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Old 08-30-2010, 06:14 AM   #1
eon
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Default Brewing Science Books.

Hello all.

I will be attending Oregon State University fall 2011. I'll be majoring in Fermentation Science. I was thinking about grabbing some books and reading up before I get there. I am unsure of where to start though.

I didn't take chemistry in high school or college. Do you think getting a high school chemistry book would help? I know nothing about science or chemistry or microbiology etc... I'll need a beginners text.

Here are some of the classes needed for my degree:

Food Chemistry Fundamentals
Fermentation Microbiology
Food Systems Chemistry
Introduction to Process Engineering
Introduction to Process Engineering Design
General Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Quantitative Analysis
Elementary Biochemistry
General biology
General Microbiology
Brewing Science

There are others but I'll stop here. I think it would be beneficial if I started reading some books (textbook and non-textbooks) on this stuff before I head to the university.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind I am a beginner. Looking for an easy (if possible) book to get me started. Thanks for your time.

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Old 08-30-2010, 06:32 AM   #2
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Check out these two:
"Handbook of Brewing"
"Brewing, Science and Practice"

Both are available Via torrents, or if that is not your style checkout Amazin.com

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Old 08-30-2010, 06:36 AM   #3
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I would highly recommend starting by doing some academic upgrading while you wait to enter school. You can probably take high school and first year university chemistry (and you might want to do biology too, since yeast is biology, not chemistry.) for free or relatively inexpensive somewhere near you or as distance education classes.
You'll do much better with some of that basic knowledge under your belt rather than being behind all the people who took it in high school.

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Old 08-30-2010, 01:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eon View Post
Hello all.

I will be attending Oregon State University fall 2011. I'll be majoring in Fermentation Science. I was thinking about grabbing some books and reading up before I get there. I am unsure of where to start though.

I didn't take chemistry in high school or college. Do you think getting a high school chemistry book would help? I know nothing about science or chemistry or microbiology etc... I'll need a beginners text.
How are your math skills? From looking at the course work I'd guess you are going to get all the chemistry and biochemistry you need and so the risk isn't that you won't have enough going in unless some level of chem is a pre-requisite and the course description or the prof. should be able to help you there. So while a read of a "Chemistry for Dummies" (there's bound to be one) would not hurt you a bit, a brushup on basic math skills would probably be a good idea (algebra, logs, antilogs, graphs, curve fitting...).

An excellent read for someone undertaking an education in brewing is Jean DeClerck's 2 Vol. "Textbook of Brewing". It's published in English by Siebel and I believe they use it just as I am suggesting, i.e. have their students read it before coming to school. It was written in the 50's so the apparatus described for measuring pH, for example, is not what you'd see in a brewer's shirt pocket today but exposure to where some of these technologies come from can only deepen your appreciation for them.

I often suggest that people that want to deepen their appreciation of brewing science take a book like DeClerk and try to read it going off to the side and researching anything they don't understand elsewhere (there's another current thread here on this). First time through you may get little out of it. Subsequent readings with some research will yield more understanding until you can read the thing with the ease you read a dime novel (not that such things exist any more).
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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I'd hold off on the brewing science books and instead get some basic chemistry (and biology) text/classes first. If I were to guess, your brewing science (as well as the advanced science classes) will all have biology and general chem as prerequisites.

If you haven't had ANY chemistry yet, you might find you are struggling in general chem which you are probably going to take in your first year. Looking into text for the more advanced classes (i.e. brewing sciences, biochem, quantitative analysis) is putting the cart before the horse.

Good luck!

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Old 08-30-2010, 02:08 PM   #6
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I have a book called Brew Chem 101 that covers much of the chemistry of brewing. Not too indpeth, so maybe it would be a gentle entry into the subject.

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eon View Post
Hello all.

I will be attending Oregon State University fall 2011. I'll be majoring in Fermentation Science.

I didn't take chemistry in high school or college. I know nothing about science or chemistry or microbiology etc...
This question is probably better directed to the OSU Admissions Office but how the hell did you get into a Fermentation Science program with zero background in chemistry and biology???

Strongly agree with ajedlange and broadbill here, get yourself enrolled in some chemistry and biology 101 courses ASAP. Reading a brewing textbook without that basic understanding will be like reading Greek, assuming you don't already know how to read Greek.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:22 PM   #8
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BigEd I must confess. I actually didn't get in yet. I'll be going in as a transfer student. I need 24 transferable credits from a Community College just to get IN to OSU. If all goes planned I should get accepted in the fall and finish the rest of my classes at OSU.

Once I get there I have A LOT of schooling ahead of me. Since I didn't take chemistry in high school and I was never into math, I'm going to have to take some pre req math and science classes just to even start taking the required ones for my major!

I'm excited though. I never thought I would be into math or science. In high school I had the wrong attitude and just didn't care. I wasn't very good at math but I didn't really try either. I just thought "I suck at math and I will always suck at it."

I now realize that I actually like math and science. I've only taken beginner and intermediate algebra so far at the local community college but I'm learning it and I enjoy learning it.

I just checked out a chemistry book at the library today. It's a beginners text but you know what? I love it! I really find it interesting.

Combine this with my passion and love for brewing beer...Well, I'm ecstatic to say the least!

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Old 08-31-2010, 01:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eon View Post

I just checked out a chemistry book at the library today. It's a beginners text but you know what? I love it! I really find it interesting.

Combine this with my passion and love for brewing beer...Well, I'm ecstatic to say the least!
Hey, it's always more fun when you can put it to practical use.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:11 AM   #10
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Not books... but MIT and a lot of other universities have put a lot of their course material including audio/video lectures and homework on their websites. A lot of introduction and advanced courses on a variety of subjects.

Check out the Wikipedia article on OpenCourseware and check out the links.

The Berkeley Webcasts are pretty neat looking. They post the class' lectures after each lecture, they have general chemistry and bio this semester or you can go back and listen to all of them from last semester if you can't wait.

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