We just finished the last day of the human survival class. The semester went by so fast! The projects that we completed from November to now are as follows- beer brewing and beer tasting, weaving and spinning, and paint making. We are going to do the smelting of copper and learn about herbal remedies in January when we get back from winter break because there was not enough time to accomplish the activities during this semester. The brewing of the beer took roughly two weeks to produce the finished product and the brewing process itself was very easy to carry out. With the ancient brewing technique, we poured the beer mash into the vases we made earlier in the semester and sealed a few of the vases with wet clay while, with the modern brewing technique, all we did was transfer the mash into a metal keg and added air pressure to the mix to turn out carbonated beer. Then came the result taste test. Some of the ancient flat beer had a milky white mold floating at the surface of the liquid and when tasted, the ancient flat beer was better than I expected; it had a bold flavor with a bit of a sweet wheat taste. I was also surprised to discover how the mold actually made the beer taste better than the other beers that had no mold. Some of the vases were covered with patches of a sea green to grayish colored mold- it was not the most pleasant artifact to encounter but Dan, the beer expert, suggested that the mold was possibly created from the bacteria on our hands that we transferred onto the vases as we were handling them. The modern brewed beer was phenomenal- it had a soft gold hue and its taste was not so overpowering. I could detect the honey we added into the formula from the hint of sweetness of the beer. I was taken by how this simple homemade brew turned out to be one of the finer quality of beers I have ever tasted.
~ Leticia Samaniego