FSEM Reflection 3

I enjoyed very much the whole beer-making experience of this class. I had a little bit of personal experience with brewing, as my brother is a winemaker in Napa and amateur brewer, and we’d made several beers and wines together before. However, we had always used more makeshift tools than the ones we got to use in class, like a taped-up bendy straw for an airlock, and an old used wine jug for a fermenting tank. So, it was really neat to me to get to see more professional tools being used in brewing in the class. One part of it that was cool to me was the forced carbonation of the keg. My brother and I had always just skipped the carbonation entirely, or made attempts at using priming sugar to create carbonation, so to see the way the CO2 gas is “mixed” in to the beer through the pumping and shaking of the keg was a cool new experience for me. The inclusion of the different methods of fermenting were also interesting, with the various clay pots and degrees of openness to outside bacteria. While they could certainly not hold up to the control batch in an ultimate taste test, I was quite surprised at how well the beer in the homemade clay pots actually fared. It seemed counter-intuitive to me and was therefore very interesting. While I was already somewhat interested in brewing before this class, this new hands-on experience has certainly deepened my curiosity for trying my own home-brews in the future.

-J. Wolfgang Paulson

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One thought on “FSEM Reflection 3

  1. It’s not letting me post so I’m just going to post my reflection on this post instead.

    For the third part of this semester, the Human Survival Class has focused on making home-made beer. This whole process has taken up quite a long time because there are so many components in this beer-making process. For example, not just are we making beer, but we are also experimenting with it, tasting it, and even doing some parts of the process in the science lab. First off, we had to make the beer. In order to do this, we made a sort of “teabag” of grain, some roasted, some not roasted, and put it into a mesh which we put into water to produce beer. Then, after it was ready, we put it into different jars and experimented with it to see, taste, and smell the difference a closed jar and an opened jar would make as well as if the jar was burnished or unburnished. We also carbonated the beer by adding CO2 to the solution. Our class also went to the biological labs in order to cultivate the different results of beer on agar plates. In this part of the process, we took a sample of the different beers and put it on agar plates using fixed pipettes. Then we used spreaders and a miniature turning table to evenly spread the liquid across the agar. This whole beer-making process was very interesting because I never thought that I would have the opportunity to do such a thing in my entire life, but now I can say that I actually made beer. This whole class has been a great experience in that it really did teach me some things that I could use in human survival. Overall, it has been just a good, enjoyable class that I would recommend to everyone.

    Stephen Kim

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