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Old 04-12-2007, 12:36 PM   #11
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I really wish this was a viable option locally when I got started. Not that it's hard to do in practice, but there is quite a mental hump to get over. "Can I really do this?" "If it was easy, everyone would do it."

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Old 04-12-2007, 12:55 PM   #12
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I do agree that day one is a little dry. What I hope to do though is first get them to hear about the process and use the brew day as the hands on reinforcement.
Here are some things I might do to make it more interesting.

1. As mentioned, tasting. I don't know if the director would be cool with this. I guess it depends on the venue. The only other risk is that they don't like my brews. They are far from BMC transition beers.

2. I plan to bring little baggies of ingredients so they can see, touch, and feel them to get familiar. I'll have some whole grain, some crushed, pellet and leaf hops, DME.

I would have done it all in a single day but that leaves out the bottling part. I think it would be strange to have one 3 hour session and followup with a shorter one hour bottling session. If you think about most classes that have a hands on practical portion, there's always a boring lecture preceeding it. These are great ideas guys, thanks.

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Old 04-12-2007, 01:00 PM   #13
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If you do a one-hour boil with hops additions at 60, 15, and 2 minutes (or something like that), then there is literally nothing to do but watch for boilovers for 45 minutes.

Seems like you could do a lot of the talky part then.

I'd probably go for the three hour session (talk + brew), then maybe a 1-2 hour followup session (talk + bottle + taste?).

Do some of the talking before brewing, some during.

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Old 04-12-2007, 01:17 PM   #14
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Think thats a good idea about bringing the grain etc in.
You know the course is crying out for a follow up advanced course using all grain
People love to feel they are progressing, i'd bet most if not all of the class would sign on again for an AG course, i know i would!!

You could demonstrate and explain the mashing process and talk about the diferent beer styles and how using AG you have almost total control of the process allowing you to replicate these styles.

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Old 04-12-2007, 01:54 PM   #15
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I'm going to think a little more about working the factual lecture into the brew day. I think pulling this off would have a lot to do with class size. If I have to run two batches at the same (slightly offset) time, getting everyone's attention, while answering questions, could get confusing. I look at down time during boils as an opportunity to answer individual questions, etc because I suspect a few people would try to corner me after the session otherwise. Remember, I'm going to cut down the boil time to about 35-45 minutes and compensate with a little more hops.

I had already thought about offering an intermediate followup that goes into basic PM and all grain but I really don't feel comfortable acting as an authority on it yet. I'm still learning myself. I've made a couple great all grain batches, but I'm not instructor material yet.

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Old 04-12-2007, 02:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delboy
Think thats a good idea about bringing the grain etc in.
You know the course is crying out for a follow up advanced course using all grain
People love to feel they are progressing, i'd bet most if not all of the class would sign on again for an AG course, i know i would!!

You could demonstrate and explain the mashing process and talk about the diferent beer styles and how using AG you have almost total control of the process allowing you to replicate these styles.

I agree, but i understand that courses need to develop too. You could start this off, and ask the participants if they would be interested in a more advanced course utilizing all-grain, delving deeper into some different beer styles, and the like.

Get a couple classes under your belt before building a whole curriculum. That will do a couple things for you. First you will be able to build a little funds to get the whole program together. If you don't already have all-gran equipment that can fund the first setup. If you already have one setup, you could use those funds to purchase a second or larger system for the larger batches. Or even different types of equipment so you can demostrate fly sparging, batch sparging, decoction mashes?

You can always take the first couple of student's numbers, e-mail addresses or even (gasp) snail mail and send them a notice of the new class release dates and what not.

I totally agree about trying to get some vendors on-board. Since you don't really have any LHBS see if you could get some 10% discount cards from Northern Brewer, B3, or Austin homebrew? See if they would donate some supplies (a couple ounces of hops or pound of DME for your 'ingredient introduction'?) Are you doing this for a school or nonprofit organization? Companies are dying each year to give money and products to these organizations, just help supply them with the proper forms so they can write off the donations! Oh yeah, and ask early each year, don't wait or they might have already reached their limit on donations (speaking from experience.)
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:18 PM   #17
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I would replace the history lecture with an ingredients lecture. Chewing grain and smoking... smelling hops is much more fun to talk to your friends about after the class than the history of beer. Some base malt and a crystal and black patent would illustate the difference in baley kilning. Cascade and Saaz could show some different hops (do a triangle test to see if they can spot the odd one out as an activity during the boil).

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Old 04-12-2007, 02:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catfish
I would replace the history lecture with an ingredients lecture. Chewing grain and smoking... smelling hops is much more fun to talk to your friends about after the class than the history of beer. Some base malt and a crystal and black patent would illustate the difference in baley kilning. Cascade and Saaz could show some different hops (do a triangle test to see if they can spot the odd one out as an activity during the boil).
ditto on the ingredients. Maybe not replace it, but i wouldn't start off with too much history. like you said very readers digest.

"Been going on for thousands of years. Egyptians did it. Gruit to hops. Reinheitsgebot. Indian trade routes. Pre prohibition, prohibition, post prohibition. Now let's touch some hops."

You can have the history lesson integrated with the ingredient introductions (e.g. show them some gruit so they can see and smell what was used before hops)
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:29 PM   #19
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Maybe you can add a small section to the class that shows different types of food pairings with beer. I know it's kinda a personal taste thing but it would encourage people to try different types of brew, i.e. stout and dark chocolate pieces.

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Old 04-12-2007, 02:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
That's the thing though, there are no home brew shops within a 40 miles radius of this area. Sounds like a business op huh?
How about a tie-in with either the nearest one or one of the more well-known online stores? It would be worth a try.

I like this idea a lot! The one thing I would really stress is the difference between ales and lagers. A lot of newbies want to brew a familiar BMC-type of 'clone' beer and then find out - usually after they have all the ingredients together and are ready to brew - that they are really brewing an ale, not a lager. How many times have we seen posts like that here on HBT?! Someone asks, "How does this look for a Bud clone?", only to see they are using an ale yeast. It doesn't have to be an eleborate dissertation, just a point during your opening beer overview.

Just my 2 cents.
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