2014 Intro to Brewing @ ICC

The Introduction to Homebrewing class will begin Monday, January 27th at Itasca Community College, Wilson Hall room 107.  The class is held Monday nights, 5:30 – 9:30 PM.  We meet 4 nights, with the last night being February 24 – we skip President’s day to give the beer another week to ferment.  We brew/bottle four batches of beer in class, and the students split up the 200 bottles on the fourth night.

There are PowerPoint presentations each night, covering brewing, brewing history, how to choose and brew different beer styles, ingredients, equipment, brewing techniques and bottling.  Each night includes hands-on brewing, fermenting, bottling and sampling examples of many beer styles.  You do not need any experience to take this class, except the experience of having lived to be at least 21 years of age.

Call ICC at (218) 322-2410 to register.  The total cost of the four nights of class is $75.  Though walk-ins can be accommodated, it’s safest for you to preregister so you don’t find out the hard way the class is already full!  Preregistration also allows for better class planning.  Brochure at www.getlearning.org  Online registration is at this link, scroll alphabetically to “Homebrewing” or “Advanced Homebrewing.”

Class 1

Intro to brewing, beer defined, how fermentation works, beer history, all the steps of homebrewing, legality of homebrewing, and brew up a Scottish Ale donated by Wine Creations of Grand Rapids.  Sample lagers and lighter ales.

Class 2

Review the recipes of the beers brewed in class, learn what equipment and ingredients you need to begin brewing.  Brew one extract beer and one all-grain beer.  Sample some IPAs and heavier ales.  Arrive at 5:00 PM in you want to grind grain for the all-grain beer.

Class 3

Techniques in tasting and evaluating beers, proper beer glassware, proper sanitizing, learn how to bottle, bottle a Pale Ale.  Sample Belgians, spiced winter beers and other curiosities.

Class 4

Troubleshooting and avoiding brewing problems, serving and presentation of beer, bottle three batches.  Sample some interesting and aged beers, including wild rice, maple, birch and pumpkin beers.  Final Exam Night.

Notes from Class 1:  We worked through the presentation, then fired up the brew kettle and cooked up an extract Scottish Ale kit, donated by Wine Creations.  We had a starting gravity of 1.028, about 10% below target, but we did have a little extra volume in the brew kettle, which thinned out the wort a bit.  This beer will be fairly dark, have a light body, roast and caramel character and hints of both smoke and spicy hops.

The potato soup and French bread seemed to go down well, especially on such a cold night.  Next week we’ll begin cooking beer bread in class.

And, as we agreed, next week we’ll brew two beers, a Porter and a Hoegaarden clone.  One will be an extract beer, the other, probably the porter, will be all-grain so you can work with that process as well.

As we were carrying the brewing equipment back to my truck, someone dropped a cell phone charger with 12v adapter in the snow.  Easy to do when you’re rushing around at 20 below.  Give me a call or an email, and we can link up and make the hand off.


Nothing like the smell of beer boiling!
Nothing like the smell of beer boiling!








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