Monday, May 04, 2009

Brewpub and Brewery Operations: Day 1

Today was the first day of May intersession classes that run from May 4-22, and marks the beginning of HRIM-404 Brewpub and Brewery Operations (actually, that course number was only recently approved so it's still really HRIM-481, but that's neither here nor there). Anyway - it was the first day of a three-week course about beer!

I'm team-teaching this course with another instructor (Tom) who specializes in the drinks management, beverage service, alcohol awareness portions of the class. I bring the geeky chemistry and home brewing knowledge to the table. Tom and I arrived at 7:30 to set up all of our ingredients and equipment in the kitchen lab of the food & nutrition/HRIM building. I picked up all of the ingredients at our local homebrew supply shop, Montgomery Underground Winery. Tom Montgomery (a different Tom), the proprietor of the shop, was kind enough to let me borrow a grain mill for crushing our whole malts.

After setting up, we met our students in a lecture room and went over the syllabus and orders for the day. All 18 students showed up, which was encouraging. After everyone got changed into proper kitchen attire, we headed down to the kitchen to start the brewing. With that many students, we set up two brewing stations - one for the British bitter and one for the Czech lager. I had typed up a recipe/instruction sheet for each so the students could take them home and also to use while brewing. Tom and I talked the students through the entire process, from some crushed grain steeping to the yeast pitching. We did run a bit late, but I was pleased to see most of the students could stay longer than 11:30 to finish the job.

Both batches are hopefully bubbling away in the storage closet and will be ready for bottling on Friday.

No comments: