How is brewing coffee chemistry?

The long overdue cracking open of the door into the chemistry of coffee! First, the chemistry of what happens when you brew coffee. Check it out!

123 Coffee 01
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Melissa: Hey, I'm Melissa.

Jam: I'm Jam.

Melissa: And I'm a chemist

Jam: And I'm not.

Melissa: And welcome to chemistry for your life.

Jam: The podcast helps you understand the chemistry of your everyday life.

Melissa: We are back,

baby.

Jam: Back in action.

Melissa: This is our holiday gift to you. We are here with not only a full episode back to our normal full episode regularly scheduled program.

Uh huh

But it's The long awaited for much anticipated. Everyone has asked. Finally, I get to tell you, what is,

the chemistry of coffee?

Jam: oh my gosh,

Melissa: I know

Jam: this has been, yeah, this has been requested a ton of times

Melissa: a ton of times.

Jam: I have requested it to. And funnily enough, it is also one of the things that Melissa and I used to kind of fake argue about where I'd act like

"Hey Melissa I'm doing chemistry over here, I'm making coffee." and we would just sort of, yeah, I would act like I was knew everything about chemistry, just because I knew how to make coffee.

Melissa: and it turns out that you were doing chemistry, but not a chemistry reaction. So. We'll talk about

Jam: Uh oh

Melissa: Uh, you are doing chemistry, though.

Jam: It's still chemistry.

Melissa: Still chemistry.

I thought this would be an appropriate way to come back from a break. We also had a chance to ask the our hopeful guest that we wanted, and they're not going to be able to do it at this time,

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: but maybe in the future.

Jam: Yes. Yes. So keep your ears peeled for what could be a cool guest someday.

At some point on this topic,

Melissa: But once we heard back from him, we decided, all right, let's really I decided, I guess

I decided, All right. Let's take the plunge. Let's a welcome everyone back with the one we've all been waiting for. I also thought this would be a good one because today is a holiday in America.

It's Thanksgiving day, which is all about food. And although I don't appreciate the roots and the history of America and with native Americans. And I think we need to take time to learn about that. I do really appreciate time to rest and time to be with your family and time to gather together, make good food or be with your friends, your chosen family, whoever it is.

I think that is really important. And we always like to do a special episode because it's always on a Thursday and so are we, So hopefully you guys enjoy this and get to listen to it while you're traveling, wherever you're going. Or if you need a little break going on a walk to burn off some of those calories.

Jam: yeah.

I got a little bit of like, non-social time to kind of like decompress or whatever, if you've been hanging out with a lot of people. And we also wanted to, before we start this episode, remind you guys of some of the changes of our schedule going forward and so forth from now until at least until Melissa finishes her PhD.

Most

likely.

Melissa: is hopefully coming. this Spring

Jam: Yes.

Awesome

Melissa: No later than August, 2022.

Jam: Very cool. We're all cheering for you.

Melissa: Thank you. Wow. I've probably, that's amazing to think about,

Jam: Oh yeah. Everybody. but who wouldn't, you know, you guys are cheering for her, right? I think that's a yes.

Melissa: I think probably hopefully if they're here, they're probably cheering.

Jam: So in order to help have still a consistent delivery of new chemistry content for you guys, but also to be able to give Melissa a little bit more time to balance her workload of PhD stuff and teaching. And also the podcast. We'll be having one new chemistry content episode every other week, but we'll have one something for you every single week.

And between the normal episodes we'll have. Things like Q&Rs and maybe some, some experiments in there somewhere. And then also republish some older episodes that maybe some of you guys have not heard before.

Melissa: Right? So it'll be new episode bonus, new episode, rebroadcast new episode experiment, something along those lines is going to be our schedule moving forward, just to get me through the end of my PhD.

which Is one of the hardest years. Typically there's a lot of weight and a lot of deadlines and a lot of writing.

Jam: Yeah. And We talked a little bit more in detail about this at the end of our previous fall mini. So if you got more questions there, we kind of talked longer about it there, but don't hesitate to reach out if you've gotten the other questions.

Melissa: And I'm glad that we took time to do those fall minis. Cause I have restock piled up on episodes. I'm very excited to talk about

Jam: Nice dude.

Melissa: yay Okay And starting with today's.

Jam: I'm

Melissa: So Are you ready?

Jam: Very ready.

Melissa: Okay. Brewing coffee is really, if you boil it down, boil it something called solid liquid extraction.

Jam: Okay

Melissa: This is a chemistry technique.

It's not a chemical

reaction

Jam: Okay. But what's good about this. Is it. Distractions is a word that is used in the coffee world, obviously tons of baristas. And so had that aren't don't know what they're, there's using terms that they've heard and stuff, but that at least so far, that term is somewhat accurate.

Melissa: Checks out. Right. That's what I was thinking. I thought you had said it was an extraction before, and I wasn't a hundred percent sure because often we use a different type of extraction where we're using two liquids,

Jam: Okay

Melissa: but I did make sure this technique, I looked in my old lab manuals and it is a solid liquid extraction.

Jam: Nice.

Melissa: So I'll tell you what an extraction is and what we use it for in chemistry.

Jam: Okay

Melissa: So in chemistry, you can easily mix two things together and heated up or stir it or whatever, and make a reaction, and we've talked about in the past a lot of times people think you mix a plus B and then you get a hundred percent

C, but actually more of what happens is You mix a plus B and then you get some C, D E F and some a and B, that didn't totally react. are all in

Jam: Right right

Melissa: So it's kind of a mess.

Jam: right

Melissa: I was trying to think of a good analogy for this and the best thing I could come up with, which is not exactly like that, but it takes you. Like 30 seconds to mix a bunch of different color of beads into a ball or a jar or something, but then it takes you a long time to separate those

Jam: Right right

Melissa: That is kind of what we do in chemistry. You mix two things together and you get a lot of products, your main product, hopefully, and then side products, and then you're purifying them. So you can spend an hour making new things and then three weeks purifying it. That is what we spend a lot of time doing in the chemistry lab, not making new things, but actually purifying that.

And then making sure we made what we think we made.

Jam: Got it Got it interesting.

Melissa: So one of those techniques is called an extraction to purify a purification technique.

Jam: Okay

Melissa: So extractions are used both to purify one thing, say something we want take out something we want, But also to kind of wash away things that we don't. want. So a good example of an extraction is if you have a mixture of a solid metal and a salt say, you're, you have a penny. And somehow it got coated with salt crystals, like table salt crystals, maybe it got water at the ocean and it crystallized out all this salt.

Jam: Okay

Melissa: So you're thinking. Okay. I want my penny. I don't want it to have salt all over it. So I know that salt is soluble in water. It can be washed away by water. Metal isn't washed away by water. So that's kind of an extract. You are using some kind of solvent that can dissolve one thing to get rid of that, and then keep the thing that you want.

Jam: nice.

Melissa: Something else I thought about is we've talked about capsaicin before.

Go back and check out the episode that where we talked about what makes spicy things hot.

We talked about capsaicin. and Capsaicin is soluble in oil. That's why people drink. milk. It's a soluble in fats and oils, but it's not soluble in water. So if you have capsaicin and you drink water, just kind of moves it around your mouth, it doesn't dissolve it or wash it away, but salt does dissolve in water. So if you had a mixture of those two things, you could put some water in there and take the salt out and leave the capsaicin behind

Jam: Okay I see

Melissa: So that's kind of the idea of an extraction. You're Looking at what you have and what you want. And you're trying to think what solvent system can I use to get the thing that I want out.

Jam: Yeah. Okay I see you're saying

Melissa: Okay. So coffee is really, the brewing process is really a purification technique. So. You had a series of chemical reactions, some of them by nature, some of them by people to get you this bean that's in front of you, it's all ground up.

And It's essentially a pile of a bunch of different molecules.

Jam: Okay

Melissa: And some of them are tasty, delicious molecules, and some of them are not tasty and

delicious.

So the chemical reactions already been done, but you need to somehow isolate just the things you want

Jam: right

Melissa: from that pile of molecules, your coffee, ground.

Jam: Yes So For the same reason that we don't just spoon coffee grounds into our mouth.

Melissa: Yes, because there's some things you don't want. There's things that taste bad in there. I guess Some people eat chocolate covered coffee beans. I don't know that doesn't seem tasty to me.

Jam: yeah That's true

Melissa: But you're really trying to just capture those things that are going to taste good in your mug and leave behind the other thing.

Jam: Right Right.

Melissa: You're extracting what's desirable and leaving behind the other things.

So in a chemistry lab, when we're going through the process of trying to decide. How to keep the things we want and get rid of the rest of it. We consider what solvent we want to use. And solvent is a liquid that you dissolve something into.

So we would consider is acetone like nail Polish remover. Is that going to be the best solvent, maybe water, maybe alcohol, you can go through all these different liquids and think about what's going to dissolve the best,

Jam: Right right?

Melissa: but when you're making coffee, There's only really one option for humans to safely take in.

And that's water.

Jam: Yeah, because our goal is to drink it and put it,

in our body

Melissa: So acetone not going to be an option, although it'd be fascinating, to brew coffee those other things and see what it looked like.

You couldn't taste it, maybe the ethanol, you could taste alcohol coffee. That'd be weird.

Jam: That would be weird.

Melissa: So, but that would also be a really big challenge. to switch to alcohol. because. That would have a totally different solubility of the things you want and the things you don't. So in coffee, we know that our solvent is going to be water.

So there's one thing we can do where we can change. How much, of something dissolves in water, can you think of what that would be?

Jam: That'd be increasing the temperature of the water?

Melissa: So manipulating the temperature of the solvent will change. How much of the thing you're dissolving, that's called a solute can. go into it

Jam: Got it.

Melissa: And everyone has experienced in this, in their daily life. We wash dishes in hot water because more stuff dissolves in hot water. We dissolve our sugar in hot tea before we ice it for ice tea, because it's more easy to dissolve that sugar in the hot tea. There's all kinds of examples of this.

One thing for me is hot chocolate we have powdered hot chocolate that we make a lot. And it is really different. If you put the in the hot water before, after you add the cold milk to it,

Jam: Uh I see

Melissa: it makes a big difference in how easily it dissolves.

Jam: Yeah, that makes sense.

Melissa: So we've probably all experienced this to one degree or another.

And if you've ever made rock candy where you dissolve sugar in water and let it form crystals. to make rock candy you'll know that you heat up that water to put even more in there. to make a super saturated solution. So manipulating temperature impact solubility. If something's hotter, you can have more things dissolved in it. If it's cooler, less things dissolve

in it. So that's the only tool we have in our pocket for coffee to manipulate. How much of what. we're dissolved. Because we already know that we're using water as a solvent and actually most of the tasty and not tasty molecules in coffee are all soluble in water.

Jam: Okay

Melissa: So the only thing we can do is manipulate the temperature. And actually one thing I read said that there are hundreds of different molecules that give coffee, its flavor, and many of the ones that tastes good have a higher solubility in water. So they will go into water more quickly than some of the more bitter molecules.

So we typically aim to heat water to slightly below its boiling point when we're pouring it through our coffee and a pour-over or something like that.

If you're if you're heating the water yourself, because that's just the right sweet spot to extract the molecules we want and leave behind everything we don't.

Jam: Yeah.

Melissa: If you heat it up hotter, those other things will more easily dissolve as well.

And so you maybe we'll get more bitter, more burnt tasting coffee.

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: And if you leave the water in the grounds for too long, it'll have time to extract. Not only the easily extractable ones, but it'll give time for other ones to come through into that

Jam: Yeah it's not, I don't have a source for it, but a lot of baristas, if they have a coffee that's too darkly roasted, then they, they uh will experiment a lot with dropping their water temperature down to like, so in Fahrenheit, is 212 Uh degrees for boiling point or Celsius is a hundred in Fahrenheit, they'd be willing to drop it down all the way to like 200 or even like 1 95 Because they don't want the sooty kind of, carbon-y, burnt things that are in that coffee is too dark, but for a lot of light roasts, they don't worry as much at all. Um, but it just still play with it. If it pan the darkness, obviously that's not, that's just like, that's an anecdote um, but it's, it's out there enough that a lot of, uh, baristas that's what will determine

Melissa: They'll mess with

that. Well, I will say that we're probably going to have another episode on the chemistry of roasting coffee, but I wanted to start with the Brill because I feel like that's the part that most of us interact

Jam: yeah yeah Totally.

Melissa: So that's pretty much it. That is the chemistry behind brewing coffee. It's actually very complicated because you have to be able to get the water

to be exactly to where you want to get most of the molecules you want and not really the molecules.

you don't. And for each one that has gone through different chemical processes, you have a different batch of molecules sitting there. And so, like you said, different rows could bring different things that are desirable or not desirable. And so every single coffee extraction process is a pretty complicated chemistry technique.

It's just that most of us doing it don't know anything about the chemistry behind it. or how to manipulate what's desirable and what's not.

Jam: Yeah definitely

Melissa: So I thought that was super interesting. And it's actually, it's simple to understand. We do a lot of extractions, I think, in day-to-day life, but it's difficult to execute.

Jam: Yeah Yeah

Melissa: Oh. And a book I was reading that I really liked an organic chem lab. survival manual said some extractions are washing things away. Like if you're making soup and you rinse The vegetables off and some extractions are keeping the things you want, like when you're boiling those vegetables and you're extracting some of the flavor out into the liquid.

but you want to keep it. So that's kind of a nice way of thinking about

it.

That was a Dr. Zubrick, Dr. James Zubrick and his book, the, organic chem lab survival manual. I love that book. So. thought that that was really a good analogy.

Jam: that's very cool Do you wanna try to give my sort of sum up of,

this

Melissa: I kind of do, but I also want to do coffee corner with jam where you talk about your brewing process to see how it stacks up, because also

the listener is wanting to hear what you do in roasting and brewing coffee. So I both want you to tell me the chemistry behind it, but I also want me to tell you how your brewing methods stack up to. what I

said

Jam: Cool. Yeah. So if you had not heard an episode where we've talked about coffee, because normally if we talk about coffee it's because I'm relating something Melissa talking about to coffee, Cause I like coffee a lot and know a lot about it or it's because I just share about it in my hobby time about like what we did during our weeks.

And so if your newish our podcast, I'm a huge snob of coffee and. Yes. And I roast my own coffee in a little roaster that I have, and part of that's because I'm also cheap. So, um, but I can control a lot of the things that I want out of Um, so anyway, the way that I brew coffee, most of the time is using a pour over a V 60, which is a really common, probably the most common out there.

Pour over.

system

Melissa: In very similar to a filtration that you might see in a lab. I could see us using something like that, to rinse off stuff we don't want and keep the solid that we do.

Jam: Yeah And most V60 these use a paper filter To allow the water or the solvent to pass through without the solute, the coffee grounds, um, passing through so that we can leave behind something that we don't want and take what we do. So a lot of V60 work with a paper filter. I heat my water. All the way to, to boiling point, um, because I roast my coffee very light.

So I I've found that that lets me get the most that I want out of the coffee that I'm making. And sometimes when I messed with just, again, this is just anecdotal but brewing with a lower water temperature. I sent us felt like it didn't, wasn't very strong. Like it was

Melissa: Okay.

Jam: week Like maybe it didn't dissolve as much of the.

stuff I want

Melissa: Definitely. it wouldn't have if it was a lower temperature it would have a.

less, it would have less ability to dissolve as much

Jam: Yeah So I had noticed that I used to play with that back at the very beginning of getting into brew my own coffee with the pour-over. And so now I pretty much always do 211 uh degrees Fahrenheit or what would probably be like you know 99.5

degrees Celsius. And, um, I pour the water over the. Coffee, uh, coffee grounds.

And as it mingles in there, or whatever it passes through, and then only the water that has then to dissolve stuff from the coffee, makes it out the other side.

Melissa: Yeah,

Jam: Um, and it's hard to kind of mix these two worlds of mine. It's

Melissa: It really is a lot like filtering in chemistry, but Usually the solid is what we want to keep. So if you've ever been in a chemistry lab and you mix stuff up and you put a bunch of stuff in a filter, you're trying to keep this solid usually and get rid of all the solvent,

Jam: oh I

see.

Melissa: but in coffee's process, it's, It's what you would do in a chemistry lab, but reverse. We want to keep this solvent. and We don't care about what's been left behind the solids left behind.

Jam: Yeah. And one of the things I think is so interesting about how things like coffee have come about is that so much of it just kind of makes logical sense by how civilizations have worked for a long time.

It's like find ways to use all the plants and all the, you know, animals and all the whatever else And it's someone would think to put some coffee beans in some hot water makes total sense. Um, it's how that, how tea happened, you know, as well and, and lots of medicines and stuff like that. So just the idea of like, before any science was known, let's put this thing in hot water and see what happens and we know we can make water.

So if we put something in hot water, we should be able to drink it. And I just love how there's so much interesting science But it has happened for, you know, thousands and thousands of years. Who knows how long

people have been putting, putting coffee and water together?

Melissa: Well, I thought your explanation was good. I want to make one change. You said this solute is what's left behind, solute is what you put in a solvent. So technically your, but while the water is in the filter with the coffee. that's solid, But after the water has passed out, the brown stuff that makes your coffee brown whatever's dissolved in your water. That is solute in your solvent.

Jam: there a word for what you leave behind or is it just

Melissa: This is different. So an illiquid solid liquid extraction is using liquid to take what we want out of solid or using liquid to take what we don't want out of solid,

and

so that's different than filtration. But if we were filtering, say you had mixed a bunch of coffee and water together, and then you're filtering out the liquid in that case, the coffee, the liquid that pass through that's the filtrate and the solids left behind are either

called. or.

filtration solids. I've heard them called all kinds of

things

Jam: it. So solute is what we dissolved into the solution.

Melissa: Yes, and I remember it because when I was in high school, my high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Mullis wrote solvent on the board, but put a huge V in the middle of the word, solvent and then wrote,solute inside the V.

Jam: Ah,

Melissa: So it's like, the solute is what goes in the solvent.

Jam: I see. Yeah, that makes

Melissa: So really your coffee is a mixture of solvent and sell you.

Jam: Right, right, right. Yeah. I think, I think the first way you said, I thought it was like a way of describing the material. in Just this stuff. And so then I thought it was still that even after, that we just had chosen some things from it. but I see. what You're saying And so it's actually the stuff that we did dissolve

into the

Melissa: the water Yes Yeah So that's your chemistry lesson for today? Feels good to be back.

Jam: absolutely. And like, come back with a bang, you

know,

Melissa: Yeah Coming back with the thing we've all been waiting for, and I did not put all the names of people who requested this episode Because there were a lot, and it's hard to search through our Instagram

messages,

but thank you to everyone who wrote in and express your desire to learn about coffee and the chemistry behind it, Cause this was really fun to put together.

Jam: Yeah. And thanks to you guys, for being patient, uh,

on us actually finally getting to it. So

Melissa: But I do want to say that I'm hoping that I can do an episode on. How coffee is roasted and the chemistry behind that and an episode on decaffeinated coffee.

So all those are things I'm interested in, but it's difficult to get good references that aren't random people speculating about the chemistry of coffee, but to actually find sources about the actual chemistry of coffee, I did find a research group whose focus is on

coffee So, and maybe even an episode on the difference between A hot water, solid liquid extraction. and a cold water

Jam: Nice. Yeah. I could definitely see a lot of cold brew fans out there wondering,

Melissa: Well, I'm a cold brew I like cold brew. I'm raising my hand. I'm one. I really like cold brew, more than hot brew. I pretty much only drink hot brew cause I'm

cold

Jam: Yeah. There's a lot of people out there like that. I think, I think there's a number of people who I'm friends with, who have been, who have said something to the effect of, I didn't, I thought I didn't like coffee and I've had cold brew I like

Melissa: Right? cold brews. The only thing I could probably drink black,

Jam: Yeah,

Melissa: but why drink it black, when you can put milk and sugar in it,

Jam: Because then you could drink it black. Actually, if you don't put the milk and sugar in, then what you have before you act So in chemistry we call it ingredients.

And again

Melissa: I was like, what is he going to

say

Jam: just start teaching you. Like when you add stuff, Melissa, you've added

stuff.

Melissa: kind of wanted to see if I could think of a way that you teach me, but what I do want to do is it a coffee corner with jam at the end of each episode.

So you could educate us about

coffee because

you know more about the practical implications of doing an extraction and doing all of. these things In this

Jam: Yeah Yeah

Melissa: whereas I know more about the science behind why is heating It know, work better is because solubility increases with heat

Jam: Yeah.

Melissa: and what are we doing right now? Or taking Molly. We want to hit the sweet spot of taking the molecules. We don't that are soluble in water and leaving behind the ones that we don't want or whatever it is.

Jam: Can I add something to that coffee corner and also check it with you while I say it.

Melissa: absolutely go for it.

Jam: So one thing that probably is pretty important is talking about grind size.

If you're someone just buys your coffee pre-ground, and you're not probably worried about it, but you might end up encountering some times where, depending on how you brew your coffee, it's super different results. My understanding, andMelissa will correct me if it's wrong is like a lay person's way of putting it, I guess, is that grind size matters a lot because.

When you have either a really course like a much larger pieces of coffee really fine. When the finer you get the more surface area you have of each particle or whatever. And so you, it allows a lot more chance of dissolving a lot more of the. Stuff. And so sometimes people will be like, man, this coffee was so strong and it was ground really fine.

Or it was really weak. And the ground really coarse something like that seems to be my understanding of the reasoning that

Melissa: I could definitely see that. So I tried to find out about that. And there weren't a lot of, At the surface of the coffee and the water interfacing science about that, that I found easily.

But one thing said it was through osmosis, but. that doesn't really make sense To me. So I'm not 100% sure, but when I was thinking about grind size, that was what I came up with as well is if the solvent has more opportunities to come into contact with those molecules that it wants or it mean. it can dissolve more, more of them faster, right? either the desirable or the less desirable.

And you can imagine if you have a huge block of sugar, And you drop it into hot water. Versus if you have a bunch of small pieces, the small pieces are probably going to dissolve a lot faster you know, or a large crystal of salt versus that same way of saw all ground up, that is likely going to dissolve a lot faster each water molecule can surround that

thing.

Whereas if there's bigger pieces, it's harder for the water molecules to penetrate in and get Everything it wants. And that's that water is passing through relatively quickly. I mean, you know, so that was my theory is that if it was a finer grind, it would be able to interact the water molecules would have more chance to get at the molecules

that will be dissolved And so it can have more opportunity to dissolve more things.

Good and bad.

Jam: Yeah So in your use case as a listener There are some brew methods. We could go into that, but just as a general way of not going too deep, some brew methods are great for finer grinds because you can keep, you can get the strength you need and want, and it's not too strong or too weak for you and other, you know, brew methods are great for a coarse grind a French press or something like that.

Um, and you've probably have accidentally found that out by like having a really weird cup of coffee one time and being like what went wrong?

there

Melissa: And a French press is interesting because you're doing a solid liquid extraction and then you're filtering. So you're kind of doing two chemistry techniques at

Jam: Oh yeah

Melissa: in that case, you, your first part is the extraction and then you're filtering out.

So your coffee is the filtrate and the solids left behind, are, what's not desirable. So that's kind of

fun

Jam: Yeah And then a double whammy to that I just thought of is that. What's a downside on practical side too, is that when you have really fine grind, it also can slow down like water passing through like a pour over or even a drip coffee

But then you also make it much longer. That the hot water and the coffee are together. And then it gets, okay could get like, you know, more bitter and all that stuff. Some of the things we don't want to dissolve could happen. And probably you've probably experienced that too. And been like, why is this coffee so bitter?

And also why is my coffee taking so long to drain through?

Melissa: Yeah.

Fascinating. Well, this has been coffee corner with jam and I had a great time. in coffee corner.

Jam: Thank you for one even doing this.

topic

Melissa: Yes, I was so excited and it's almost simple and also so complicated that it's hard.

Jam: Yeah Yeah

Melissa: The idea that we're just using water to take out, some molecules that we

want. Simple. actually extracting only the molecules we want.

When everything is soluble and water is very complicated. I would never. do that in The chemistry lab, if I wanted to dissolve some things and not other things, I would find a mixture of solvent system that only dissolved what I wanted, but we only have one solvent option and it dissolves everything. So the only other option is to have a very precise

technique.

Jam: Yeah that makes sense

Melissa: So it really is, it really is so complicated and so simple all at once.

Jam: Well, it's been a while since we've done this, Melissa, but is it time to talk about what's been going on in our weeks?

Melissa: Yes it is. Can, should I go

Jam: Yes, please do.

Melissa: Well, I didn't think about this ahead of time.

Well, I'm kind of excited to share this with our listeners. Some people have written in and asked the progress is like on my, on me graduating,

Jam: Oh yeah

Melissa: and actually, jam. hasn't heard this either, but I sat down with my boss last week and. We looked at all of the deadlines that it would take for me to graduate in spring.

And there's a hard deadline and there's a soft deadline. And then there's a option of, of graduating in the summer, actually applying in the summer. And the hard deadline seems pretty impossible because we have a conference. We have spring break and it's actually the anniversary of when my mom passed away. So. that seems like a poor choice.

Jam: Yeah Yeah yeah

Melissa: but the soft deadline, which would allow me to defend and effectively finish in the spring.

But technically I wouldn't graduate till the summer very reasonable. And the summer graduation deadline is even more reasonable. So when we looked at all these dates, my boss and I both thought, I think I will definitely be able to graduate by the end of this summer.

Unless something very bad happened. August should be the latest.

Jam: Wow. That's crazy.

Melissa: Super crazy.

Jam: And cool. That There's more options like that. Like there's not just like the fact that summer is a good option and gives you some more time and flexibility, but also is not like the whole year more than like, that is great.

Melissa: It's really nice. And Even if I do end up for some reason, needing to register for the fall, there are some financial incentives to go in the fall versus the summer, I could defend in August still, and just wait to to graduate until December, but I would be done.

Jam: Yeah Yeah

Melissa: So no matter what happens, we don't see me graduating after August.

Jam: Got it.

Very cool.

Melissa: Very cool. and very crazy.

Jam: Dude that is awesome

Melissa: So I just guess I wanted to share that with you and our listeners, that it's truly on the horizon.

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: It seems like it will be in the next eight months.

Jam: Well, dude, that's awesome. Congrats.

Melissa: I'm very excited. Don't congratulate me until it's done.

Jam: Well, just whatever the right word is for, um, that's congrats before it's done, but also that's exciting and we're all proud that that is the case that

it's

going that direction.

Melissa: It is nice and weird and fun to think about. There are so many people who know about me trying to graduate and who are excited for that to happen too. So that's kind of cool. It definitely wasn't the case. When I got my master's degree, there was probably like 20 people who were excited about that. So That's cool. Now, so what about you, Jam what's been exciting for you. I, we haven't had these check-ins, I've kind of missed out on what's going on in your

life

Jam: I feel like probably a ton. And also what's funny is that I can't remember the last time that we did these, because I guess. it was Late September that we had recorded the last, like, you know, kind of standard episodes before we started doing the minis. So, um, probably a lot's happened then, but the thing that's really current is that my wife, you know, this, uh, Em just started a new job

Melissa: yeah.

Jam: and that's obviously going to have a lot of impacts.

on our life it's going to be a positive thing. She's, you know, glad she's making this change. It's hard to change jobs, no matter how long you've been in a previous job, always new stuff to learn. Um, and she's been in her career as a nurse practitioner for like a while now, but there's still, everything's different when you change, you know, where you're working and, and stuff like that.

So That's been affecting us both a lot because I've been having to watch our son five days a week, uh, for last week and this week.

Melissa: That's a lot.

Jam: And then she'll start working overnight shifts next week. And then eventually when her orientation kind of introduction periods all done, she'll start working three Overnight shifts a week,

Melissa: Right.

Jam: but we're used to like that kind of schedule if we're working three days So the overnight thing will be different. But right now, having to watch my son five days a week has been super different. And on one hand I get more time with him. So that's really fun. The other hand, uh, normally. Watching my son is one of my, like sort of three main things I might spend my week doing.

And so a deck, a little bit of freelance. Normally I do that a little bit freelance, watch my son, and then also do my main job, which is to work for our church. And then also at some point in there I do the podcast. So three, depending on week three or four things. that are Kind of my job. Uh, so the past two weeks have been way heavier

Melissa: skewed

Jam: Yeah On the parent side. And that's meant a lot of things have shrunk So that's been very odd and a different kind of tiring where in my mind, I'm hoping I'm going to have more time say like after I put my son to. bed My in my mind, I'm like, okay, cool. I'll get stuff done. But then my exhausted, cause I've been working all day in a different way And

uh,

Melissa: you just get to rotate some of those working all days with your wife doing that.

So I can see how suddenly having a much bigger load of that for a period of time. would be really

weird

Jam: Yeah, exactly. Like my first day, like sort of off where I'm going to not be watching my son is on Saturday and so five days in a row watching him and then. It's like, there's all kinds of things that are building up They're not getting to work on between then and now.

And so that's tough, but it's good. It's gonna be good. And, um, that's kind of the biggest, probably the biggest change right now. This week that's happening right now

Melissa: You're InTransition but it's transitioned to make things less busy and hectic later.

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: right now. It's harder soon. It will be

easier

Jam: Yeah and we are still the impression that this will be a better job for Em for the next season.

We'll see how long, but like, that is still what we're thinking. So, yeah. So we're hoping that still pans out.

Melissa: Well, I don't know why you're complaining because it seems really easy to watch your baby and get all your work done and keep yourself

alive.

Jam: Yeah, it you're right That's a good point I really, I guess I'm just not, I don't function as high of a level as most people, so

Melissa: Just kidding. That's really hard to still be expected to fully complete your job and fully be on childcare duty is really hard.

So that makes a lot of sense, but you're doing great and it's probably time you'll look back on and be Thinking. wow, this is so fun when I got to spend all of that time, even though it was hard to juggle everything, I think you'll be glad in the end. that you get so much time with them.

Jam: And I really don't complain. I do tell people about like, here's, what's going on in these couple of weeks, just so they can be a little more understanding of like, why I might be forgetful or I might not get back to them soon or what but in general, I have not said it like, oh gosh, pray for me.

Cause I'm, you know, or whatever, I haven't been like, complaining about it because it is really, there's a lot of

Melissa: sweet. Yeah.

Sweet. To get to hang out with your kid all the time, but not conducive to your working

Jam: exactly. Yeah

Melissa: Yeah.

Well, you've gotten all the stuff you need to get done to get this podcast out. hopefully if you guys are listening to this on Thanksgiving

Jam: Yes

Melissa: and hopefully all of you are both aware of some of the implications of this national holiday and also really utilizing this time to get to be with people that you love and care about and take rest and time off work.

And remember what's most important in life like hanging out with son.

Jam: Yes.

Melissa: or

Jam: Yes Yes, definitely

Melissa: And thanks also, well, I should say so happy day to do all of

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: And in spirit of the day, I'm very thankful for all of you listeners and for you jam letting me come and nerd out about chemistry. regularly, I feel so lucky and I'm really excited for this new schedule and thankful to get back into.

recording regular episodes.

Jam: Yes. Absolutely. Well, thank you for teaching us. And I want to say also thank you to you listeners. We love what we get to do, we love that you guys care and listen, and it's the best. So all the best.

Thank you

So while we are having our respective Thanksgiving time or whatever, and you guys are too, if you live in the U S where you celebrate that day, just know we're thinking of y'all.

So, um, and we're thankful that you guys send in topics and ideas and questions and stuff like that. It's always so fun. And so if you have any ideas or thoughts, you can send them to us on Gmail, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook @chemforyourlife. That's chem F-O-R your life to share your thoughts and ideas.

If you'd like to help us keep our show going and contribute to cover the cost of making go to ko-fi.com/chemforyourlife to donate the cost of a cup of coffee. If you're not able to donate, you can still help us by subscribing on your favorite podcast, app and rating and writing a review on apple podcasts.

That also helps us to share chemistry with even more people.

Melissa: This episode of chemistry for your life was created by Melissa Collini And Jam Robinson references for this episode can be found in our show notes or on our website. Jam Robinson is our producer and we like to give a special thanks to V Garza and S Navarro who reviewed this episode.

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