Learn to Brew Day 2010

On November 2, 2010, in Family and Friends, Homebrewing, Recipes, by Mark Ranes
Learn To Homebrew Day

AHA Learn To Homebrew Day

Saturday, November 6th, is the  AHA Learn to Homebrew Day (formerly called Teach a Friend to Brew Day). The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Learn to Homebrew Day is an international event to introduce people to the hobby of homebrewing.  For the sixth time, I’ll be inviting friends – and their friends – over to learn how to brew beer.  We’ll be starting promptly at 10:00 a.m., milling over 25 pounds of malted barley, to make a 10 gallon batch of TAFTBD IPA.  Brad, a veteran brewer, will be brewing a 10 gallon batch of German Hefeweizen.  He’s living proof that anyone can do this with a minimal investment.

We’ll have coffee and morning munchies early in the day, as well as sausages and lunch munchies in the afternoon.  Additionally, attendees will have full run of the 8 ales and lagers I have on tap throughout the day:)  We should be done around 4:00 p.m.  My best guess is that there will be about twenty attendees.

Last year’s event at Sociables was a huge success!

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Teach a Friend to Brew Day 2009

On November 3, 2009, in Family and Friends, General, Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes

TAF2009Saturday, November 7th, is Teach a Friend to Brew Day.  The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day is an international event to introduce people to the hobby of homebrewing.  For the fifth time, I’ll be inviting friends – and their friends – over to learn how to brew beer.  We’ll be starting promptly at 9:00 a.m., milling over 25 pounds of malted barley, to make a 10 gallon batch of TAFTBD IPA.  Brad, a relatively new brewer, will be brewing a 10 gallon batch of German Hefeweizen.  He’s living proof that anyone can do this with a minimal investment.

I’ll have coffee and morning munchies early in the day, as well as sausages (John has offered to be the event’s GrillMaster:) and lunch munchies in the afternoon.  Additionally, attendees will have full run of the 8 ales I have on tap throughout the day:)  We should be done around 3:00 p.m.  My best guess is that there will be about fifteen attendees.

Last year’s event at Sociables was a huge success!

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The 2008 Teach a Friend to Brew Day Crew

The 2008 Teach a Friend to Brew Day Crew

Teach a Friend to Brew Day 2008 was a huge success!  The official head count came in at 24 attendees – and very few raindrops!  We had a very diverse group – with a gentleman all the way from New Zealand.  Best of all, three of the attendees have all but confirmed that they will start homebrewing, with one more as a strong probable.  Since this is what TAFTBD is all about, I see this as a big victory.

Many thanks to the Two Steves (Stephen V. and Steve H.) for providing hours of teaching and brewing advice to those who listened intently, while I brewed my annual ten gallon batch of TAFTBD IPA.  It was great to have additional homebrewing veterans on hand to yak it up while I tried to stay on task:)

One of the best moments of the day was when Steve H. whipped out three large swingtop bottles of TAFTBD IPA, the recipe we were brewing, for one of those cooking show moments where you pull the fully cooked recipe item out of the oven – in all its glory!  It was a real eye-opener for everyone to actually taste the ale we were brewing – it brought it all home for everyone.

Everyone kicked in food and munchies for the day, and special thaks go out to John for organizing the day’s food and slaving away over the grill.  It was a good thing we had such great food support as my best guess is that we went through 12-15 gallons of ale.  At the end of the day, three kegs were blown (with one more containing only 2 or 3 more pints), the Old Man Bitter, the Evil Twin Red Ale and the Black Widow Stout.  We need some momento for folks when the blow a keg at Sociables Alehouse.  I’m thinking of a commemorative T-shirt or something.  Of course, people would have to go a long ways to beat Stephen, who’s been dubbed, The BlowMaster, for his prowess in killing kegs. 🙂

A Photo Gallery has been posted of the day’s activities for your viewing pleasure.

TAFTBD IPA Chugging Along…

On April 23, 2008, in Brew Pubs, Craft Beer, Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes

The Teach a Friend to Brew Day IPA is happily fermenting away.  I started the ferment cool and it has picked up a few degrees from the fermentation process, but it is still working at a nice cool temperature.  My beer might as well enjoy the cool weather while it can.  Soon the summer heat in California’s Central Valley will make for problematic fermentations.  I was surprised that  the TAFTBD IPA didn’t ferment wildly and come shooting out the blow-off tubes.  It did slightly trickle out of one of the BOTs, but nothing like I’ve been seeing in recent months with my ale fermentations.  The krausen has peaked right at the top of the 6.5 gallon carboy’s neck, so I know things are going well.  The difference in this fermentation might be the White Labs Pacific Ale yeast.  It does attenuate less than the Cal Ale yeast I usually use.

I have several brews on the horizon.  I need to brew my Klassic Kolsch again, an English Bitter, a standard Pale Ale and finally, I want to brew an American Style wheat – possibly with some fresh watermelon in the secondary.  I have the yeast for all of these brews, so time is ticking on their shelf life.  Unfortunately, the Kolsch will require the use of my conditioning fridge for the necessary cool fermentation, so I’ll need to find a home for those five kegs for a month – or have a party and drink down the brews that I have on hand:)

River City Brewing\'s Woodenhead Ale Pint

I recently found this picture I’d taken with my cell phone while waiting for my daughter’s plane to arrive at the Sacramento Airport.  Her flight was delayed for an extra hour (and I arrived early anyway), so I dropped by one of my favorite pubs in Sacramento, River City Brewing Company for a pint of Woodenhead Ale.  They’ve had a cask ale the last few times I’ve been in, and I’ve tasted it each time, but it always seems thin and lacking the body I like in an ale.

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