Author Topic: Homebrewing class  (Read 1390 times)

Offline idris_arslanian

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Homebrewing class
« on: June 06, 2011, 08:58:25 AM »
I got roped into doing a Homebrew Class for the Hack Factory, which is a maker collective I belong to here in Minneapolis.  Has anyone ever done one of these before?  I have it taking up the whole afternoon, and I'd like to get both an Extract batch as well as an All-Grain completed in that time.  Too ambitious?  Using "How To Brew" as well as "Joy" as the basis for the curriculum and the wife is an Instructional Designer, so hopefully we can put together an informative class.

Topics I'm planning on covering:
-Sanitation
-Equipment
-Difference between extract & all grain brewing
-Mash process
-Boil
-Batch vs fly sparging
-Cooling & pitching
-Yeast starters
-Force carbonation vs bottle priming

Any comments subtractions or additions would be helpful.

Thanks!
The DTs Brewhouse - Northeast Minneapolis

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 09:14:48 AM »
I don't think I'd try to cover all-grain in the same class as extract brewing.  Seems like too much information at one time for most people to me.  I'd probably just mention it as a step you can take later if you find out brewing really interests you and give a quick overview.

Other than that, your list of topics seems pretty complete.

paul
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Offline denny

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 09:55:10 AM »
I agree with Paul.  Keep it simple, on point, and just cover the basics.  People are gonna be confused enough with extract brewing that you don't need to go into Ag now.  Save that for a later class and concentrate on the basics to get people making beer.
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Offline idris_arslanian

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 10:48:33 AM »
Touche.  I wanted to go over enzymes and conversion temps a bit, but I could just incorporate that into explaining how they make the extract. 
The DTs Brewhouse - Northeast Minneapolis

Offline denny

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 10:52:42 AM »
Touche.  I wanted to go over enzymes and conversion temps a bit, but I could just incorporate that into explaining how they make the extract. 

Maybe enzymes, but personally I wouldn't muddy the waters with conversion temps.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 10:54:57 AM »
You might want to look at Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer book, I'm going to teach a four session adult ed class for a local community college (homebrewing and beer appreciation) this fall and I may use it as a text and loosely follow that format.
Lennie
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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 03:46:30 PM »
How big is the class, how much time do you have, and how experienced are the people you'll be teaching?

If you've just got a couple of hours and you're teaching a gaggle of complete novices, stick with a simple extract brew using the sort of equipment you'd get in a starter kit. Ideally, you should actually produce some wort and perhaps share some finished homebrew. If you want to get fancy, you can do a partial grain batch by steeping some crystal malt in the brewing liquor before you bring it up to boiling.

Offline idris_arslanian

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 07:32:56 AM »
Not sure yet, not a whole lot have actually signed up.  But supposedly we're getting picked to click by the local alt-weekly, so that might bump attendance a bit.  I think I'm going to play it by ear and have a couple kits (all grain and extract) ready to go.  Once it's finished, we'll have people come back and have a tasting during our hackerspace's Wed open house.  One of the goals of the class is to get new people into the space to check it out and hopefully become members. 
The DTs Brewhouse - Northeast Minneapolis

Offline timberati

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 10:34:39 AM »
Morebeer has some documents in PDF format that might be of use at http://morebeer.com/search/103680/beerwinecoffee/coffeewinebeer/MoreManuals!. Having been an instructor before, I know you can only go as fast as your slowest student, so keep it simple and fun. There will be much less time than you think you have so consider doubling the time you think things will take. You can always have things in you back pocket if you have more time.
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Offline love2brew

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 10:44:24 AM »
I would say one of the keys to teaching people, especially if they're new to homebrewing, is to focus less on the technique and more on the feeling of how easy it is for them to do it.  Get them excited and confident and you'll have done your job well.


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Offline holzster

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 07:42:37 PM »


Any comments subtractions or additions would be helpful.

Thanks!

As being new myself I think starting off with all the terminology that you will be using a good print out would be nice for that.
Thanks

Holzster

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 10:41:27 PM »
I would say one of the keys to teaching people, especially if they're new to homebrewing, is to focus less on the technique and more on the feeling of how easy it is for them to do it.  Get them excited and confident and you'll have done your job well.
+1 The key is what level your audience is at.  If this is really for beginners, I'd focus on how easy homebrewing is.  For people like me who can get overwhelmed with details, homebrewing can sound intimidating (especially all the emphasis on sanitizing).  If they are people who have gotten their feet wet in homebrewing with just the basics, then maybe do grain steeping and how to make a kit better by adding other things. 
But, yeah, I'd go with the basics.  Just think how many people have been influenced to start homebrewing by DWHAHB. :)
Br. Francis
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Offline sailortodd

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 09:04:40 AM »
I would say one of the keys to teaching people, especially if they're new to homebrewing, is to focus less on the technique and more on the feeling of how easy it is for them to do it.  Get them excited and confident and you'll have done your job well.
+1 The key is what level your audience is at.  If this is really for beginners, I'd focus on how easy homebrewing is.  For people like me who can get overwhelmed with details, homebrewing can sound intimidating (especially all the emphasis on sanitizing).  If they are people who have gotten their feet wet in homebrewing with just the basics, then maybe do grain steeping and how to make a kit better by adding other things. 
But, yeah, I'd go with the basics.  Just think how many people have been influenced to start homebrewing by DWHAHB. :)
I'd agree with both comments above. If there's anyone in the group who hasn't brewed before at all, trying to cover all grain or any sort of mashing process in depth would lose them fairly quickly. It's good as a "this is where the process can take you..." topic, but just learning the basics with extract brewing may be better. I think there's enough to cover with steeping grains and hop boils to take up an afternoon. Just a perspective from a fairly new brewer.
Beer: so much more than just a breakfast drink.

Offline WDE97

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 09:42:23 AM »
I would definitley agree with keeping it simple.  Maybe start with showing and explaining all of the equipment and discuss the basic process for an extract batch. Then actually brew a batch and pass out a few homebrews.  After the batch is brewed I would then discuss fermentation and bottling procedures, and end with a very basic discussion of the next levels (steeping grains, then all grain) to let them know where they can progress to as a homebrewer.  I would strongly suggest having handouts for everyone:  a list of online resources for brewing supplies and information; a list of some books they should consider purchasing; and a printed guide for beginners such as this http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/zymurgy/free-downloads/zymurgy-an-introduction-to-homebrewing
Having some references to take home has always been a big hit with the people I have taught. 
Good luck!!
 
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Homebrewing class
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 08:22:43 PM »
For the SCA types amongst us, I am being roped into doing a one hour class on how to get started in home brewing at this year's Pennsic War..... Not finalized yet, but this could be the class description.....

Quote
Home Brewing 101

Some history, some science and some discussion of ingredients, techniques and materials and their sources all wrapped in an entertaining package with the ultimate goal of giving you the basic directions to start out on the road of home brewing. Learn about brewing, packaging and serving your very own beer. Not necessarily period, but practical and very drinkable, with various levels of difficulty explained, ranging from "only add water" to "completely from scratch". Some liquid illustrations provided, so ages 21 or over only. Class lasts approximately one hour, and will be taught by Lord Goerijs the Unpronounceable in the "Brau Haus" at Camp Carillon.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....