Fermentation microbiology class explores sanitation principles and brewing
- Author: Aurelia Spaulding
- Author: Monday, March 30th, 2020
Dr. Rodney King, WKU Biology professor, and his Fermentation Microbiology students are exploring the importance of good sanitization practices and how to isolate and work with pure strains of yeast in the brewing process.
Last week, King used a Labster exercise to teach the underlying principles of pure culture and allow students to practice the streak plate technique, a technique used by microbiologists to isolate pure cultures of desired microorganisms. Students were then shown how pure colonies of yeast look on a nutrient agar plate.
“Sanitization is an essential concept in brewing,” King said. In order to demonstrate that microorganisms are everywhere and why sanitization is critical, King asked students to swab areas in the room and streak the swab across a nutrient agar plate. After incubation, the students could see if any microbes grew. “We then discussed why some areas were teeming with microbes and why some appeared to have much fewer or none.”
Dr. Rodney King teaches Fermentation Microbiology as part of the WKU Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences Program. The multidisciplinary certificate program helps prepare students who want to work in the business side of industry as well as those who may be interested in biology, chemistry, and agriculture. For more information, visit www.wku.edu/bdas.