T4659 – The Chemistry of Brewing in Germany and Belgium

Brussels, Orval, Munich
Faculty: James W. Wollack, Ph.D. and John Dwyer., Ph.D.
01/02/2016 – 01/23/2016

Academic Overview
Brewing was developed at the same time agrarian societies first began to harvest planted cereal grains. This makes brewing the oldest form of synthetic chemistry. Throughout history many cultures and countries have made important contributions that have shaped the brewing process we know today. Altering ingredients gives rise to varying chemical reactions and pathways that produce beer’s flavor, taste, and mouthfeel. The origins of a large number of these scientific contributions to the brewing process are the breweries of Germany and Belgium. This course will illuminate the chemical basis for a variety of brewing processes and the resulting chemical differences they produce in beer. Spending ten days in both Munich and Brussels will show how brewing is an important type of chemistry that has inherent cultural and scientific features. Germany is known for Weissbier and Belgium is known for lambic beers. The cultural and chemical basis for these differences will be explored though brewery tours, lectures, laboratories, demonstrations, museums, and a stay at a Trappist monastery with a centuries old brewing tradition.

Comprehensive Fee
Cost: $5,350
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed. Comprehensive Fee includes: Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, twelve lunches and five dinners (subject to change).

The prerequisite will be high school chemistry. Those who have taken general chemistry will be given a preferred application status.
1. An unofficial copy of Transcript will be required and reviewed in the course application
2. A statement that the highest behavioral standards will be required for participation in this course

Required Readings
The Chemistry of Beer by Roger Barth. (ISBN 978-1-118-67497-0).
Great Beers of Belgium by Michael Jackson. (ISBN 978-1-118-67497-0) (optional)

25% Daily Journal
15% Laboratory Notebooks
40% Final Exam

Program Directors
James Wollack, Ph.D., St Catherine University (651) 690.6960,
email: jwwollack@stkate.edu
John Dwyer, Ph.D., St Catherine University (651) 690.6430,
email: jddwyer@stkate.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Dr. Wollack is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at St. Catherine University, and teaches Organic Chemistry I&II and General Chemistry for Health Sciences. His research interests include: bioothogonal reactions, bioconjugate chemistry, cell-penetrating peptides, click chemistry, DNA synthesis, green chemistry and peptide synthesis. Dr. Wollack’s research has been published in publications such as: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Wollack co-led a recent Astronomy UMAIE course in the South Pacific. He and Dr. Dwyer have set up a small brewery on campus to gain more firsthand experience in the brewing process.

Dr. Dwyer is a Professor of Chemistry at St. Catherine University, and teaches General Chemistry, Sythesis Lab, Physical Chemistry, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology and Polymers.   His interests include securing grants and service to the discipline of Chemistry at the National level. He has been a Committee Member for the National American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education General Chemistry Exam and Co -Principal Investigator for the TUESTYC (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Project for the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides grant support for projects designed to strengthen undergraduate STEM teaching and learning.

Application Procedures & Deadline
Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2015.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2015

For more information on course content, contact James Wollack, Ph.D.
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.


How To Apply

Rules and Procedures

Rules & Procedures 2016 (PDF)

Each UMAIE member school has their own application process in place. The UMAIE application process is described in the attached PDF file, and the required documents are available in the How to Apply section.

Applications are accepted until October 1, 2015.
No application will be considered without ALL the required signed documents, copies and a deposit check. If you have any questions please contact your campus UMAIE Board Member.


Travel Packet

Travel Packet (Web)

Click the image at left to access the course Travel Packet. The ePacket contains important information about traveling abroad, including your itinerary, frequently asked questions, participant letter and culturegram.





The Orientation process includes 3 components:
– an online self-study and quiz on the UMAIE student handbook.
– an online orientation webinar conducted by your faculty director(s)
– an on-site orientation upon arrival.

You are REQUIRED to participate in and complete all 3 steps within the deadlines specified below. Failure to do so may result in your removal from the course.


Student Handbook and Online Quiz

We have put together this handbook to provide you with helpful information for planning and spending your time abroad. The handbook is also your primary study guide to pass your online quiz. There are excellent tips in this handbook, and it is organized in a way we hope will be user-friendly and straightforward.

Please carefully read the UMAIE student handbook and complete the quiz on the UMAIE student handbook by October 20, 2015.


quiz_thumbYou can access the online quiz through your online application by logging in to your school’s study abroad website. Complete the 2014 UMAIE Participant Quiz under Assessments on your online application portal.

For students at St. Ambrose University and Hastings College, see your study abroad advisor for a paper copy of the quiz.


Orientation Webinar

The online orientation webinar for this course is on:

Oct. 26, 2015 – 7:00-8:30pm(CST) .

Your participation is required. Please review the sign-in instructions below and make yourself available to participate on this date.

Click the webinar icon below to access the sign-in screen for WebEx.

Instructions (PDF)

Instructions (PDF)


Webinar Link



Participants are required to bring their Student ID card with them on the course to qualify for reduced student entrances at many sites. Without your ID, you could be responsible to pay any difference in entrance fees.