February 29, 2016: Robert P. Bates, professor emeritus of Food
Science at the University of Florida in Gainesville, will speak on the topic
“The Chemistry and Alchemy of Brewing” when Clarke University hosts the March
meeting of the Illinois-Iowa section of the American Chemistry Society.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m.
in Jansen Hall.
Beer making, one of the oldest examples of biotechnology, is
a fascinating study of chemistry, biochemistry and engineering. It combines
well-recognized and controllable reactions and operations with complex, poorly
understood phenomena, including the psychosensory response. Surprisingly, some
of the most sophisticated science and technology are employed in the efficient
production of mass advertised, mediocre beers. In contrast, traditional
“alchemy-driven” methods can produce exceptional yet under-recognized beers.
Fortunately, there is an achievable balance between these extremes.
This presentation will cover the brewing process from raw
material selection and preparation through fermentation to consumption. Emphasis
will be on major pathways employed by brewers to produce a wide range of beers.
These are exciting times for brewers and beer connoisseurs in the U.S. Future
industry developments of relevance to consumers will be mentioned. With
dedication and practice, the average chemist can brew above-average beers; so
can the experienced kitchen alchemist.
Bates received his bachelor of science degree in food
technology from MIT, a master of science degree in food science from the
University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. in food science from MIT. Bates’ areas of interest are food processing
and utilization, small-scale process and equipment development, fermentation
technology and byproduct recovery, food product development, and international
For more information, contact Necla Demir, Clarke assistant
professor of Chemistry/Food Science, at firstname.lastname@example.org; 563-588-6381.
Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences
university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their
workplace, family and community. Academic offerings include more than 40
undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional programs, a robust adult degree
program and six graduate degree programs. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters
of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi
River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa. It is the only BVM university in