Day 192

Sometimes there might be some obnoxious microscopic critters swimming around in your beer, but if none of them happens to be swimming in the single small droplet that you pull from the beer, then you will never know. In Microbiology Lab today, we made our chances of discovering bad critters a hundred times better by taking a 100 mL sample of beer, then using a vacuum pump to pull the beer through a sterile filter pad, thereby trapping any critters on the filter pad. We then plated the filter pad on agar medium in a petri dish to see if anything would grow.

We enjoyed the mildest winter on record in southern Ontario, and spring has continued in the same vein. Today in particular, the thermometer soared to 26°C (80°F), the warmest March day ever recorded in this area. Now you might think that this would be a good time to sit outside on the student pub patio with a glass of cold First Draft Campus Ale. And you would be right. But then someone pulled out a frisbee, and minutes later, there we were, shoes off, bare feet on warm grass, running after errant throws.

(Yes, if you sat in an office today when you’d rather have been drinking cold beer and running on grass barefoot catching a frisbee, the previous paragraph was for you.)

However, inevitably lunch hour came to an end. Doug Pengelly brought a special guest to Packaging, Bryan Maher of Wellington Brewery. Bryan runs the canning line at Wellington, so today he explained how a canning line works, as well as the maintenance issues and various fun things that can go wrong at the most inappropriate time.

(Best comment from Bryan: “You’re guaranteed to have a beer shower at least once a day. That isn’t as cool as it sounds.”)

Then it was back into the heat and sunshine, if only for the drive home. Probably the first time I’ve ever had the car’s air conditioning on in March.

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