Have you ever had that feeling that you should go back to school? Rodney Dangerfield made it look so fun…
Well, that feeling hit me big time around 2009 when my daughter starting looking at UC Davis as her choice for college. UC Davis is like my dream school: Agriculture based (I have always wanted to be a farmer), and that offers degrees in both Viticulture/Enology and Brewing Science. Farms, Wine and Beer – come on all I need is porch and a hound dog and I would be set.
When she made the choice to attend UC Davis, I was so jealous. For the next few years I read up on their brewing program, including their highly respected staff and alumni. When the extension program was offered and it fit my schedule I thought, “Why Not?” It’s not a cheap program, but I have invested more money in the building of my brew stand, ingredients and beer toys, so with the blessing of my wife I signed up.
So what do I expect to gain from the class?
Being that it is a weeklong class and only 15 students I expect an abundance of hands-on learning and the ability to ask a lot of questions and get direct answers. Two areas that really interest me and that I feel that I can gain the most knowledge in are the lab work and the stability of a finished beer. I have never done any type of lab work with my homebrew and learning how to brew a beer that better keeps the taste and aroma for a longer period of time along while brewing an “ageable” beer would be great.
Here is a brief course description taken directly from the UC Davis website
“Learn from one of the world's foremost brewing experts in this in-depth course for advanced homebrewers and early career professional brewers, using the amazing resources of the new 1.5 barrel pilot brewery in the state-of-the-art brewing facility on the UC Davis campus. This class combines clear and detailed lectures with practical, hands-on brewing and laboratory tests. Go all the way from raw material selection through to the quality and stability of the finished beer. A class ale will be brewed and analyses on barley, malt, hops, yeast, wort and beer explored.”
Charles Bamforth, Ph.D., D.Sc., is the lead professor of brewing science at the University of California, Davis, with 35 years of academic and professional brewing expertise, including senior roles with Brewing Research International and Bass Brewers. A fellow of several organizations, including the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), Bamforth is also editor in chief of the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) and has published extensively on beer and brewing. He is a recipient of the ASBC's Award of Distinction and is vice president of the IBD.
Candace Wallin is the manager of the brewery and the brewing research laboratory at UC Davis. She has more than 30 years of experience in brewing and brewing research. Wallin previously held positions as a research microbiologist and then as a brewing technologist at Miller Brewing Company. She is a diploma brewer member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.
I hope to have a follow-up post in the beginning of February that highlights on the experiences I had at UC Davis along with sharing some cool information.