Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 18

Monday: Well Monday arrived and it was back to school. I was pretty excited to get back into a schedule and start the Masters part of the program. I did have a bit of a debacle to start my week. I ended up being 20 minutes late to the first day of class because the trains were running weird, and I tried taking a bus that drove by me right as I was getting to the stop. The day ended up being very short. We went over our syllabus for the next 2 months, then waited around for a free lunch (there is such a thing...kinda) . After lunch I headed back my apartment and met up with Ben who was just returning from Berlin and was flying home the next day. We did get to try one of the beers my group made previously at Doemens. It was the weizen beer, that we filtered, and bottled. We also bottle conditioned it as well. The beer was pretty good. It had quite a bit of CO2 in it and was pretty thin because it had been filtered.

Later that evening we went out to eat and grab some beers from Unionsbraeu. I really like their unfiltered helles. They serve it on cask, and it has a nice cantaloupe/estery note to it. There is also a small amount of  diacetyl in it that rounds out the mounthfeel a bit.

Tuesday: One thing about this part of our program is that our schedule has now changed. We start class at 7:30, have a half hour lunch, and are usually done by about 4:15. Lectures run about and hour and a half with a 15 minutes break in between. This will be different on brew days and such but for the classroom time that's what we are dealing with. Our class is now 20 people. 19 guys and 1 woman.
We started our studies with Yeast Management and beer quality with Dr. Zepf. Next it was on to a Microbiology lecture, and a talk about sugars relating soft drink production. Part of this program has us studying and making soft drinks. I can't say I'm too excited about it, but it never hurts to learn more things. We had our short lunch break, then the rest of the day we talked about the beers that we would be making at Doemens over the next 2 months. The class is going to be split in two for the brew days and the lab days. The first beer my group is going to make is an IPA. It is going to be a hybrid between an English style, and an American style IPA. We worked through the malt and water calculations for that beer, then went home. I spent the rest of the night studying the calculations thoroughly and trying to commit the equations to memory.

Wednesday: We did more Yeast Management this time talking about propagation. Then it was on to more Microbiology, followed by a discussion of the soft drink calculations and ingredients we will be using when we make soda.

Lemon essence for soft drinks

After lunch we had 3 hours of Chemical Technical Analysis with Klaus Ritter. We did some review on malt analysis, then spent the rest of the time talking about congress mash's and the results and analysis' that pertain to them and what that means to a brewer. It was one of the best lectures I have had while in this whole program. A lot of things "clicked", and that is a good feeling.

EBC color wheel.

Thursday:  We had a Planning a Brewery lecture, followed by some group work. We were split into groups of 4 and asked to come up with a business plan for a brewery. My group did a plan for a production brewery in San Fransisco. I felt we did pretty well for having 2 hours to come up with a business plan. After lunch we had three hours of Microbiology with Thomas Huber. Most of the lecture centered around microorganism detection. When I got home that night I decided to do a pilsner sampling. There is a new beverage center that opened right by my apartment so I went and grabbed a few pilsner's. I think that the Spaten Pils was my favorite. It has a nice dry finish with a slight floral hop note to it. The Paulaner was pretty oxidized so I might have to try that one again.

Friday: Friday we started by giving our presentations about our business plans. Then it was on to a Styles Tasting. Most of it was a review. We talked about wheat beers, specifically Berliner Weisse, Bavarian hefeweizen, Gratzer, and Gueze. We had some samples too. In our previous diploma program we had the Berliner Kindl and the Huber Weisse, but this time we had some Lindemins gueze. The Berliner Weisse has a strong lactic acid smell reminding me of the smell of someone getting a perm, along with a strong yeast note to it. The hefewiezen really isn't that exciting. This one has a strong bubblegum note to the smell and taste, but is kind of lacking in body. The Gueze was garbage. I really don't like most things that Lindemans put out because they back sweeten it with an unfermentable sugar, saccharin I believe. I prefer my gueze to be very dry. The last part of the day was a lecture about Maintenance Planing. I really appreciate these kind of lectures because I think it's something a lot of people don't think about, that and I have spent the majority of my working life as a maintenance man, so it's material I am very familiar with.We got out at noon as we usually do on Friday's and went and had some Indian food. Afterwards I spent the most of the rest of the night studying. I did try to go meet up with some folks at a biergarden but the trains were really messed up, so I ended up heading back to my apartmnet and watching a bad movie.

Saturday: I went to the new grocery store by my apartment and actually did some grocery shopping. The place is fantastic. Afterwards I met up with one of my classmates for a little beer hunting adventure. The trains were still royally messed up but we managed to find our way to where we needed to be. Our goal was the Forschungs Brauerei. I had read that this was one of the only independent breweries in the area and they were supposed to have a really nice pils, and a really nice bock. When we finally did find the place it was closed. According to website, they have a new landlord and have delayed opening because of it. I just hope the place is not shut down for good. I would really like to try to visit it before I leave Munich.

Sunday: I finally slept in a bit and it was great. With the new school schedule I have had to adjust a bit. I spent the majority of the morning studying, then it was off to the Englisher Garden for a couple hours of football (soccer). The nice thing is Monday is a public holiday, so we get a three day weekend. I am pretty excited about school next week. It is going to be mostly practical hands on work in microbiology and lab work work for the Chemical Technical Analysis.


  1. On the subject of soda, I will say that Fort George brews a really tasty ginger-wasabi beer (N/A) - we got to sample some of that when we were out there this weekend.

  2. Yum. I am rarely disappointed with Fort George. Hope you guys had fun.