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Food Science 4300: The Science & Technology of Beer

One credit course offered each Spring beginning in 2014. Lecture R 2:30-3:20


Senior-level science course for both science and non-science majors. As an introduction to beer appreciation it uses the study of barley, malt, hops, fermentation biology, beer composition, and sensory perception to explore the role of science and technology in the production and enjoyment of food. Samples of beers are used to illustrate the sensory properties (flavor, color, foam and haze), microbiological processes, and chemical components that determine beer quality. Students learn to recognize the major features of beer that determine sensory quality and know the processes that produced them. Topics include the chemistry of flavor—the microbiology of fermentation and spoilage—and the sensory properties of beers made with different raw materials and beer production techniques.


Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the class, the students are expected to:

– Understand the nature of barley, the malting process, the chemical and physical changes that occur during malting, and the contributions of malt to beer.

– Learn the nature of bitter and aroma hops, their uses in brewing and their contributions to beer flavor and foam.

– Understand the nature of brewing water and adjuncts and their contributions to beer quality.

– Recognize the sensory properties of beer (flavor, color, foam and haze) and understand how these are influenced by brewing raw materials and processing.

– Learn how various types of microbes (lager yeasts, ale yeasts, wheat beer yeasts and bacteria) influence beer quality and produce beer defects.

– Understand basic beer styles and the raw materials and processes that produce them.

– Have knowledge of the brewing process and the many transformations it produces.

– Learn to recognize the flavor defects diacetyl, skunkiness and oxidation and understand the processes that produce them.



Introduction to biology and chemistry or permission of the instructor.

Age 21 by the first day of class.

Students must purchase four approved glasses and pay a $25 tasting fee for the course.


Instructor: Prof. Karl J. Siebert