Author Topic: Homebrewing class at College  (Read 825 times)

Offline jeremywest

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Homebrewing class at College
« on: January 16, 2015, 08:17:16 PM »
I'm preparing to teach a home brewing class or two at the local college.  I've been teaching classes, both basic and advanced, at my LHBS for years now.  This is a little different though, needs to be developed more and would likely be several sessions.

I'm sure some of you out there have done something like this before.  Anyone have any curriculum written up that I can blatantly plagiarize?  I'm thinking two separate classes, one for beginners, and a more advanced all-grain/kegging one.  I'm planning on handing out copies of the Zymurgy Introduction to Homebrewing magazine, and will likely suggest How to Brew or A Complete Joy as a reference book for people to buy.

Anyone else have any thoughts or materials they'd like to suggest or share?

Thanks
Jeremy  8)

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 04:36:22 AM »
I've never taught a class on homebrewing, but I am a teacher. So, I would approach it the same way I would approach any lessons. Break it down. Start with the baslcs. First teach the basic ingredients, and then the basic processes, beginning with extract and progressing to all-grain. If you have time, you could then get into advanced topics such as recipe formulation, measurement and evalutation, then water chemistry. The topic, as everyone here on the forum knows, is endlessly fascinating.

There are a plethora of resources online, including dvds and youtube videos that you could use to supplement your instruction. If I were to assign one book it would be Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian. It is plainly written and therefore accessable to every one, and it breaks everything down into the basics, as per the above topics. The first forty pages can get your students through their first beer.

Take your time and enjoy it, and your students will as well. Good luck!
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline SiameseMoose

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 04:42:26 AM »
As someone who has taught classes for two universities, I have one particular piece of advice: get paid in advance. At the very least make payment terms crystal clear. Don't ask me why ...  >:(
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Offline braufessor

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 02:36:07 PM »
I think those  sources you mention are great.  Some of these things you may very well already do, but some thoughts that come to mind about teaching beginners......

I would say you want to walk the line between RDWHAHB and overwhelming with details.  There are some basic things that do, indeed, take a little more time, knowledge and effort - but they are not complicated and difficult.  I think sometimes there is such an attempt made to show how "easy" homebrewing is, and not scare anyone off that it causes beginners to produce a subpar beer - which is frustrating for them.  It seems like "kit" instructions have not changed in 20 years in order to uphold this "Anyone can do it" image.  Let them know some of the key things to avoid.

*"Get your wort under 80 and pitch yeast........."   

No..... that is not ok. You do not need a temp. controlled freezer to start brewing - but get that wort into the 60's somehow, someway. Maybe demonstrate a swamp cooler - or suggest styles that are more temp. forgiving (saison).

*"Here is the onestep included in your beginner kit......"

No - here are some cleaners (pbw/oxyclean/etc.) use them and rinse.  Here is a sanitizer - starsan.  Don't rinse, Don't worry about the foam.

*"If your water tastes good it will make good beer....."

No.  Not necessarily.  You don't need to break out the B'run Water spreadsheet...... but any beginner can use campden tablets, charcoal filter or RO water to avoid chlorine/chloramine.  If your particular area has a specific water issue (high bicarbonate around me) tell them how to avoid it simply.

Basically - for many of these things, it does not need to be rocket science - beginners would gladly have some basic things they can do to improve their final product.  Great beer will turn them on to brewing way before saving 20 minutes.


Also - in general - Show it and do it as opposed to saying it or reading it.  Hands on.  Let them do steps themselves whenever possible.

Compile a list (google doc) of great online brewing resources that they can refer back to for more information, etc.

Those are a couple thoughts.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 02:38:35 PM by braufessor »

Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 07:11:54 PM »
I'm preparing to teach a home brewing class or two at the local college.  I've been teaching classes, both basic and advanced, at my LHBS for years now.  This is a little different though, needs to be developed more and would likely be several sessions.

I'm sure some of you out there have done something like this before.  Anyone have any curriculum written up that I can blatantly plagiarize?  I'm thinking two separate classes, one for beginners, and a more advanced all-grain/kegging one.  I'm planning on handing out copies of the Zymurgy Introduction to Homebrewing magazine, and will likely suggest How to Brew or A Complete Joy as a reference book for people to buy.

Anyone else have any thoughts or materials they'd like to suggest or share?

Thanks
Jeremy  8)

We teach classes. You can you all our materials off our website "learn" section. Blacksandsbeer.com  all grain and partial mash instructions. As for an actual agenda.... That's on you man.
Free recipes available for download on our website www.blacksandsbeer.com

Offline santoch

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 02:40:10 AM »
If this is a semester long course, how many hours do you have available to teach?

If it was me, I wouldn't only just teach them the mechanics of making a batch of beer. Go to the BJCP web site and take some of the lessons out of this:

http://www.bjcp.org/docs/BJCP_Study_Guide.pdf

While you show them how to steep, and how to mash, teach them about the ingredients and WHY those processes work.  Teach them what malt is, how its made.  Show them about hops, their varietals, how adding them at various points in the boil will affect bitterness, flavor, aroma.  Teach them some of the basic off flavors and how they come about and how to avoid them.

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 04:18:09 PM »
*"If your water tastes good it will make good beer....."

No.  Not necessarily.  You don't need to break out the B'run Water spreadsheet...... but any beginner can use campden tablets, charcoal filter or RO water to avoid chlorine/chloramine.  If your particular area has a specific water issue (high bicarbonate around me) tell them how to avoid it simply.

I do not know about your water taste preferences, but I have never found water than has been disinfected with chlorine or chloramine to taste good. 


Offline noonancm

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 04:48:26 PM »
wasn't there a podcast by basicbrewing several years back where Jim Spencer interviewed a college professor from a college in Kentucky(?). Might be worth some leads.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 05:00:20 PM »
If this is going to be a semester long course then I'd think about adopting one of the common homebrewing books as your textbook and basically teach through the book. How to Brew 3d Ed. is available both in paper and kindle formats so people would have some options to buy it. If you wanted a more technical text then Brewing Lager Beer might be the better choice.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Homebrewing class at College
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 12:32:50 PM »
Knowing that the preliminary textbook is probably the most important thing in this context, Palmer's How to Brew would be a great resource, CP's Complete Joy of Homebrewing (newly revised) and Brewing Classic Styles would also fit well and all would be great texts that are keepers.  Then for the intermediate class you can move on to the Yeast, Hops, Malt and Water series coupled with Gordon Strong's Brewing Better Beer.
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