Tapping a New Audience
Hanover College professors putting their knowledge of science to good use
Two-day beer brewing retreat designed
to attract rookies
HANOVER, Ind. (July 2016) – The love of craft beers is a rapidly growing movement in southern Indiana. There are craft beer offerings at most local festivals and long lists of craft beer available at local restaurants across the region.
Now two Hanover College chemistry professors are planning a summer educational retreat about the home brewing experience – the Hanover College Brewing Experience & Education Retreat for Beer.
From left, Tim Cunningham and Craig Philipp hope beer aficionados will sign up to attend their inaugural Beer Camp at Hanover College in early August. The two-day camp will introduce the art of beer making to rookie brewers.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Natural Sciences Coordinator Craig Philipp and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Tim Cunningham both love brewing their own beer and have worked on chemistry projects related to the science of brewing.
The professors are playing host to a two-day, overnight retreat to teach home brewing techniques. Equipment, accommodations, meals and tasting events featuring local breweries are included.
“I have been brewing for five years in my home kitchen,” said Philipp. “I have tried brewing pretty much every type, but my favorites are brown stout and American Red Ale like Fat Tire.”
Philipp was recently in Florida helping kick off internships for Hanover College chemistry students. He has done research in the Sunshine State that could be useful in brewing.
“I worked to introduce mechanical stress to tropical fruit to see if the fruit can make more healthy compounds,” said Philipp. “I have an interest in making fruit beers. They are not my favorite to drink, but I want to give brewing them a try.”
Brewing is not all fun and games to these professors.
“The college is looking to reach out to the alumni and to the community of Madison,” said Philipp. “The Hanover College president (Lake Lambert III) is also a home brewer, and he and I have done some brewing together. Getting more involved with the community is very important for the college.”
Workshop attendees are actually going to brew beer. Those attending can choose from one of three recipes, including Dry Irish Stout, India Pale Ale or American Brown Ale. When finished, they will have brewing equipment to take home.
“We will start with a couple of hours discussing brewing techniques, such as what each ingredient does and what it adds to the flavor,” said Philipp. “Then we will brew beer in the afternoon. Later in the day, there will be a tasting to show what different types of beer bring to the pallet.”
Cunningham started brewing beer as a hobby four years ago after seeing his brother do it.
“I have two brews going right now,” said Cunningham. “I am working on American wheat, but I am also designing a Belgium blond.”
Like most brewers, Cunningham gets a recipe book or goes on line to learn the proper ingredients. As a chemistry professor, he takes the formulas a step further.
“I study what malt or hops I need,” he said, “But then I decide what I want to do with it and add more grain, or even a peach to enhance the flavor. I don’t use a ton of fruit in my beer because it has problems with sanitation.”
When a brewer adds hops or malt, it is sanitized because it is added during a boil. Problems develop with fruit because it is added after the boil.
“You have to clean really well and hope you got everything under control,” he added. You keep your fingers crossed.”
The retreat will include brewing simple beer from kits, but more advanced techniques also will be taught.
“This retreat is for very new brewers,” said Cunningham. “We will probably try to upgrade next year so people can make a bigger batch or move on to more advanced techniques.”
“It is a good opportunity for people who want to start brewing but don’t know where to start,” said Philipp. “It can be a little overwhelming.”
During the final morning, there will be more talk about what happens, and what brewers can expect to happen to their brew during the next week. There will be ample opportunity for interacting and discussion of more complex brewing techniques.
When the retreat is finished, the new brewers will take home a brew kettle, fermentation jug, spoons, timers, sanitizer and tubes.
“They will have everything they need to brew with their friends,” said Cunningham. “All they need to do is buy more ingredients, and they are ready to start a new brew.”
Philipp and Cunningham say they are excited to share the knowledge of their hobby with new brewers.
“I am really pumped about the retreat,” said Cunningham. “It is fun to combine my job with my favorite hobby.”
The Hanover College Brewing Experience & Education Retreat for Beer will take place on Aug. 6-7.
This weekend is designed for beginners who will learn the necessary knowledge required for brewing quality beer. Attendees will get to take home their equipment and beer for future use. The cost is $275 for brewers and $150 for non-brewing participants. Price includes accommodations, meals and tasting events featuring local breweries.
• To register, contact Craig Philipp at (812) 866-7000 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can email Timothy Cunningham at email@example.com.
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