Hey guys, it's Thomas Gaudin and Jessica Greene :)
Today we traveled to Plzen, a small town about an hour and a half outside of Prague. Plzen is known for having car factories and their famous Pilsner Brewery. We began our journey at Plzen at the Pilsner Brewery. The brewery is famous for being one of the Czech Republic's oldest breweries. The Pilsner Brewery began in the 18th century. In 1839 the brewery started after 260 citizens and Joseph Groll founded Pilsner. Joseph Groll was the brew master from 1842-1845. Their first brew, Pilsner Urquell, was brewed on October 5th of 1842. The transportation of the beer across long distances began in 1900 when a train was built to make transportation easier.
Pilsner Urquell Brewery
The brewery is able to produce over 60,000 bottles per hour for each conveyor belt. The main brew building has three separate conveyor belts, two that sort and produce beer into recycled glass bottles. Their third belt fills aluminum cans and packages them for distribution.
It takes them five weeks to produce the perfect Pilsen brew. They begin with barley and hops and then place the two ingredients into the malt mill. Once in the malt mill water is added from their own 100 meter deep wells. The new mixture is placed into copper containers where they heat the mixture until it reaches over 600 degrees Celsius.
This leads to caramelization, while some brewery's only mash their brew once or twice, Pilsner mashes theirs three times. They then move the brew into a cooler area in which the brew will sit for a total of 10-12 days, fermenting. Once the brew has fermented, it will be filtered to produce the perfect Pilsner Urquell.
After the brewery, we got a chance to discover our inner child at Techmania in downtown Plzen. Techmania is a science and industry museum built in 2005. The general layout of the museum is Anvers interesting one: there are no exhibits. All exhibits are jumbled together in the same large room. As someone who has worked in museums for years, I can confidently say that this is an unusual setup, but one that is very conducive to learning. Children are able to run around and explore science in any way that they want and just have fun.
Outside and Inside of Techmania
Our group had an absolute blast at the museum (the Physics Major has the blog, results may vary)! We saw examples on Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Biology, and any other field of science that you could want! Every example was interactive and had an explanation. I love exhibits like this because the intrigue of the demonstration leads to reading the plaque, which leads to a redo of the demo and better understanding of the concept. This is the trend among science museums in America as well. My personal favorite exhibits were those featuring light and magnetism, or the radioactivity exhibit with a Geiger Counter. Dr. Svec really enjoyed the Flame Tornado exhibit!
Our last stop of the day was downtown Plzen for a cafe and culture break before taking the bus back to Prague. A lot of people enjoyed the historic city center and ate ice cream, while Jessica and I took on the Gothic Cathedral at the center of town. We climbed over 130m to the top for an amazing view of Plzen! The view was great, but the fear of heights was daunting, and so were the small wooden stairs....
Outside of the Church and the view from the top
Well, that's all that we have to say about today! Thanks for reading our blog!
-Jessica and Thomas