Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Day Of Brew School

We're off and running in the fall series of homebrewing classes at Cabrillo College and ten gallons of beer is now quietly fermenting, the fruit of our labors today. The class brewed a German hefeweizen and an American pale ale without any problems.

I was struggled a little to keep the brewing process progressing and teaching the students at the same time. I go off script sometimes, loosing track of the points I want to make. It didn't help that I had sampled a lot of homebrew at the Santa Cruz County Fair homebrew contest the day before (took home a 'best of flight' for my Imperial Stout). The worst mistake was that I also forgot to add clarifying agents to the pale ale which could be problematic since next week the class will be bottling this beer without the secondary step, but I forgave myself quickly. My experience tells me that the beer will be completely clear after conditioning in the bottles for a couple of weeks but there is typically a larger yeast layer at the bottom of the bottle than I would prefer. In any case, this is a learning process for the students so any information that comes from the successes and failures in the class are beneficial.

In the end, I was happy that we ended up with the proper volume of wort after the boil and that we hit our target original gravities.
Next week, we brew up a partial-mash stout and bottle beer.

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