Beer: the science of brewing

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Overview

In this course of 12 modules, our team of academic scientists and brewmasters will introduce you to the science underlying beer brewing. At the end of this MOOC, you will understand the science underlying beer production, and why your beer tastes the way it does!

Syllabus

Module 0: Course introduction
Introduction to the main topics and goals covered in this MOOC.

Module 1: History and Overview of the brewing process.
A brief history of beer brewing and an overview of the basic steps in the brewing process.

Module 2: Beer ingredients: Malt
Exploration of the typical characteristics of cereals used to make different types of beer, as well as the different steps in the malting process.

Expert speakers module 2 :

  • Prof. Christophe Courtin, Full professor at KU Leuven, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Center
  • Dr. Sofie Malfliet, Operations Manager at AlbertMaltings

Module 3: Beer ingredients: Water
Focus on the importance of water composition, how water is treated and its influence on beer quality and taste. You will also investigate your local water quality.

Expert speakers module 3 :

  • Prof. Hedwig Neven, Master brewer, Duvel-Moortgat, BE

Module 4: Beer ingredients: Hops and spices
Exploration of the typical characteristics of hops and spices used in beer brewing, and their effect on beer taste and aroma.

Expert speakers module 4 :

  • Prof. Thomas Shellhammer, Nor’Wester Professor of Fermentation Science, Oregon State University, USA
  • Dr. Gert De Rouck, Brew Master, KU Leuven

Module 5: Beer ingredients: Yeast
Introduction to the different brewing yeasts, as well as their metabolites that influence beer.

Expert speakers module 5 :

  • Prof. Kevin Verstrepen, Full professor at KU Leuven, Director of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology
  • Prof. Bart Lievens, Professor at KU Leuven

Module 6: The brewing process
Explanation of the main stages involved in beer brewing.

Expert speakers module 6 :

  • Dr. Gert De Rouck, Brew Master, KU Leuven

Module 7: Fermentation
Exploration of key biochemical reactions during fermentation.

Expert speakers module 7 :

  • Anne-Françoise Pypaert, Brew Master, Orval Brewery

Module 8: Filtration and packaging
Overview of filtration and different packaging types.

Expert speakers module 8 :

  • Dr. David De Schutter, Innovation & Technology Development Director Europe, AB InBev Brewery

Module 9: Beer quality and stability
Overview of beer quality checks, and what parameters affect beer stability.

Expert speakers module 9 :

  • Prof. Charlie Bamforth, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis

Module 10: Beer assessment and tasting
Get hands-on experience in beer tasting and identifying key (off)flavors.

Expert speakers module 10 :

  • Dr. Veerle Daems, Senior Sensory Scientist, Haystack Consulting

Module 11: Final exam