Who would have thought a class all about beer? This class will be offered beginning in the fall of 2009, Professor Barth has gained his interest in offering this class due to hobby of brewing beer on his own time. Professor Barth provided me with a brief history of how chemistry is important in the process of brewing beer and that is of interest to students on campus. Within this class, he will be covering the topics of water and how beer is made up of 90 percent of water and the chemistry of water and its influence in the beer making process will be discussed.
Professor Barth offered a brief explanation of starches converting to sugars by enzymes and sugars made into yeast by the process of fermentation. These processes will be discussed as well as the carbon dioxides (CO2) participation in brewing beer. Referring back to the Sumerian and how the were the first culture to write things down, they wrote about beer. We can attest that beer has been around longer than we have thought.
When adults go out to the bar, everyone has a different acquired taste to what they like and do not like in accordance to their beer. Do you like it with an inch of form or no foam, light or dark and maybe the idea that our beer is clear has something to do with how people have come to like their beer clear. Professor Barth said that the color is obtained by the amount of temperature that is put to the beer. The higher the temperature, the darker the beer will be. Pilsner beer is a beer originated from the Czech Republic. Pilsner is a place in the Czech Republic and the beer is a light colored beer.
In the United States, there is a term, Adjuncts, used on the labels of beers or in general referring to the ingredients in the beers. Adjuncts refer to the idea that in place of using malt, other ingredients are used. For example, in some of the pale colored beers, breweries will use rice.
The course will cover the chemistry of beer and its components such as water, carbon dioxide, the process of fermentation and breaking starch to sugar by enzymes. The history of beer will be discussed as well as the different containers used to hold beer and the function they serve and their purpose. Also the waste disposal of containers and the alcohol will be discussed in the process. Water treatment will be a high topic because students will want to know the effects of using a better quality of water in a beer and how it affects the brewing process.
The course will be offered on Monday and Wednesdays from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm beginning in the fall semester. There will only be one section with a maximum of 75 students allowed in the class. The class will count towards a science or an elective. “Knowing more is helpful,” Professor Barth said.
If interested, look into scheduling this chemistry class to learn about an interest among college students as well as fulfill an academic requirement.
Suzanne Brady is a fourth-year student majoring in Spanish education. She can be reached at SB619873@wcupa.edu.