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Old 02-08-2013, 09:34 PM   #1
Brew_Magus
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Apr 2011
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I work for a university, and the university will cover a % of any course I wish to take for career-related courses or courses working towards a degree. I've finally decided to take advantage of this (why haven't I before???), and so I've narrowed down a short list of courses that would relate to my work (cellulosic ethanol production, e.g. brewing fuel) or future career (hopefully brewing). Currently I work for a Chemical Engineering lab, performing GC/LC method design and analysis of biomolecules produced during pretreatment of cellulosic material for bioethanol production.

Here's the list:

- MMG 201 Fundamentals of Microbiology (an introductory microbiology course for Microbiology majors)
- BMB 161 Cell and Molecular Biology (an introductory microbiology course for Biochemistry majors)
- Cem 251/351 Organic Chemistry I (self explanatory)
- FSC 481 Fermented Beverages (a course on brewing and distilling for Food - Science/ Biosystems Engineering majors; might be a hard sell for getting comped)
- CHE 201 Material and Energy Balances (intro Chemical Engineering course; I'll have to take 3 or 4 courses before I can get to Process Engineering, though)

Any thoughts on which would be most useful to me if I decided to later get my certificate in brewing science or work in a brewery?

 
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #2
MalFet
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I've always been a big believer in the fundamentals. If you understand core facts of microbiology, you can educate yourself on the beer-specific stuff in a rigorous way. If you don't have those fundamentals, though, there's only so far a "Fermented Beverages" class will be able to go. If I were in your position, I'd go with the microbiology or possibly the biochem class.

(It sounds like you already have a technical background, though, so YMMV!)
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
byrdmen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew_Magus View Post
- Cem 251/351 Organic Chemistry I (self explanatory)

Sorry, that just brings back some horrible memories.

Good luck.

 
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #4
Airborneguy
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Wait, time out. With your job, shouldn't you have already taken all of these classes?!?
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:51 PM   #5
brewingbound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byrdmen

Sorry, that just brings back some horrible memories.

Good luck.
Loved organic chemistry... Lol I'm trying to get accepted into pharmacy school right now

 
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:52 PM   #6
DJP00829
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Start with whichever one sounds most fun to you. Personally Id try for the hard sell first, see if you can finagle that one. The yeasts turn the wort into ethanol, you turn cellulose into ethanol - Maybe tell them you're exploring other uses for your current product... So what if that use is your own personal enjoyment!

 
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
Brew_Magus
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Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
Wait, time out. With your job, shouldn't you have already taken all of these classes?!?
Hah, yeah. I stepped into my job sideways. I received my MSc in Geological Science. My thesis was on sequencing protein (in fossils) using mass spec. My current boss needed someone who had protein sequencing and mas spec experience, and I was recommended, so I got the job. That said, most of my bio and organic chem experience is hands on. I've never even taken a mass spec course (my committee didn't think more chemistry courses were a good idea!)

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! One of my colleagues/ advisors instructs 1/3 of an analytical instruments course that I might try getting into this fall, but I'm definitely going to try to get into the Fermented Beverages course.

 
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