There are times when being an adult means you go in the complete opposite direction of fun. Like last night, I left Ian’s place after dinner (and a few beers) to head home rather than hang around, drink more beer, and play Cards Against Humanity and generally get drunk and silly.
Why? Because I wanted to make sure I made it to FCF in the morning. Stupid adulting.
But I’m glad I made it. The first class looked at the wonderfulness that is barrel-aging. Got some great information, which was timely as I found out later that I am on the list for a small 10L barrel from Toronto Distillers that had had whisky and applejack in it. Now I know that flavour transfer will happen quickly as there is a higher proportion of barrel surface to volume, and that I need to wax the outside to prevent oxidation that might happen quickly in a barrel this size.
The second part was a “small topics” class. On the menu was freeze distillation (interesting), kettle souring (very interesting as making a Berliner Weisse is on the list of fun beers to make soon), dry hopping (more of a review), and about gluten free brewing (seemed to be more of a discussion on celiac than on any real brewing strategies).
Carbonation was the name of the game in FCF. We looked at general carbonation in the first class, and natural carbonation in the second.
And by “looked at” I mean we had someone sit behind a desk and read the slides to us and alternating between giving us tidbits of real world knowledge and slamming the other prof who made the slides.
I could make excuses as to why I was checked out of these classes: not addressed to my learning style (I can read on my own, tyvm) or the content was dry. These may be part of it, but a lot is my own inability to get around my frustration and dismay at how these classes are going, and focus on the material. Which means that I have yet more slides to go over and content to learn on my own time. Yay.
I did manage to drag myself to school for the second FCF class. I was going to stay home and fully recuperate, but the ghost of my father and all his lectures on self-inflicted pain does not give you an out wouldn’t let me.
It was a short one on centrifuges, with a lot being review of Ray’s Equipment class. I wish I could tell you more about it, but I was feeling a bit duntish and will have to review the slides later
I get that they (the college) is trying to find people in the brewing field to teach, but (insert expletive here), can they not give them some instruction on how to teach?
Yay. Another guy who sits behind the desk and reads a PowerPoint. A lot of finger pointing going on regarding getting old, wrong slides; the first three lessons are pretty much review of Nate’s Micro class. And when he came across something he didn’t know, he actually said “I’m stumped”. His reply when I found the answer in 12 seconds on Google?
“Oh, I didn’t think to use Google.”
What the everlasting fuck? Aren’t you getting paid for this?
I can’t believe I paused my life and am sacrificing this much for this.
Today was the first class of Filtration, Carbonation and Finishing class, hereafter to be known as FCF. It was a bit of a flail as the instructor, Curtis, is new and was working off of course slides from 2012. Most of the information covered was review from Bio and Chem from last semester, with the first two lessons being covered in about 2 hours. Six hours are allocated, as it's a compressed double class. Curtis has all kinds of experience in brewing and got his Masters at Heriot-Watt with Rob, so I'm sure he's knowledgeable and will get in a groove.
It was a costly day as I went for lunch with James to Iggy's in Fonthill. They had a Flying Monkeys tap takeover, and there were several interesting beers on tap although not it's usual wide selection. I had the Tart Knight, a dark sour, which was pretty tasty but a bit one-dimensional.
Later, I met more of my class at the Niagara Suppermarket for dinner. Lots of food trucks and a couple of breweries, wineries and cideries to choose from. I ended up selecting the Silversmith Black Lager again, and it went quite well with the chicken and waffles from El Gastronomo Vagabundo. Then home to dash off my online History assignment, arguing my case for why bottling and capping innovations were the most important beer-related invention of the industrial revolution. (Hint: portability, stability, streamlined produciton.