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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: tomsawyer on March 06, 2012, 07:34:53 PM

Title: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 06, 2012, 07:34:53 PM
Last fall I pitched the idea of a brewing and beer appreciation class to the local community college.  They don't do much by way of advertising other than put out a course schedule, and I admittedly didn't help with flyers or anything.  The first class had only 3 students but I went ahead and taught because I figured it might help get the word out so to speak.  Recruited one person to our homebrew club out of that group so it wasn't a total waste.

I was scheduled to teach it again this month but as of yesterday I had three students who had paid and I was going to have them cancel the class.  I was whining to the community education director about how I was surprised there wasn't more interest in brewing given the seeming popularity in many areas of the country.  Then this morning one more person signed up and paid so the class is on.  Right after that I get another email that two more are signed up.  Don't know if they paid but if so that might be six people.  That would be a great class size, enough so they will fill up some of the time with questions and relieve me of talking for two hours straight.  They'll still get some individual attention too.  The class is four sessions on consecutive Thursday evenings.  The last class meets at the local brewpub for a brewery tour and a flight of their beers, they had something like ten last time so its a nice platform for tasting and discussing beer styles.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: hamiltont on March 06, 2012, 08:53:52 PM
Excellent!!!  Be sure to mention the forums. They're a great source for enhancing their brewing knowledge, among many other sources of course. Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: Jimmy K on March 06, 2012, 09:37:38 PM
This sounds like a fun class.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 06, 2012, 09:49:01 PM
I've included several brewing forums including this one on the sheet of references I hand out.

We make a simple extract beer on week one, extract with specialty grains on week two, AG on week three (probably at my house unless someone doesn't want to drive there), and the brewpub on week four.

I just found out that the last two students had some kind of conflict so I'm back to four students.  So much for my delusions of a packed house and me down front in a bow tie and sport coat with elbow patches.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: nateo on March 07, 2012, 01:18:05 AM
That sounds really fun to teach, and probably to take too.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tschmidlin on March 07, 2012, 09:14:33 AM
Very cool Lennie, I'm glad you're doing it.  It will grow :)
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: punatic on March 07, 2012, 09:21:18 AM
I believe this is how Charlie Papazian got started, back in the day.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 07, 2012, 01:07:18 PM
Its a great excuse to brew beer on a weeknight and the money will cover materials and gas.  I'm no Charlie P but I'd love to generate a little more interest in brewing and good beer in this area.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 08, 2012, 01:19:24 PM
Up to six students now, I might even make a few bucks off this deal.

I'm brewing a "kit" tonight, albeit one of my own making (hey I gotta drink the beer).  Its an American wheat style with orange peel for finishing hops.  OG 1.042, 14IBU from Magnum.  My wife loves this concoction.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: punatic on March 08, 2012, 06:44:40 PM
So, you're gonna convince them of how much fun whitewashing the fence is, and get them to do all of the work, right?
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 08, 2012, 07:26:42 PM
I was thinking I'd let them have the fun of brewing and bring me the results for extensive testing.  But the house does need painted.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 19, 2012, 03:48:54 PM
I did end up with six students.  On week one we made a mock kit brew with just LME, hops and orange peel. It was a wheat extract (50% wheat) and I turned it into a witbier with orange peel as the late addition and Belgian yeast.  Week two was a DME brew with specialty grains, I used light DME and got my color from crystal and pale chocolate so they could see how to do that.  This week everyone is coming to my house for a mash demo and a tasting (no alcohol on campus).  I'm looking forward to showing off all my equipment.  Last week we're doing a field trip to the local brewpub for a tour, discussion of English beer styles (the pub's forte) and of course a tasting.

Two of the guys have made wine so I'll recruit them for the wine club, and I am thinking I'll get at least three new members for the beer club.  So mission accomplished in that respect.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 03:49:55 PM
Sounds like you're doing a great job, Lennie.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 20, 2012, 12:34:44 PM
I don't know about that, but they do fill out an eval form at the end so I will get feedback at that point.  A couple of the people have purchased equipment kits that come with an ingredient kit, so there is at least some active interest.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on February 27, 2013, 12:11:38 AM
Got a couple of new brew club member from the 2012 class, they've been attending pretty regularly.

The 2013 class already has eight students.  I worked up a Powerpoint presentation for week one, and will be brewing a simple porter using a jar of LME and some UK Phoenix hops.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: bboy9000 on February 27, 2013, 01:11:13 AM
The last class meets at the local brewpub for a brewery tour and a flight of their beers

I had one final exam on the Buffalo River trail and another in a cave, but never in a brewpub.  That's awesome.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on February 27, 2013, 08:34:42 PM
It always ensures I get favorable reviews.

I spent 5-7AM this morning doing five short live spots on TV where the news person and I brewed a Belgian dubbel.  It was my 15min of fame, now I'm back at work and in obscurity where I belong.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: bboy9000 on February 28, 2013, 04:48:47 AM
It always ensures I get favorable reviews.

I spent 5-7AM this morning doing five short live spots on TV where the news person and I brewed a Belgian dubbel.  It was my 15min of fame, now I'm back at work and in obscurity where I belong.

Sounds like its really going to pick up some steam now!  I wish a college in KC offered a beer appreciation class.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 01, 2013, 11:54:50 AM
Check your local community colleges, they might have one.  If they don't, contact the club there and see if they would have anyone interested in teaching one.

I had nine students last night, spent an hour on book larnin' and then we brewd a simple porter from LME and hops.  My intention was to show just how simple it can be.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: pinnah on March 01, 2013, 01:19:45 PM
It always ensures I get favorable reviews.


 ;D.  Good stuff Lennie!

Are they paying you any, or did you get the house painted?
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 02, 2013, 06:06:51 PM
I make  $22 per student, and I charge an $11 materials fee that covers some of the materials and the brewpub tasting.

The sawyerism of the situation is that they pay to watch me brew beer that I then keep.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 04, 2013, 12:54:22 PM
This week's class will consist of brewing a Brewers Best Belgian Tripel kit from start to finish.  I'll attempt to follow the instructions and use accepted brewing procedures.  Should take up the better part of two hours.  The cool thing is that my friend who owns the brewstore is donating the kit.
Title: Re: Brewing Class Picking Up Steam
Post by: tomsawyer on March 22, 2013, 01:09:16 PM
Another Homebrewing and Beer appreciation class is in the books.  Week 3 we did a mash demo, a bottling demo, and did a tasting of homebrews made by me and a couple other people.  Then last night we finished up with a tour of the local 10bbl microbrewery and a tasting of six of their beers.  I had them take a stab at writing a BJCP judging evaluation on a couple of the beers, that didn't seem to enthuse too many of them but I hope it gave them some insights into what aspects of a beer to think about when assessing a beer.  All nine people seemed to enjoy themselves and wrote positive comments on the course eval forms.

I keep thinking about ways to change up the course.  I might leave this one as is, and maybe offer a second advanced brewing course where I go more into malt selection, hops selection, reusing yeast, water chemistry, mashing techniques, and kegging.  Not positive how many people would sign up for this, but a second course would be a way to recycle some of my previous students.

I am also thinking about having a beer appreciation course where I would purchase classic examples and we would get together and taste them.  That'd be a lot of fun too.  Of course the problem there is that no alcohol is allowed on premises at the college but we could do this at the local homebrew shop.  I could even do this as a one-off thing where we would do a specific beer style once a month and the participants would just pay for the one session.