Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week 1

Well week 1 is over and done with. The weather in Chicago has been snowy and cold. My roommate Sharif and I have managed to get out and enjoy some great food, as well as grabbing some groceries and beer to take back to our awesome apartment. Here is a break down of what we studied so far:
Monday: Introduction,  Barley Structure/Morphology and Barley Evaluation for Malting.

Tuesday: Steeping, Biochemical Changes in Malting, Germination and Malt Kilning
Wednesday: more Malt Kilning, Finished malt, Malt Specifications, Specialty Malts and we closed the day with our first sensory Training session(more on that later)
Thursday: We were supposed to do hops today but sadly our instructor Mike Babb had a family emergency and had to fly out that night so we did Brewing Water Composition and Brewing Water Adjustments. We did a water comparison between two different bottled waters. It was interesting to taste the difference in mineral levels.

Friday: We had our first quiz, I won't know how I did until Monday, though I feel good about it. We then  moved on to Hop Cultivation, Hop Utilization & Analysis and Hop Products with Mike's co-worker Brian Buffin at Kalsac Advanced Hop Products. He passed around some advanced hop products for us to smell and check out.

 We also did a "hop rub", which is where you take either whole or pellet hops in your hands and rub them to warm them up and to break open the lupulin glands. The lupulin glands hold some of the essential oils, so by doing the "rub" you can get to smell the nice hop aromatics.

We finished off the week by heading over to Piece Brewing for some beer and pizza. They had a smoked porter that fantastic.

It has been pretty exhausting but I am having a good time. There is a lot of information coming very fast but I feel I am keeping up fairly well. The walk to and from school has helped counter the sitting in class for 8 hours a day. The weather has gone from snowy at the beginning of the week, to really cold in the middle of the week, to sunny and warmer now.
Next week the intensity is supposed to pick up. We will have a field trip to Briess Malting so that should be interesting. A few classmates and I are planning a few weekend trips to tour breweries that are a little farther away like New Glarus, and Three Floyds.
 For now I am enjoying a relaxing day before more studying for next week.


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