I went into this event not appreciating how freek’n awesome it was going to be. My thoughts were consumed with, what equipment to bring, what will I brew, how many friends can I get to show up, and things like that. I honestly never stopped to think about the fact that we were going to be brewing with the pro’s in a working production facility.
Not only was this our first club event in cooperation with Maui Brewing Co. it also was also our clubs first Teach a Friend to Homebrew day. We setup a table with information about brewing and held a raffle giving away many great door prizes. Unfortunately we did not keep track of the number of people that attended the event but we estimated between 10:00am and 4:00pm we had almost 100 people walk through.
Three club members, Dave, Mochi, and myself brought brewing equipment and we all brewed a winter warmer, each of us using a little different recipe. Having three homebrewers actively brewing was an awesome experience for the people that showed up interested in how to brew. The exciting thing was that in addition to our three homebrew batches, the professionals brewed four batches using different equipment. Kim had her homemade 3 kettle brewing rig, Rich had out his stainless steel brewing sculpture, and Scott was using the huge 25 barrel Maui Brewing system. Ray did something a little different that the rest of us, he took the second runings off of Scott’s big beer and is going to make a little beer.
Since this was my re-introduction into brewing I was a little unsure of what equipment to bring. What made it even tougher was, we would be brewing using all grain. The beers I brewed in the past were extract beers, an extract beer is made using malt extract. When you brew all grain you are using hot water to convert the sugars in the malted barley, then using a little more water you rinse all the extracted sugars into the beer. This process is a little more involved and usually requires specialized equipment. Naively I brought a propane burner, two kettles and a glass carboy. I must point out that this is much less equipment than what would normally be used to brew all grain.
Not sure where to start with my reduced amount of equipment I turned to Ray and Garrett for help. They put their heads together and came up with several different way to brew all grain using only 2 kettles. We decided on a method that used a large mesh bag to hold the grains and then Ray helped by doing some calculations using his computer and Pro Mash software. Before I knew it I was brewing my first all grain beer using a makeshift two kettle, one burner brewing rig! (That exclamation point is just not cutting it, as I said before this is freek’n awesome!)
Mick and Nuffy brewed using Dave’s HUGE brew pot and Mochi barely saved his batch from a disastrous broken leg on his propane burner. By 4pm we had all finished brewing and had huge smi les on our faces. We all look forward to doing this again next year. Our club owes so much to Maui Brewing Co. for offering to host this years event. A huge thank you to Garrett, Scott, Ray, Rai, Rich, and Kim we all really enjoyed hanging out with you and all the help you gave us!!!