I will be so happy when this semester is over, and I no longer have that unshakeable feeling of impending disaster because there are too many balls in the air and surely they will come crashing down any moment.
OK, maybe a tad dramatic, but it has been a busy two weeks. They might have been less nutty if I hadn’t taken two weekends away for roller derby tournaments, but I had fun and can’t bring myself to regret them in the slightest.
So here goes, my post about catching up. I know I don’t need to because as my friend Tyler says, bloggers can blog whenever the hell they want to about whatever the hell they want to, but it will always bug me if I don’t. For expediency’s sake, I’m making this a (mostly) photo post. Sorry, classes-without-photos, you don’t make the cut this time.
Chem & Bio labs, where we learned to make selective media, and then poured many, many plates to use another time.
Home Brewing on the weekend
Tested out my new brewing equipment to make a Belgian Blonde ale with roses. The recipe was from the Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Book, and always intrigued me. I made my own Belgian candy sugar for it, and the resulting fermentation was vigorous and fascinated Smoot. She shall now be known as my assistant brewmaster, as she followed my every move during the process.
We had a field trip to the Labatt plant in London to see a large facility in action. We were not allowed pictures inside the brewery, so alas, no Vines of bottles happily clinking along the conveyors through washing, filling, capping and packaging.
No beer club this week, but we held a special guided scotch tasting. I went to see if I could develop a taste for it, or personal descriptors that went beyond “gasoline”. I couldn’t.
A long lab in identifying the things that grew on the selective media plates from last week. An equal mix of kinda gross and kinda cool. No one knows what the spiky one in the top right was, not even the prof. Some other growths had to be re-plated to identify next week.
Back in the brewery and on the pilot side to brew and log the process for our final assessment. It was pretty cool to do the step mash for the first time, not so much to do it for an assignment.
I didn’t stay for the full beer club, but I did submit my aged sour cherry and smoked sour cherry ales for tasting. Still some slight over-carbonation issues, alas. I will make the smoked version again in a bigger batch this summer, with more cherries and a smaller proportion of the smoked malt.
We spent this lab jostling against each other in the tight quarters of the brewery as we practiced yeast rinsing (no acid) and yeast washing (with acid). During a break, I headed back to the lab to look at the plates from the week before. I learned quite a bit, not the least of which is that I still suck at trying to focus a microscope.