My team was on the craft side today. After mashing in a batch of Campus Ale, we were distributed to various other jobs in the brewery. I spent the day looking at the keg washer and getting much better at not getting sprayed with stale beer when attaching the hoses.
First up was All About Pasteurizers in Packaging. Rob talked about the differences between a flash system (beer is pasteurized and then packaged) and a tunnel system (beer is packaged then pasteurized). I’m thinking that this is something I won’t have to worry about ever in my dream brewpub in Melbourne, but it’s good information to have.
Victor worked to catch us up in Sensory before the exam. We finished up BJCP category 18 (Belgian Strong Ales – yum!) and then moved on to categories 1 (Light Lagers), 2 (Pilsners), 4 (Dark Lagers), 6 (Light Hybrid Beer) and 7 (Amber Hybrid Beer).
I tried to explain to my taste buds that judging is not about personal likes and dislikes, but they were still most unhappy about having to move from the rich and complex flavours in Belgian Dubbels and Tripels to the significantly less complex lagers, pilsners and cream ales. I cheered them up by picking up a bottle of Westmalle Dubbel on the way home.
Today we split our team into two so we could get through the experiments quickly. Alberto, who has more of a science background than Mat and & put together, started the Gram stain lab using samples collected from the teaching brewery and grown on agar plates. This is a method to help identify microorganisms that one might find in the brewery.
While he worked on that, Mat and I did the chem lab, and made Belgian candy syrup. An error was made on my part (apparently I can’t learn unless I make mistakes. sigh.) and the temperatures were switched between our with-lye and without-lye samples. This led to the lye sample becoming very thick with a burnt-caramel odor, and the no-lye sample not achieving the colour and taste range it was supposed to.
I’ve decided that my next home brew is going to be another go at the Bourbon Dubbel and make my own Belgian candy sugar to add.