Wolf Muysgin stopped once again to consider his new workplace. The new laboratory for the hospital was a two-story brick and stone building that had been built next to the Antonite's herbal garden. The laboratory had been built at an angle so that the winter sun would light up the windowed rooms of the second story as much as possible.
Once inside Wolf removed his shoes and slipped on a pair of wool socks, then added a pair made of linen. He followed up with a fresh lab coat that stretched to his knees. He waved to the laundress, Frau Hessler, as he entered the stairs leading to the second floor. The first floor of the laboratory was given over to the laundry and experiments that did not require the same decontamination protocols as the second story. There were two doors on the stairs, and after passing through the second he was surprised to find Father Schotten in the hallway.
"Father, you're back! How was your trip to Grantville?"
Gysbert smiled and motioned Wolf into his office.
"Wonderful, Wolf. But also frustrating. And disappointing in some ways."
"Wonderful I can understand, after all the stories the praeceptor told us. But frustrating and disappointing?"
Gysbert nodded. "Frustrating because the Americans we have heard so much about are terribly busy, Wolf. They have little time for visitors with difficult questions. Doctor Nichols was especially busy dealing with outbreaks of disease. Nothing too serious, mostly dysentery and flu. But he was not very helpful."
Gysbert sighed and sat back in his chair. "My search of their books and encyclopedias was the disappointing part. Essentially nothing beyond what we were already told."
"So we are on our own, Father?"
Gysbert nodded. "Yes, I'm afraid so Wolf. If we want a medium to produce higher levels of penicillin, we will have to experiment ourselves. Corn steep liquor of the type and purity suggested in the literature is too expensive for us. So let's investigate various kinds of vegetable extracts, I think. You can start working on that. For myself, I will attempt to find an answer to the contamination problem. It does us no good to produce penicillin in quantity if it lasts only a few days because of bacterial or other contamination."
Gysbert suddenly smiled. "But enough of that. Frau Hessler seems to think you have made a breakthrough with your yeast cultures. True?"
Wolf nodded enthusiastically. The brewers' and bakers' guilds of Cologne had helped finance the Antonite laboratory when they had been told about the possibility of improved strains of yeast. "True Father. Come, let me show you!"