Iowa State Class Teaches Students to Brew Beer
Beer definitely did not help me get my degree from UNI. It may have helped my friends and I let loose from time to time, but the occasional hangover paired with a Communication Theories class was not the combination anyone wanted on a Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM.
Maybe if I was taught to brew my own beer, I could've avoided said predicament.
I doubt it.
Iowa State students are now given that chance, as professor Robert Brown decided to take one of his passions into the classroom. According to RadioIowa, "Brown has been brewing beer on his own for years and was approached by the Center for Crops Utilization Research as they wanted to expand the types of fermentations they are doing."
And thus, 'the science and practice of brewing' was born on campus in Ames.
He had this to say in regards to how the class is conducted:
The students get a lecture once a week, and then they spend the whole afternoon in the laboratory. And they are introduced to different kinds of equipment appropriate to whether it’s home brewing they are interested — or to look at commercial brewing of beer.
The article adds that "five students (are) assigned to each of the four identical brew stations, and sometimes they are trying to determine if one brew was better than the other with the same recipe. He started the brewing class in January and says the batches of beer have been improving."
Brown elaborates, saying that there is much more to brewing a good beer than throwing some ingredients together and walking away -- there's plenty of scientific practice involved:
The students are asked to reach back to what they learned their freshman and sophomore years in chemistry and biology and microbiology, and things that they learned — especially those who are engineers — to heat transfer, thermal dynamics, and apply that to the brewing of the beers. ... So it really is for many of them I think a culmination of their studies at the university — whether it was food science or mechanical engineering.
Students must be 21 to participate in the class.