From the HBD Archive
From: (Mike Meyer)
Subject: Teaching a homebrewing class
Date: 1989-11-29 23:47:03 GMT

My roommate is getting an opportunity to teach a homebrewing class in a local
school system's adult education program, possibly the January quarter, more
likely the March one. We've sent out for the AHA materials regarding
structuring classes, starting clubs, etc., but I figured I'd do some
independent research on the subject.

For those of you on the list who have either attended a beginner's class or
taught one:

How was the class structured? (number of weeks, length of classes, did
everyone brew their own batch, did you split into small teams, did the
instructor just let you watch them brew (presumably to repeat the process at

What kind of classroom materials were used? (did everyone just use a standard
book like Papazian, etc., or did the instructor have some sort of

Was beer-tasting allowed at the class site (this can be a problem at say, a
public school)?

Was there an easy way to kill the time one must wait for conditioning and for
bottled beer to mature?

Assuming that people got to make their own beer, did everyone have to get
their own supplies and equipment independently (instructor hands out a list of
things to get and list of suppliers, says 'go to it',) or did the instructor
make arrangements with a club or shop , or did the instructor make a buy of
equipment and supplies for the class and include the cost in the course?

How knowledgeable and experienced were the instructors? Were special pieces
of equipment such as wort chillers, etc. used? Any special instructional
materials such as videotapes? Any field trips to local brewpubs, etc?

What beer styles were covered?

What particular parts of the class did you like, and what would you have done

I guess this is a rather long list , and not a particularly easy bunch of
questions. The ultimate test of any course is whether it provides an
enjoyable enough introduction to the hobby that the students continue brewing.
For those of you who have used the AHA guides to classes, etc, are there any
parts of the material you absolutely disagree with?

You may want to answer via E-mail, and I will summarize my findings here
(provided people are interested -- I know there are those who are very
experienced in this on the list, and I suspect there are a few like me who
have been kicking around the idea of having classes...) I learned without the
benefit of a class, and with a fairly outdated book (Reese's Better Beer and
How to Brew It), and brewed in a vacuum for over a year before having access
to other homebrewers (and their beer). This is not the best way to learn the
hobby, and I would expect any decent class to get one past those hurdles.

Mike Meyer
Hughes Aircraft Co., EDSG
El Segundo, CA meyer@tcville.HAC.COM

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