Day 455

This is the second-last week of the term, and as we start to review what we have learned, it is surprising how far back into the distant mists of time the start of the semester seems.

Brewhouse Calculations, for example:

“Who can give the formula for calculating grain weight?”

Blank stares. We learned how to calculate grain weight?

“Week One. Remember? Grain weight? Anyone? Okay, how about the formula for determining strike water temperature?”

My mind raced furiously. I momentarily considered, then discarded the concept of simply sticking my pinkie finger into the mash and adding hot water until the temperature felt right. That didn’t sound like the correct answer for a calculations exam.

“All right, how about the first step in calculating yeast additions?”

Yeast. Hey, I remembered them. Facultative anaerobic single-celled critters. Pitching rates. Hectolitres. Cells per millilitre. Slowly the gears started to grind.

The best news of the day was that a sheet of formulae will be included with the exam. Now all we have to do is remember how to use the formulae.

Good thing we have seven days to study…

On to History of Beer, where we listened to the last batch of student presentations, including Probibition on both sides of the border, brewing in ancient Egypt, and Trappist breweries. Bill White finished the course with a look at brewing in the 21st century, and some trends for the future. Seven days until that exam too…

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