FGCU students apply chemistry to create delicious craft beer

A group of Florida Gulf Coast University students are learning chemistry by brewing beer. They have made a total of nine different, delectable flavors and have ambitions to expand their experiment into a booming business campuswide.

The students are brewing up a new idea by turning water into beer in the name of science.

“I’ve kinda seen what I’ve done in Chem 1 and Chem 2 and applied it to this is more like a realistic application,” said Zack Hutcherson, a junior studying engineering at FGCU.

The process starts with boiling water and grain. Then, they add mash and depending upon the type of beer, the process around 60 minutes to 75 minutes. Next, they add water and boil it in a bucket. After that, they add yeast and let the mixture sit; but, they are working on how long. The end result is alcohol. Add sugar, then bottle and cap the creation.

Now, this project is not just about the science behind what is in this bottle. It is also about the opportunity for a brand new business. They aspire to sell their new beers at Azul, the campus brewery.

“A full bench-style brewery, to get larger equipment, so we can brew on a larger scale,” said Ben Siegel, an FGCU junior studying engineering. “So that way, we can actually serve in the University system and to local breweries around.”

The first step in this pursuit of hoppyness will be in April when students, who come from all different majors, including, chemistry, engineering, and finance, plan to host a taste testing.

“We want all the majors to be involved in every aspect of this,” said Dr. John Reilly, an FGCU chemistry professor leading the initiative. “From making the beer, marketing the beer, serving the beer, running the brewery, everything involved.”

Reporter:Breana Ross
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