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Old 02-16-2014, 06:36 PM   #601
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I see a lot of people on here that say this class basically is useless. Well I'm new to chemistry so it's a little crazy for me, but I am in the process right now of making a Belgium beer and trying to re create a Belgium water profile. I have run into some snags and questions and with my research I have found a lot of information that was gone over in week one and week two of the course. So in my opinion this course is actually helping me already and a lot of things make more since now. Just my two cents.


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Old 02-16-2014, 11:45 PM   #602
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Any knowledge that makes us better brewers is worth a little mental discomfort. I, for one, have also become a better googler in the process lol! Especially with one of those "WTH did he just say?" moments. And since its free for us, but a advance chemistry course for actual students, I feel no need to complain about anything I am learning.... Point is, we are learning, for free.

I was brewing weekly (sometimes twice a week) for the first 5 weeks for the upcoming AHA Competition and found myself contemplating Alpha amylase smashing protein chains. Complex lipids making my yeast healthy and giving the foam retention to create that beautiful lacing as we down a glass of our finest. Terpines giving us that hoppy goodness balancing out the malty sweetness. Even while cleaning, I envisioned phospholipids lining up in the water making our task easier. Heck I even pictured Etoh metabolized as I enjoyed a brew. (actually that was not a pretty image). That may seem a little romanticized at a beer level but I actually do picture it in my head now. And to think on that molecular level is going to make me a better brewer.

At the very least this course makes us step back and think about what we are doing and the eventual outcome of our brewing actions. Yes it is hard for those of us without a chem background. Yes it takes time to understand some of the concepts (or most). That is the essence of being educated.

Hang in there Boyos... Its only 12 more weeks. We got this! Now back to that Etoh metabolizing image as we study Malting and Kilning...

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:27 AM   #603
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Originally Posted by Danno355 View Post
Any knowledge that makes us better brewers is worth a little mental discomfort. I, for one, have also become a better googler in the process lol! Especially with one of those "WTH did he just say?" moments. And since its free for us, but a advance chemistry course for actual students, I feel no need to complain about anything I am learning.... Point is, we are learning, for free.

I was brewing weekly (sometimes twice a week) for the first 5 weeks for the upcoming AHA Competition and found myself contemplating Alpha amylase smashing protein chains. Complex lipids making my yeast healthy and giving the foam retention to create that beautiful lacing as we down a glass of our finest. Terpines giving us that hoppy goodness balancing out the malty sweetness. Even while cleaning, I envisioned phospholipids lining up in the water making our task easier. Heck I even pictured Etoh metabolized as I enjoyed a brew. (actually that was not a pretty image). That may seem a little romanticized at a beer level but I actually do picture it in my head now. And to think on that molecular level is going to make me a better brewer.

At the very least this course makes us step back and think about what we are doing and the eventual outcome of our brewing actions. Yes it is hard for those of us without a chem background. Yes it takes time to understand some of the concepts (or most). That is the essence of being educated.

Hang in there Boyos... Its only 12 more weeks. We got this! Now back to that Etoh metabolizing image as we study Malting and Kilning...
I like your attitude.

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:18 AM   #604
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Personally i don't think anyone should be complaining. As repeated many times, the keyword here is free. I'm jUst as much as i can since i don't have Much of a chemistry background. I don't understand the chemistry processes much but i still find it interesting

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Old 02-17-2014, 04:23 AM   #605
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Originally Posted by bren2426 View Post
I see a lot of people on here that say this class basically is useless. Well I'm new to chemistry so it's a little crazy for me, but I am in the process right now of making a Belgium beer and trying to re create a Belgium water profile. I have run into some snags and questions and with my research I have found a lot of information that was gone over in week one and week two of the course. So in my opinion this course is actually helping me already and a lot of things make more since now. Just my two cents.


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Take a look at the appendix section that was opened this weekend. You may find a few more things that might help. Also, although specifically directed to german beer styles, BrauKiaser.com has some good information of water chemistry.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:33 AM   #606
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This is not a great analogy, but let's see if it works.

Soda kegs were not designed for beer, but they are useful.

The Chemistry of Beer course was designed as a 1-hr advanced chemistry course. Therefore, it does not cover everything, but what it does cover we tried to take it the molecular level. I do hope it has been useful.

I appreciate all of the critiques. I have taught Organic Chemistry I about 30 times and never taught two classes the same. I saw what my students were learning and what they were not and read the end of term evaluations. Your first brew is not likely your best, you just keep brewing until you make that batch that make you smile from ear to ear after the first sip.

Hope to get more time to interact with the class over the next few weeks.

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:40 PM   #607
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First, let me say that I took the title and description of the course literally. I did not take it to make me a better brewer, I took it to learn and understand more about what is happening during the process on the chemical level. If utilizing the information makes me a better brewer (and it already has) so be it.

Having a chemical engineering background, I already knew a fair amount of what is being presented, but the regime of the course is forcing me to look at it as a whole and to examine the chemistry involved instead of just skimming over the molecules and reactions.

As with most of the courses I took in college, it's not what was presented that made the course, but what I took from the course and utilized to my best advantage.

And best of all... This is free!

Thanks Mark for making it available to us!

-- Old Goat

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Old 02-18-2014, 10:18 PM   #608
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Maybe I've been out of practice on my chemistry skills, as the concepts are fine to follow, but in practicality on the exams, or maybe it's just the way they're worded; I'm having a difficult time with some of them. Also the drag option still doesn't work most of the time for me. Also I'm finding some of the answers to be problematic, based upon the way they were worded. I'm enjoying the course and trying the best with my work schedule and kid schedule..I have 2 crazy lil girls always asking Daddah, whatcha doing, can I help? Always when I'm trying to do the self-assessments and exams.

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Old 02-19-2014, 01:48 AM   #609
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Finished the Beer Styles quiz this AM. Fortunately no real surprises but it did make you think.
If studied the written portions more thoroughly so I got them all.


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Old 02-19-2014, 02:41 AM   #610
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I think any time we can learn anything, it's a good thing. I find myself reading and re-reading and then reading again. It's frustrating but rewarding at the same time. When I was in college, I worked full time and took all my classes at night and weekends and yet it still seems like it was a lot easier back then. I guess the reality is ... I'm getting older, but it beats the alternative.

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