Days 148-156 recap:
148 – Brewing – I finally remembered to bring in a carboy, so was able to snag some of the Spanish Armada stout to ferment at home. It’s got some smoked and hot peppers in it, and has a nice subtle fire to it. I threw in some Nottingham dry yeast I had in the fridge, but it took a few days to get going. I know that Moose’s basement is cool, cold even in this winter, but I was expecting/hoping for a bit more liveliness. I rehydrated the yeast, but maybe didn’t aerate it enough. That and the cold would be enough to stress any organism out.
149 – Packaging and test that I was woefully unprepared for. I keep thinking that my brain is as elastic as it was the last time I went to school, when I could read something the night before and retain it enough to ace a test the next day. It’s not.
Also on day 149 – Beer Club! Quebec beers were showcased, poutine was eaten. Life was good.
150 – SCIENCE! I <3 science. We finished up labs from the week before and did a rather long lab on mash, starch and iodine. There were setbacks, but we got there in the end.
153 & 154 – I might have been a tad scienced out. 4 hours of Bio & Chem on Monday, then 4 more hours on Tuesday to make up for the snow day. I had such a killer headache by the end of the lecture on Tuesday that I gave up and went home, missing Equipment. this sums it up nicely:
155 – Brewery day, on the pilot system this time. We brewed the Spanish Armada again, only sans peppers, and it was a quick day. Which is good because I was up all night finishing the assignment for Strategic Communications where I made a media kit for Goodale Brewing. I’ll be honest, I spent way more time on the fake logo for the fake (for now) brewery than I did on the media kit itself. Me = design geek.
156 – Packaging was all about bottling lines. Remembering my poor performance on the previous week’s test, I paid attention & took copious notes. We’ll see how that translates to answers on the next test.
Sensory was all about trying to catch up from two missed classes, which meant sampling the a lot of beer. Yes, I know, it sucks to be me.
And another beer club! We tried to get a selection of beer from countries that weren’t really known for their beer, like France and Italy, and had a few pleasant surprises. We have also teamed up with Yellow Pear, a husband and wife catering team who are graduates of the Niagara College culinary program, who put together a great meal of chicken chasseur and pierogies. Thursdays really are my favourite day.
156 – I got there bright and early for the labs, and quickly began to feel like crap. I ended up leaving around 10 or so, much to the relief of my lab partners who didn’t want to catch anything for a long weekend. I went home where I was reunited with my bed.
Family Day Weekend:
Other than feeling sucky because 1) I had a cold and 2) couldn’t get up North to the cottage as planned, it was a great weekend of no work (if you don’t count 10+ hours working on bio/chem problem sets), just hanging out with Keith and the cats. I finally did some home brewing which was amazing, using some new equipment which was even more amazing. I’d won a carboy from Toronto Brewing for liking a Facebook post, and picked it up along with some other stuff. We also went back later that afternoon for more stuff, as Keith was interested in mash tun coolers. And now I have one! Some women get flowers and chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Screw that; brewing equipment is so much better. I finally got to use the immersion chiller that Keith made for me; no more waiting on ice baths for me. The peppercorn rye beer was bubbling and gurgling happily when I left to come back to Niagara, can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Which brings us to today. We had bio & chem lectures today and I was actually able to follow it! We covered aging and contaminations in bio, and boiling and DMS in chem. And now I have a greater understanding of why some of my beers have turned out the way they have: for example, there is a great difference between an around-the-edges-simmer and a full rolling boil. Oops.