For everyone stuck in and going stir crazy, or having cabin fever, or losing their marbles, minds, biscuits, or gravy, or whatever term you want to call it, I’m introducing a new series. There is a lot of different sites that offer online courses – like Coursera, EDX, Gale Online, etc. – but most aren’t really tailored for brewing or beer drinking or things like that (there is some Cicerone ones I have found though, that might be the next subject to tackle). Some are free, some aren’t, most are free – with the caveat of having to pay for the physical degree. The sites will allow you to finish the courses; but to actually have a degree (either physical or digital or whatever) you will have to pay for that. Which can be anywhere from 20-100$ depending on the course and the site.
I have previously gone and done all of the brewery safety courses offered by the Home – Brewers Association. They offer a large array of courses designed for working at breweries and have videos hosted by Bell’s Brewing and Founder’s and a host of other breweries in the area. They do offer (free) certificates at the end of each course.
So, while looking for things to entertain my feeble mind during this quarantine, I’ve come across a brewing class: Beer – The Science of Brewing. It is offered by EDX.org through the KU Leuven University.
Some basic notes on the course:
* Typical Length: 13 Weeks
* Effort: 4 – 6 Hours Per Week
* Price: Free (verified certificate: 99$)
* Level: Intermediate
Things You’ll Learn:
- Explain the importance of the 4 basic ingredients of beer in shaping beer taste and aroma
- Understand the different processing steps in malting and beer brewing
- Understand the key biochemical reactions occurring during each of these steps
- Recognize and describe the main beer styles, and understand how the brewing process contributes to the different beers
- Identify key factors affecting beer identity, quality, and stability
- Carry out basic sensory analyses of beers and identify key flavors and off-flavors and their molecular origin
So there is a lot to learn here, and yes, its possibly long (13 weeks, is the equivalent of 3 months, give or take). But, we are all on lockdown and in quarantine for an indefinite amount of time, and even once its lifted, 4 – 6 hours of ‘commitment’ a week, is far from impossible, even around a 40 hour work schedule. And of course, thats an estimation for commitment time, some might find it easier, some might find it harder.
So, long story short, I’m going to dive into this, and continue a series of posts about taking the course. I recommend others do the same, and we can discuss it in the comments, or you can just follow along as I tackle this, and learn through me vicariously. All up to you!
So this should definitely be interesting, and fun.
I will post updates to the series, and will title it: Beer Education: X.
Where X will either be substituted for week, day, or possibly module name / number or section or course. So it might look something like this: Beer Education: The Science of Brewing: Week One or Beer Education: The Science of Brewing: Module One or something similar. In each successive post, I’ll link back to past updates so if you join in later, you can catch up and see where we (or I) am at.
At worse, running this series will force me to make sure I finish, otherwise I look like a big stupid idiot in front of you all, and who wants to look like a big stupid-head right? Not this guy!
Ok, so this is just the overview post, my next will be my signing up for it, probably reading over the syllabus, and making whatever selections I need to do, to get it all set-up. So please join with me on this fun adventure. Hopefully see you in the virtual class room or just on here, either way, grab a beer and please follow along!
Cheers fellow students and readers!
The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview