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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Advice on training new guys/large group
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
knotquiteawake
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Default Advice on training new guys/large group

I have been nominated to head up a "Man Night" kind of event at my Church, they want to brew beer (and drink beer) together and knowing that I brew beer they've nominated me to head it up. They tried it once before but nobody had much experience so the brew they made was disappointing and under-carbonated/flavorless.
Also, I need to fit the whole brewing process into about 3-4 hours time since the only time to do it is on a Friday night. Also, since I am terrible at delegating I'm not sure how to divide up work there amongst people (to make them feel a "part" of it). I think I might have to do extract with specialty grains because I'm afraid of trying to do a partial mash because of the time involved.
Has anyone done a group brewing with 90% new people before? Thankfully the church bought all the gear for it last time (except a wort chiller dangit!) so I won't have to use any of mine (except maybe the 10 gallon MLT I might be building).

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Old 09-13-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Bring a variety of homebrew. Yours or find a few people at your homebrew club that would be willing to pitch a decent bottle or two (or trade homebrews with you). Having some to sample alone will make people feel included.

Setup early, and have the water at steeping temps when they get there already to save time.

Do an extract, once again to save time.

Print out copies of Palmers how to brew site, though explain to them about revision 3.

Have a handout with suggested resources and links, such as here, places to buy starter kits, and recipe kits.

Have a grill going at the same time. Group brews with some homebrew to drink and burgers or brats are always a hit. Makes it really fun.

Just relax, and make it more hanging out with and showing friends than running a formal classroom. That will make it a hit.

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Old 09-13-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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Episcopal Church?

How many people are you talking about? 10? 120? "Large Group" is a relative term.

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Old 09-13-2010, 11:50 PM   #4
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+1 on taking along a good quantity/variety of homebrew that is ready to drink. I can't see that everyone will get a turn even with only 10 people. Mostly I would say it would be as if you were BBQing, standing round looking at a pot of wort boiling, drinking beer and every ~15 min saying "hey, Bill, can you throw that bowl of hops in now". Take time to explain the process and other techiques (AG, etc.) with those that ask. Offer anyone who is keen to come round for a brew day with you (individually so they do actually start doing a lot more of the actual brewing), and any advice on starting up with brewing.
Let the people decide how involved they want to get, as some might just want to spend 3-4 hours drinkng beer and talking crap with the guys to wind down after a week at work.

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:56 AM   #5
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Thanks that all super helpful, I will definitely print out the stuff from Palmers site, I was kind of hoping to have something to send home to get them thinking about homebrewing later. At the last Church i went to before I moved to California we had 7 guys who were active brewers so I kind of hope some other people might get the bug. Also its really not that many, about 10-15 guys.
Thanks again, I feel a bit better about this now. I think as long as I've got some specialty grains to use that I can at least give them an idea of the purpose of All Grain or PM.
I am nearly out of homebrew, not part of a club, and only have a strong ale waiting to be bottled or kegged right now, I think if I get my kegging kit soon I can force carb the keg and BMBF it into bottles. Otherwise to share costs I'll just have a couple guys who don't drink BMC chip in to buy some craft brews for us to share.

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Old 09-14-2010, 03:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knotquiteawake View Post
I think if I get my kegging kit soon I can force carb the keg and BMBF it into bottles. Otherwise to share costs I'll just have a couple guys who don't drink BMC chip in to buy some craft brews for us to share.
Yeah definately have something to sample so they can see what they can expect to make themselves, and maybe print out a list of the clone kits available from a online supplier so they can see how many different "comercial" beers they could make.
If you do get a beer kegged by the time this happens, I would think about transfering it into another keg to get it off the sediment and taking the whole keg along. I know if I turned up and the guy running it offered me a homebrew from a keg I would be very interested in how it got in there
Good luck
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knotquiteawake View Post
I have been nominated to head up a "Man Night" kind of event at my Church, they want to brew beer (and drink beer) together and knowing that I brew beer they've nominated me to head it up. They tried it once before but nobody had much experience so the brew they made was disappointing and under-carbonated/flavorless.
Also, I need to fit the whole brewing process into about 3-4 hours time since the only time to do it is on a Friday night. Also, since I am terrible at delegating I'm not sure how to divide up work there amongst people (to make them feel a "part" of it). I think I might have to do extract with specialty grains because I'm afraid of trying to do a partial mash because of the time involved.
Has anyone done a group brewing with 90% new people before? Thankfully the church bought all the gear for it last time (except a wort chiller dangit!) so I won't have to use any of mine (except maybe the 10 gallon MLT I might be building).
This is so cool. Church bought all gear etc, etc, "Man Night"?
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:24 AM   #8
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You should hit up your LHBS and see if they would be willing to pony up a $25 gift certificate or so to raffle off (free). Let them know you are giving a small class, and will be sure to mention their name to all attending. You never know. Places often do this for homebrew clubs.

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Old 09-14-2010, 04:24 AM   #9
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Here is the procedure sheet I use while brewing. 2 of us brew together so it helps us to both stay busy and makes brew day go smoother. It is only my 2nd revision and probably subject to further revision.

Brewing procedure
At least 2 days before brewing check yeast viability
1 Gather ingredients, water, and equipment
2 Open beer, gotta stay hydrated
3 Start steeping water heating
4 Put specialty grains into bag
5 Steep grains at suggested temp
6 Clean fermenter and other equipment
7 Set up burner(turkey fryer)
8 When steeping is done add more water.
9 Heat till almost boiling
10 Remove from heat then add extract
11 Heat to boil and follow brewing instructions
12 Start top off water boiling with 20 minutes left in boil
13 Place wort chiller in pot 15 minutes before the boil ends
14 Cool wort
15 Sanitize fermenter while wort cools
16 Pour wort into fermenter
17 Sanitize yeast and scissors
18 Top off with cooled water
19 Check specific gravity
17 Pitch yeast
18 Put airlock or blow off tube on fermenter and put in a cool dark place
19 Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew - Charlie Papazian

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudbuster View Post
This is so cool. Church bought all gear etc, etc, "Man Night"?
By all the gear I think they bought the pot, carboy, bottling bucket, and maybe some other stuff. I've got to inventory sometime soon to be sure.

I ordered my keg kit today (SWMBO is a lot easier to convince at 7am when she's trying to rush off to work early but a yes is a yes is a yes so...). So I can get my Ale out of the fermenter finally.

Quote:
There is the procedure sheet I use while brewing. 2 of us brew together so it helps us to both stay busy and makes brew day go smoother. It is only my 2nd revision and probably subject to further revision.Brewing procedure
At least 2 days before brewing check yeast viability
1 Gather ingredients, water, and equipment
2 Open beer, gotta stay hydrated
3 Start steeping water heating
4 Put specialty grains into bag
5 Steep grains at suggested temp...
This is great! I've been wanting to get my closer friends involved and having a set of steps for both of us to follow makes things easier. Normally i've just got it all up in my head or I am scratching down notes on some scrap of paper I find laying around.

We are brewing in the Church kitchen, but during the week nobody is there so the AC isn't on so the building gets hot. Once I get the beer into the carboy and the yeast pitched I need to get the carboy back to my apartment for a nice two week long ice bath... I'm a bit afraid of sloshing and transporting it though. I've got a solid rubber stopper (no airlock hole) for my carboys. Any suggestions? Hopefully I don't get pulled over... "Officer its not alcoholic.... yet."
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