07 Nov 2010 @ 3:11 PM 

Siebel Concise Course: Day 5 and Week 1 Wrapup


I think it is safe to say that by the time Day 5 came around, there was a lot of fatigue around the course both on the side of the students as well as the instructors. The instructors were spending the day sucking on lozenges as they were at the back end of basically talking for 40+ hours and the students all pretty much looked like they were getting ready for summer vacation.

There’s a lot of information presented in really short format in this course. I find myself wondering what the diploma course is like – in many ways I wonder if it might be a little easier to assimilate the information since there’s more time to do it in. Although, at the same time, you’re going so much more in-depth in each topic it’s hard to imagine not being even more overwhelmed with information.

I can’t imagine that the guys who are coming into this course as homebrewers aren’t getting completely bowled over by some of this content. So much of it is going to be easier to understand if you have even basic familiarity with commercial brewery equipment.

Day 5 finished our hot-side education. We talked about Mash Filters (essentially really high efficiency lauter tuns where cloth/polypropylene filters are used to filter wort instead of a grain bed), tasting panels, recipe formulation, wort boiling, wort clarification, and finally cooling and aeration/oxygenation.

We also got our books – which are just collections of Powerpoint presentations – for next week, which includes our schedule. Next week is all cold side, packing, and post-packaging. One of the things that I’m looking forward to the most is the discussion on yeast. Yeast handling is, by far, the part of brewing that I find most interesting and I can’t wait to hear more detail on it. Almost the entirety of Monday is based around yeast.

Each day this week also ends in either a sensory panel, another discussion of styles, or a quiz (for which there are two hours blocked on Thursday). Good times.

When I first signed up for the Siebel Concise Course, I was lucky enough to have been tipped off about the fact that this weekend also included FOBAB: The 8th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers, so I bought a ticket.

I’m not sure I can adequately describe all of the great beer I got to try over the course of the day. There were a lot of good bourbon-aged beers and then.. the sours.. oh the sours. A 2-year aged lambic from Fitger’s Brewhouse, an INCREDIBLE framboise from Destihl, even a wild fermented ale from AC Golden. Yeah. And it was great. There was oodles of beer from Goose Island, Lost Abbey, oh! And a barrel-aged saison from Firestone Walker called Lil Opal that was my absolute favorite beer of the day.

Among other highlights on the day were hanging out with @beerinator and star-studded pals, and getting drinks, an awesome cheese plate, dinner, and a brief private tour of the brewery, new fermentation tanks, and “barrel room” at Revolution Brewing.

All in all, a great Saturday, even if it meant that I passed out face-down, exhausted, at 10 PM. Well-worth it. I’ll study today.

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Categories: industry
Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 07 Nov 2010 @ 03 11 PM


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