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Old 01-01-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
nashvillerider
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I've been brewing for almost ten years now. I know what I'm doing and the steps I take on my brew days. But now the local community college has asked if I would teach a course in brewing.
I'm searching for a basic outline that I can use/modify to teach this class. The Con Ed. dean and I agree that we want this to be an informative but fun class. The class will be four wks long. One evening for two hours max for each class.
Here is what I have so far:

1st Class - Actually brew a beer. I would actually have brewpot close to boil at beginning of class. This would be all hands on.
2nd Class - Go over the basics. Some history of beer. How hops, grain & yeast can change the taste....need a little help on this week.
3rd Class - Bottle the brew from first class. Hands on again
4th Class - Hopefully sample what was brewed/bottled. Also going to get class to bring in a bottle from store to sample.Going to try and work with chef from culinary class to do a beer/food pairing.

Each class is scheduled for 2hrs, but I wouldn't hold to this time if we finish early. I checked with the dean about sampling and that won't be a problem since they have an ABC permit.

So, any and all advice is appreciated...class starts last week of March!!

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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Maybe take some time to present an overview of many of the best resources available to them (books, websites, forums, magazines, youtube, brewing tv, etc. etc.) Ultimately, folks will only remember so much from seeing each thing once - but knowing where to go once they start brewing on their own would be of great use to them when they have questions pop up. Having an index of some sort with titles, web addresses etc would be a big help.

Maybe have some samples of your own that you brewed earlier - as it might be hard to really have a totally finished product after 4 weeks - that way they can taste what the beer would be like after 8 weeks for instance - "patience."

Common mistakes list. Maybe FAQ list.

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:33 AM   #3
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Yeah the time schedule does make it tough for you.
I think you got the right idea though with only four weeks you need to brew on day one.

Just a thought for educating them on some of the differences, you could brew one big batch, split it in half and do something different with the hops in each half, then split those in half and use different yeast on each batch.
That would be the most variety you could introduce to it and that time that I could think of.
I do like the basic idea you've got though. you could talk about lagering verses ail.
Various types of grain and yeast, some history, and stress the importance of sanitation and temperature control.

Keep it fun and interesting so that you end up creating new brewers.

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:38 PM   #4
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Still looking for ideas, outlines, tips on my upcoming brewing class.

HELP Please!!

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:19 AM   #5
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First, I would probably write out a lesson plan for each class (that's the Science teacher in me though). At least write up a detailed outline of what you want to cover, what order you wish to cover it in, the materials you need and what you want all of your brewing students to learn and accomplish by the end of the class period. This will help you organize what you need and keep you on task during class if you get too side tracked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillerider View Post
1st Class - Actually brew a beer. I would actually have brewpot close to boil at beginning of class. This would be all hands on.
That's not a problem. I'd suggest going with a partial mash or all extract brew session. This would be the time that i'd go over the basics with your class from discussing sanitation, equipment, grain bill, hops schedule, water, yeast, the basic processes of brewing, hot break/cold break, chilling the wort, Checking OG, adding the yeast, fermenting, krausening, etc.. Let's face it, you're going to have time to kill during the boil.

Pick a basic accessible beer style that most of your students will like and can share without too many turned up noses from friends and relatives, such as an American ale or a simple pilsner.

Quote:
2nd Class - Go over the basics. Some history of beer. How hops, grain & yeast can change the taste, etc.
That sounds fine. Google beer history and give them a short recitation on the origins of multicultural brewing techniques. This can lead into discussing the differences in grain choices and adjuncts (hops were actually a later addition to the brewing world) and the eventual development of regional styles. It might be fun to have a taste testing of different beer styles at this point and you can then talk intelligently with them about how the ingredients impact the beer. Also, have them check their beers for activity/krausen rings and have them check out the yeast cake.

Quote:
3rd Class - Bottle the brew from first class. Hands on again
Talk about the importance of sanitation, the different sanitizers they can use and how to use them correctly, differences in bottle types, sizes and styles, kegging vs. bottling, natural carbonation vs. forced CO2 carbonation, bottle conditioning, priming tips and the importance of patience. Throw in some fun stories about bottle bombs. Don't forget to let them take an FG reading and have them calculate their ABV by hand.

Quote:
4th Class - Hopefully sample what was brewed/bottled. Also going to get class to bring in a bottle from store to sample.Going to try and work with chef from culinary class to do a beer/food pairing.
This is where you can talk about beer labels, books and other resources for finding new recipes (bring some of yours in and pass them around), open Q&A for anything you haven't already covered and a big old plug for signing up for your new ADVANCED brewing class (all grain, your equipment). I would skip the culinary class and have them do a potluck pairing their favorite style of beer from the previous tasting with a dish they think might go well with it. That way, they'll have a nice foundation when they start drinking.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:04 AM   #6
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A thought related to the fun stories about bottle bombs... What about deliberately over-carbing a bottle by adding a sugar tab then putting it under a 24/7 webcam? Just to show what happens?

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:28 AM   #7
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Ok a little more thought on the process then.
Week one will be a little bit of a challenge. Two hours is probably plenty of time but you also have to remember that this is going to be everybody's first day there, there's going to be introductions and at least a brief discussion about the class and the goals.
You can eat up half hour pretty easy.

Week two sounds like you have a good basic idea what you want to do.
You can also throw in a little information about how grain is malted and why. You could maybe talk a little bit about mashing and how extract is made. Having a variety of specialty grains there for the students to smell and taste might be interesting for them also. It could fit in good with your discussion about what type of grain adds to a beer.

Week three is going to have a lot of extra time available. I think this would be a good time to really talk about sanitation versus cleaning.

I would probably include a list of good books for them to read if they decide to get into brewing, and maybe a couple dozen recipes that they could look at for different kinds of beer in both extract and all grain. They would be able to see the different types of grains used to get different flavors and alcohol content.

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Let's see if I keep this updated!

On tap
Black Butte clone

In secondary
Pumpkin ale

In primary
Honey wit

Up next.. Firestone Union Jack clone

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:48 AM   #8
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Thanks for the syllabus! I'm totally skipping week three and just going to the bar

Seriously though, this seems good although I think week three could use a little something else. Whatever you do you should diversify your classroom time. Please don't just talk at them for two hours. Or even for 20 minutes. Try and involve the students as much as possible. Make it personal. Have them pick a beer style and do a mini research project on it. If you feel like making them work for it have them present their mini-project in a three minute presentation. That take work of your back and then that student really knows that beer. How hops, grain and yeast impact a beer has the potential to get dull and you could get into information overload zone. If they pick a beer they like, research ingredients and determine what influences that beer that could be more engaging.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:08 AM   #9
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My $.02... Brew something light so that it will be finished in 1 month, and also because (probably) most people will want something more like BMC.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillerider
Still looking for ideas, outlines, tips on my upcoming brewing class.

HELP Please!!
Week 3 you might want to think about a commercial beer tasting where you also provide the clone recipes from the site. Get a diversity of beers with different malts, hops, yeasts that have strong flavor characteristics so they can taste individual components.

I'd keg rather than bottle on week 3. It takes less time, you can be sure it's carbonated on time, and then you can bottle from the keg in week 4 so they've got something to take home. I also recommend adding gelatin so you can get it to clear in time.
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