The Art + Science of Distilling

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Fermentation Workshop


Fermentation is the conversion of sugars into alcohol. In the spirits business, alcohol is synonymous with money, which means the success of your finished product will rely on the efficiency of your fermentation process. This course shows students how to perfect that process, covering a variety of key fermentation considerations and best practices.

In this course, we’ll explore everything from the microbiology and cultivation of yeast, to the stages of its life cycle, paying special attention to how different variables affect the quality and consistency of fermentation in spirits production. Students will leave this course with an extensive understanding of the fermentation process, including how to obtain the optimal yield from every set and how to appropriately address any fermentation challenges that arise.

This course is taught by Dr. Patrick Heist, Chief Scientific Officer at Ferm Solutions and Wilderness Trail Distillery.

Tuition includes all class materials; breakfast, lunch, and refreshments; an invite to First Round at The Brown networking event; and transportation between our contracted hotel and our campus. $1,995

**Early Bird Registration covers your stay at our contracted hotel from the night before Day 1 to the last day of class.



  • Fermentation overview
  • Feedstock (sources of sugar) and associated factors
  • Milling and how it relates to fermentation
  • Cooking and conversion
  • Sweet mash versus sour mash
  • Saccharification
  • Microbiology of yeast and methods for propagation
  • Fermentation ingredients and limiting factors
  • Biochemistry of fermentation (how yeast makes ethanol)
  • Monitoring fermentation (testing methods)
  • Equipment
  • Sanitation


  • Cultivation and consistency of yeast
  • Outside variables affecting the fermentation
  • Bacterial fermentation
  • Infections of fermentation
  • Troubleshooting the fermentation
  • Lab specs and micro of the fermentation

“If you have too much sugars left over after fermentation, it’s like payin’ too much for breakfast: You got ripped off.” -Dr. Pat Heist, Chief Scientific Officer at Ferm Solutions, Wilderness Trail Distillery, Esteemed Faculty Member at Moonshine University, Bio-Chem Humorist and Speaker of Truths

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