Author Topic: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions  (Read 3040 times)

Offline beerrat

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A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« on: August 08, 2011, 02:47:02 PM »
I've been trying to come up with a 2-3 hour max all grain brewing class/demo/"teach in" for our home brew club.   Meads, wines and extract brewing can be done in that time frame, but stumped on right approach for all grain.

Given it takes me 6 hours to do a full al grain brew, anyone have suggestions on approach to "boil this down" (pardon the pun)?

Want more hands on then slide ware.  Perhaps use approach the cooking shows do were you show the mash steps in one mash tun, then have one another mash tun previously started that you would do the sparging on?

Offline a10t2

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 03:00:02 PM »
Is this targeted at extract brewers, or complete novices? If it's for extract brewers, the class could end once the wort is boiling, since everything else would be the same from that point.

Maybe try to find the places you can cut time out of your process first. My (5 gal) brew days are 4.5 hr with a 60 min mash and 75 min boil. Are you fly sparging? For a beginners' class you could just demonstrate batch sparging instead.

Does the end product have to be drinkable? You could do a 10 min mash rest and only chill long enough to demonstrate the concept. That would save the better part of two hours.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 03:01:46 PM by a10t2 »
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 04:54:57 PM »
Start the class with around 10 min left with the mash.  You can explain in 10 min what you did up to this point.  Then, proceed with lauter, sparge, and boil.  Batch sparging could also speed things up a bit.
Dan Chisholm

jaybeerman

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 05:36:45 PM »
If it's for extract brewers, the class could end once the wort is boiling,

Does the end product have to be drinkable? You could do a 10 min mash rest and only chill long enough to demonstrate the concept. That would save the better part of two hours.

+1  don't make it harder than it needs to be.  If you aren't worried about making it drinkable, you'll cover the basics and be able to answer questions along the way or at least have time to answer questions at the end of the demonstration.

Offline SiameseMoose

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 05:39:32 PM »
As long as it isn't necessary to really make a batch, skip the mash rest. Dough in, reach temperature, and then go straight to sparge. Demonstrate vorlaufing, start the sparge, and throw away the wort. Your class doesn't need to see another boil. However, I would at least discuss wort chilling.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2011, 06:08:32 PM »
This would make a long day for the teacher, but what if you organized it like a cooking show on TV?  You could start a mash for the class, then, when the temp and pH is set, pull out the mash that has been magically resting for an hour, which elves or kitchen gnomes started before the class got there.
Sorry, just thinking of how much work that would be makes me tired.  Just an idea that popped into my head watching foodtv.
<edit> reading the first post again, this was already on the table.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 06:18:12 PM by jeffy »
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Offline punatic

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 09:42:57 PM »
Don't forget to bring examples (samples) to illustrate why all grain brewing is worth the extra effort.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 06:08:17 AM »
If you do the cooking show approach, they will see all of the necessary steps.  The waiting for an hour or 90 minutes is not something you need to teach.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 06:30:41 AM »
1:  Have your water at temp, ready to mash in.
2: Have your crushed grain ready

Then talk about the "difficult" parts
(in a sarcastic voice)" I know this is a difficult and complicated process, I'm not sure you can do it"
1: Getting the crushed grain
"Can you purchase some crushed grain for a recipe from your LHBS?"
2: Mixing it
"Do you think that you might be able to heat some water up to 162F in a kettle?"
well yea,
"Great, I thought I might lose you with that.
Do you think that you may be able to add xx qts of that water to this cooler?
Ok, Great!!!
Now the real hard part,  do you think that maybe, just maybe you might be able to mix the crushed grain with the water in the cooler?,  I know that this is real hard??
Awesome,  Now do you think that you might be able to close the lid and leave it alone for an hour and enjoy a beer?
You sure now,  This is the very difficult process of converting starches into sugars.

Do you think that you could drain the liquid out into your kettle?  Maybe???
Hmm, that looks a little short,  Do you think you could, and I know this is real hard, add 6 gallons less than the amount of liquid  you just drained of hot rinse water into the cooler.

Now just to make sure you can get this right, drain it into the kettle?




well you got the idea.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 07:24:04 AM »
The all grain class I took was held in a brew pub.  The instructors used and cooler for a mash tun and had the grain crushed before class.  The pub systems supplied 175 deg water on demand so they did an intro (10 minutes or so) then mashed in.  They showed how to handle dough balls and adjust the mash temp then put the lid on and went through a technical discussion of what was happening in the mash and the basics on recipe formulation.  We all took a small break, got a fresh beer and then we went through the sparging process as a group.  Once the wort was collected the boil was proceeding back in the brewery and we could wonder in and out at will, ask questions or just order another beer and hang out.  You could leave whenever you wanted after the boil started and not really miss anything.

The meat of the class was done in about 2.5 to 3 hours.  About 3 weeks later we all got back together to sample the beer we made and have a meal together.

Holding the class in a brewery made the task of water prep and such much easier.

Paul
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jaybeerman

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 08:56:39 AM »
we all got back together to sample the beer we made and have a meal together.

That's a great idea; who was it (which pub)?

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 11:11:49 AM »
we all got back together to sample the beer we made and have a meal together.

That's a great idea; who was it (which pub)?

The class was run by the original owner of Heartland Homebrew.  I've lost track of him over the past few years.  It was held at Raccoon River Brewing Co in downtown Des Moines.

Both establishments have changed hands a couple of times in the last 10 years but are still around and supporting the homebrew community.

Paul
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Offline kgs

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Re: A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 01:34:29 PM »
The brewclub had the right idea -- putting the focus on the mash and the sparge, and using the mash time for a technical conversation. If they've done extract brewing, they have the ensuing process down.  I too thought about doing this a la Julia Child, but I think having the "students" return to drink "their" beer is a great idea, and provides an opportunity for them to ask questions that may have cropped up after the class. 
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