No, not feral after all

I was out for a walk with my beloved one day when I found them. It was a sunny afternoon in mid-October, the kind of day that is a gift from the weather gods – one last day of nothing-but-a-tshirt warmth before November starts to chill our bones. We were walking along the mountain bike trail in the valley below us when I saw them…a green vine twining up a small tree and over to a hydro tower, festooned with the now-familiar shape of hop cones. It was late in the season, and they were brown and papery, but there …

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Germany, day 6

Day 6: Friday, April 29th 10:00: Tour Hop Museum 11:00: Beer Tasting 12:30: Bus to Weltenburg 14:00: Open time 15:00: Tour Abbey brewery Well, Tuesday’s hangover had nothing on this one. Epic. We were all, and I mean all, in a great deal of self-inflicted pain. The visit to the hop museum was a bit rough; it was hard to truly enjoy the tasting prepared by the beer sommelier. I felt truly awful that I could not fully appreciate the 3-year-old bottles he brought in from his private cellar. The hair of the dog had the desired effect and was …

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Day 202

Microbiology Nate presented some interesting information about high gravity brewing, and confirmed something I’d long suspected, that big breweries only brew about 10 worts but make about 20 beers from them by varying the dilution factor. It puts quite a strain on the yeast, and there is a high degree of oxygenation and nutrient supplementation that has to occur. Chemistry The big topics are apparently over, and the next lectures will combine 2-3 small topics in one. Today’s small topics were: Lagers and sulfur. Because of the colder process, there tends to be more sulfur present in lagers (reason #1 why …

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Day 80 – Friday, Nov. 21

This was the second early morning sensory class. My system is just not sure about ingesting beer before the coffee has even had a chance to wake me up yet. It will get used to it just in time for the semester to be over and the schedule to be shifted around. It was all about hops this morning, and we rubbed, smelled and tasted the noble hops (Hallertau, Tettnang, Saaz and Spalt) and near-noble hops (East Kent Goldings, Syrian Goldings, Hallertau Herbrucker and Fuggles. My favourite is Fuggles – I like its earthy and slightly floral notes the best. …

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Days 23 & 24

Was is the lack of sleep? The overindulgence in bad food and candy (which might account for the lack of sleep)? The stress of over- booking an up to now very disorganized life? A slight hormonal imbalance? What ever the cause, Thursday and Friday were not good days. My brain blew small nuggets out of proportion, and I spent way too much of time obsessing over what my classmates thought of me, possibly imagining things and over-reacting. The phrase, what the fuck am I doing here? drifted across my mind a few times. I think what it comes down to …

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