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In Class at CIA: Running Hot And Cold

Class is in session at Brooklyn Brewery at the CIA, our brewhouse and teaching facility at the Culinary Institute of America. Each month, we’ll take you inside the classroom to learn alongside the students participating in the most robust beer education of any culinary institute. You don’t have to do the homework, but you might want to do some extra reading.

Hutch Kugeman is the new head brewer at the Brooklyn Brewery at the CIA

Brooklyn Brewery at the CIA Head Brewer Hutch Kugeman is now fully on board, and he has the brewhouse hard at work. Students at the CIA are required to put in a four hour brewing shift each week under Hutch’s supervision, so their October lessons on the hot and cold sides of brewing from Professor Doug Miller are particularly relevant.

The names of the “hot” and “cold” sides of brewing can be somewhat misleading, as the beer will not truly be cold until its final stages of carbonation (and drinking, of course.) Instead, it can be useful to think about the energy applied to the liquid on its way to become beer.

steam window for web

Our hot side in Brooklyn gets a little steamy.

The hot side is when heat is applied: mashing, lautering, and boiling. This is how wort is produced, which will ferment and become beer. It is also the glamorized version of brewing we are used to from commercials involving bearded fellows stirring steaming vats.

The cold side is less splashy, to be sure, but the real magic occurs during fermentation, conditioning and filtering, and packaging. Heat is not applied here, but temperatures must be maintained in order for the brewers’ yeast to go to work, consuming the sugar within the wort and produce carbon dioxide, alcohol, and a host of esters and phenols that give the beer more character. Fermentation and packaging must be very carefully handled, otherwise the beer will be ruined.

Tank Door

Cellar temperature beer + hot brewhouse = sweaty fermentation tanks

The fermentation tanks at the CIA are currently bubbling away with an IPA and a wheat ale, which will be available exclusively on the CIA’s campus and in their restaurants. Based on early predictions and knowing Hutch’s brewing history, we think it might be worth your while to go get a taste.

Later this month, the students will begin formulating their own recipes. Hutch and Doug are very interested to see how the students bring their own inspiration to play in their recipes after spending months learning how the ingredients of beer come together. We’re hoping a few of the students at least will think to make a sample batch of their efforts; after all, our current Worshipful Company of Brewers Release, Mal du Pays, started as cellarman Eric Brown’s homebrew recipe while he was a student at the CIA.

Any questions? See us after class on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll answer any questions we can to further your beer knowledge.

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