Beer Education: Introduction

Beer Education: Introduction

We start up with an opening page discussing the MOOC and a few details in the vein of that. Scrolling down on the opening page, we get a video by Kevin Verstrepen, of the University of Leuven. He is standing in front of his ‘laboratory’ or as we would call it a ‘pilot brewery’. He discusses the course a bit, and how he will have other brewers, as well as some colleagues helping with the course.

Clicking next, we move onto the next page which has a video introducing our instructors / brewers. You get to meet Stijn, Karin, and Stijn (there’s two Stijns). The next page provides a bio for each of the instructors.

Karin Voordeckers
Staff Scientist & Coordinator of the KU Leuven postgraduate in Malting and Brewing Sciences
KU Leuven University
Modules: 0 – 1 – 5 – 7 – 8 – 10

Stijn Mertens
Brewmaster at KU Leuven
KU Leuven University
Modules: 2 – 6

Stijn Spaepen
Innovation Manager at KU Leuven and the Leuven Institute for Beer Research
KU Leuven University
Modules: 3 – 4 – 9

Next page introduces us to some of the expert speakers that will help out throughout the course of the program.

Prof. Kevin Verstrepen
Full professor at KU Leuven, Director of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology
Module 5

Prof. Christophe Courtin
Full professor at KU Leuven, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Center
Module 2

Dr. Sofie Malfliet
Operations Manager, Albert Maltings
Module 2

Prof. Hedwig Neven
Master brewer, Duvel-Moortgat
Module 3

Prof. Thomas Shellhammer
Nor’Wester Professor of Fermentation Science, Oregon State University, USA
Module 4

Dr. Gert De Rouck
Brew Master, KU Leuven
Modules 4 and 6

Prof. Bart Lievens
Professor at KU Leuven, Head of Lab for Process Microbial Ecology and Bioinspirational Management, KU Leuven
Module 5

Anne-Françoise Pypaert
Brew Master, Orval Brewery
Module 7

Dr. David De Schutter
Innovation & Technology Development Director Europe, AB InBev Brewery
Module 8

Prof. Charlie Bamforth
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UC Davis,Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis
Module 9

Dr. Veerle Daems
Senior Sensory Scientist, Haystack Consulting
Module 10

That is a lot of great speakers, and a wealth of information right there. Some notable breweries and people as well. The next page has two illustrations, and talks about the illustrations throughout the course and the artists for them. The next page is an introduction page, where they have a discussion page where you can introduce yourself.

I posted this for my introduction (answering their questions and introducing myself… as well as getting a quick plug in as well):

Hello everyone, here is my introduction post. I am Ben Kline, I am the writer, creator, and head owner of The Beer Thrillers blog. (You can find us at: I have done some home brewing, but not much. I have helped out at a few breweries with their canning lines and such (like Tattered Flag in Middletown, PA). I would say I am an enthusiastic beer taster, as well as curious learner, and part time home-scientist. I hope to learn as much as I possibly can about beer, brewing, and everything that goes with it. Something that people of the course should know is – that I am doing this and blogging about this course congruently with my blog. Writing up about the course as I do the course, so people can take the course with me, or live vicariously through me. Furthering the spread of this free knowledge (one of the best things we can do). I am a native English speaker (from Pennsylvania, born and raised).

I hit submit, and checked out a few of the other people’s posts. A lot of home brewers, from all kinds of places, like Spain, England, USA, Argentina, etc. Clicking next brings you to a list of the modules, and what to expect in each. Key notes is that module 1 will be about the history of brewing, and the basic steps to brewing; modules 2-5 will focus on the ingredients, there will then be a mid-term exam, then with module 6 they will examine the full process of brewing, module 7 will take a look at things on a science level, module 8 takes a look at filtration and packaging, module 9 covers an overview of quality checks with the beer, and module 10 is where the real fun begins – beer tasting. Module 11 is the dreaded final exam.

The next page explains how to use a MOOC and how to be a better student through a MOOC. The next page indicates how to do science experiments, and how you should be doing them when the course says to. The next page after this details materials needed, and also shows how they will be using the metric system (uh oh Americans). There is then a drop-down menu for each of the modules that you can click on to see what materials are needed for each module.

Next up is a bit of a fun, tongue in cheek, quiz to determine your beer profile. The results of my beer profile:

My beer profile

For those who know me, this isn’t surprising at all. I love dark, heavy, high-ABV beers. The stouts, the barley wines, especially anything bourbon barrel aged.

The next two pages are discussion boards. The first to discuss the beer profile results, the second for feedback and questions.

(If you click next, it will take you directly into Module 1 – The History of Brewing.)

Next up, we will start in on the actual brewing process and the history of brewing with module 1. Thanks for joining me as we worked our way through the introduction. Hopefully tomorrow (April 1st) we will have Module 1 up and down. Make sure to stay tuned!

Cheers Everyone! Stay busy learning! And Wash your hands!

-B. Kline

The Beer Education Series:
** EdX: The Science of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
* Beer Education: Module Three: Water
* Beer Education: Module Four: Hops and Spices
* Beer Education: Module Five: Yeast
* Beer Education: Module Six: The Steps of the Brewing Process
* Beer Education: Module Seven: Fermentation and Maturation
* Beer Education: Module Eight: Filtration and Packaging
* Beer Education: Module Nine: Beer Quality and Stability
* Beer Education: Module Ten: Beer Assessment and Tasting
* Beer Education: Series Overview

The Beer Thrillers

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