Day 435

We’re up to the early 1970s in History of Rock & Roll. Yep, bell bottom jeans, platform shoes, polyester leisure suits, big hair. How did the period 1970-75 produce so much good music (Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Steely Dan, Queen), so much bad clothing, and so much REALLY BAD music? (The Bay City Rollers, Tony Orlando & Dawn, and The Captain & Tennille, who some day will have to answer for inflicting “Muskrat Love” on the world.) But if the bad music was really so bad, how did it prosper?

Although I lived through this period, I didn’t think at the time about why the good music/bad music dichotomy had happened–it just happened. So it’s very interesting to sit in a class and hear the reasons about why. (However, there was no theory about what had caused the bad clothes. And I will  continue to deny that I ever wore them.)

My head filled with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, it was off to Business Ethics, where we argued the pros and cons of child labour. I was on the “Pro” side of the argument, and I am pleased to report that by the time our side was finished, child labour  not only seemed viable but indeed necessary for the economic vitality of our country.

All of this was to prime us for our next major in-class activity which starts next week: one-on-one debates. We have already been assigned a debate opponent, and our topic. In my case, I will be arguing that it is ethical for celebrities to endorse products that they don’t actually use or like.  Hrm, have to think about that one.

We had a couple of hours between classes, so I drank gin cocktails. Well, sort of. We have this project coming up in Sensory Evaluation where we have to present a beer cocktail to the class. My partner and I have an idea that mixing Belgian wit and gin will work, but the devil is in the details, so this afternoon we  tried mixing them together with varying amounts of other ingredients. Results were encouraging, but we still feel there’s room for improvement. More experimentation is obviously called for.

Following that, I had the strangest urge to have a nap in FCF. Huh. And it was such an interesting topic: centrifugation; that is, using a centrifuge to remove solids such as yeast or trub  from your wort or beer. These machines have many benefits compared to filters–high throughput, very efficient, little chance of clogging, no expensive or unhealthy filter media to buy and store, etc. However, because they are relatively expensive, they are largely unknown in the craft beer world. Large brewers who can afford them use them extensively for everything from recovering as much wort as possible from spent grains to removing all but the smallest particles from finished beer just before sterile filtering.

We also took a quick look at pasteurization systems. Again, these are usually not found in craft breweries, firstly because they are expensive, and also because many craft brewers believe that pasteurization alters the taste of the beer in unacceptable ways. Pasteurization isn’t meant to sterilize the beer–the temperatures involved would render the beer undrinkable–but only to kill most microorganisms and make any remaining almost unviable. Each minute the beer is raised to 60°C is rated as 1 Pasteur Unit (PU); brewers generally want to apply about 10-15 PUs to their beer, the exact amount depending on the brewer. How the heat is applied is also up to the brewer–a slow gentle rise in temperature and holding it just at 60°C for a longer period of time will affect the flavour one way, suddenly heating the beer to much higher than 60°C for a shorter period of time will affect the flavour very differently.

There are two main types of pasteurizers in breweries:

  • tunnel pasteurizers: the already bottled beer is sent into a rather large machine. As the bottles advance on a conveyor belt, they move under water nozzles that spray hot water until the beer’s temperature rises above 60°C; the bottles then pass under cooler sprays which quickly chill the bottles.
  • flash pasteurizers: the unbottled beer is sent through a steel tube. Heat, in the form of steam or hot water, is applied to the outside of the tube, instantly raising the beer’s temperature above 60°C as it passes by.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each system–the tunnel pasteurizer is the size of a room, the flash pasteurizer is the size of an office desk, etc.

Now, time to hunt up some more ingredients for our gin & wit cocktail.


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3 Comments on “Day 435”

  1. Neil Diamond also has much to answer for. Solitary Man and Cracklin’ Rosie in particular.

    • Alan Brown Says:

      Don’t get me started. I didn’t even mention Jimmy Osmond, Cher, Bo Donaldson & the Haywoods (“Billy, Don’t Be a Hero”), or Chuck Berry (normally a hero for “Maybelline”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, etc., but then he goes and sings “My Ding-a-Ling”.) The purveyors of 1970s bad music: their name is Legion.

  2. Canageek Says:

    So, I’m opening the floor bids to scan Dad’s old photos…..

    You mean awesome cloths, right?

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