Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 10

Monday: Monday we studied Draft systems with Michael Eder. It was a really great lecture about not just systems, but proper pouring, proper glassware cleaning and of course draft system cleaning. We got out just after noon and went and had some lunch at an Indian restaurant close to school. It was fantastic!!. The rest of the day was spent studying for the test Friday.

Tuesday: We had another brew day with Dr. Andreas Brandl (Andy as he like to be called). This time we were making a light helles. This was a contract beer for an Austrian brewer. The group that brewed the day before made the same thing but with a slightly different recipe, then the brewer was going to check out the differences. It was nice to be brewing again. At the end of the day, when it was time to clean up, out of the 12 of us that started the day only 4 of us remained...good times.

Looking down into the conical fermenter

Wednesday: Wednesday my group did Filtration. We had Andy again, which was great. He is a great teacher, and really let's us get in and get our "hands dirty". We ended up filtering the hefeweizen that we had made two weeks ago, making it a krystal weizen. It was pretty fun steaming the whole system and adding the filter agent, kieselgur as the Germans call it, or diatomaceous earth.

Adding kieselgur into the liquid stream

Cleaning the filter pads

Thursday: We did Bottle Filling. It was a pretty crazy day. I spent a fair amount of my time at the bottle washer, which takes returnable bottles and cleans them, removes the labels with caustic soda and rinses them getting them ready for filling. I would stand and make sure the in-feed was steady and make sure all the labels were removed from the bottles coming out. Every once and awhile a bottle would break or not have the label fully removed. I did end up watching some of the other stations but I really spent the lions share of my time with the bottle washer. We bottled a few beers that day. One of them was the Weizen beer we made, and filtered. They ended up adding some fresh bottom fermenting yeast to it. Hopefully we will get to try some of it when we get back from the study tour.

The bottle washer

I had to take off a little early that day to do some work on a project I am involved in. I will get into more details on that once it has taken off. I can say it could be pretty cool if it is succesful.

Friday: Well here it is. Today was our final test for this segment of the program. For most of the class this is the end of sitting in a classroom. We will have our two week study tour, then 30 out of 36 of us will be flying home. I felt very good about the test. It was 5 essay questions and 2 math equations. We only had to answer 5 of the questions. If you don't pass you have to take an oral exam to see if you actually know what your doing. If I know as much as I think I do, I'll be good, we will see though. I did finish it pretty quickly.
After class a small group of us went to the Hacker Pshcorr Brauhaus for a tour with the brewmaster. It was a pretty cool little place. I couldn't figure out why it was so big and has so many toilets when I was in there earlier, but it all made sense when I realized that the Oktoberfest grounds are right outside the place. They have a 20 hectoliter copper clad system that they mostly do specialty beers on. The main production stuff is done at Paulaner because both company's are one and the same.

The brewhouse

The cellar

One of the highlights was getting to try the altbier they had. Most altbier's come from the northern part of Germany, specificaly Dusseldorf. Munich altbier's are a pretty rare thing these days. They are not as bitter as their northen cousins. This one had some age on it but was still a nicve beer. The brewmaster was saying that he is going to try a light smoked beer soon. I can't wait to try that!!


Saturday: Saturday was not that exciting. I booked a hostel in Prague for when my brother and a couple of friends will be here in May. I did laundry, that sort of thing. Later I went down to the Marionplatz which is the city center, and bought some shorts. I had to guess on the sizing. After that we went to one of the hostels some classmates are staying at and watched the FA cup match. Then it was back to my room for some beer and cribbage....a very nice evening indeed.

Sunday: I spent most of the day packing up my stuff and getting ready to leave for the study tour. We will be heading out for 3 days of the tour, then because of easter we have 4 days off. Jay, Bryce and I are going to go up to Berlin for a few days, then to Leipzig for a couple of days. We then come back to Munich for 1 night, then we continue on our study tour, except this segment will be in Austria.
I have a feeling wlan (wifi) will be shotty so I will try to keep this updated as best I can.
Till then,


  1. Sounds like things are going great!
    I'm interested in that bottle washer. I wonder if that is a viable option for a small-ish U.S. production brewery. What do you think?

  2. I wish it were a viable option, but the main reason U.S. breweries don't use them is cost. It's cheaper to make new bottles, then to operate the bottle washer. Also they are massive and would take up alot of room in packaging area...still it's a pretty cool idea though.