Brewing Course: Science of How to Brew

Chemistry courses in Sydney. Open to the general public.

Learn Chemistry with Chemistry courses in Sydney – short courses created for you by the University of Newcastle.

Brewing and judging great beers involves both art and science. An understanding of the nuances of production, storage and flavours of beer can be aided by a working knowledge of the chemical processes involved. This brewing course aims to acquaint you with some important concepts of biochemistry as they relate to craft beer and the science of how to brew. This brewing course provides real-world applications of biochemistry and provides an understanding of the processes taking place in fermentation. The course will explore the chemical basis for different beer flavour profiles, the biochemistry of malting and extracting fermentable sugars from grain and the chemical reactions occurring in the kettle and the fermenter to produce these flavour compounds.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this brewing course you will:

  1. Identify the components responsible for key flavour profiles in beer.
  2. Understand the chemical differences between different styles of beer.
  3. Understand some of the non-flavour characteristics of different beers (e.g. shelf-life).
  4. Understand how to brew a sustainable craft beer.

Course Content

This brewing course focuses on the science of how to brew and will cover the following content:

Water Chemistry

  • Important ions and salts in brewing water.
  • Regional variations in water and their effects on beer styles.

Macromolecules in Beer

  • Carbohydrates (complex and simple).
  • Proteins and amino acids.
  • Lipids.

Enzyme-driven reactions

  • Fundamentals of enzymes.
  • Breakdown of complex carbohydrates.
  • Breakdown of proteins.

Temperature-dependent reactions

  • Temperature and solubility.
  • Maillard Reactions.
  • Boiling.

REDOX reactions

  • Beer storage and staling.


Intended Audience

This brewing course is designed for anyone interested in craft beer, brewing and the science of how to brew the perfect beer. This brewing course is ideal for home-brewers or commercial brewers who wish to expand on their knowledge of the chemistry of brewing and the chemical basis of beer flavouring profiles.

Delivery Style

This brewing course will be delivered as an interactive workshop consisting of an instructor lead lecture, group and activities.

Course Prerequisites

This brewing course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public. It is preferable that participants have a basic (high school equivalent) understanding of biology and chemistry.

Recommended Reading

Fix, George, 2 edition (15 November 1999) Principles of Brewing Science: A Study of Serious Brewing Issues, Brewers Publications

Course Materials

Participants attending this brewing course will be provided with a course workbook for them to take home. All materials required for in-class activities will be provided as needed.

Course Features

Available course dates

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