewing Equipment, we learned about the various types of sensors that can be used in a brewery–everything from a thermometer to a turbine-style flow meter to an oxygen sensor. These can be as simple as a readout or a gauge on a piece of machinery, or they can input signals to computer software complete with a touch-screen display of the brewery operation.

In Chemistry lab, we tried to analyze how many International Bittering Units (IBUs) are in our First Draft lager and ale. That involved taking a 10 mL sample of the beer, adding 1 mL of hydrochloric acid, 20 mL of 2,2,4-trimethyl pentane, centrifuging for 15 minutes, then immediately taking  10 mL from the top of the sample and doing spectrophotometric measurement at 275 nm. This should have given us a number in the 0.2 to 0.6 range, which we would then multiply by 50 to arrive at the number of IBUs. (That is, we should have gotten a final value of between 10–30 IBUs.)

Unfortunately the spectrophotometer was not in a cooperative mood, and returned values that were only one-tenth of what they should have been. Either the machine was broken, or we somehow brewed a 2 IBU beer.


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One Comment on “Day 183”

  1. Canageek Says:

    Did you make sure to zero the photometer to the right type of blank? Also did you make sure to fill the cuvette full enough, and to have the clear sides facing the right way?

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