Teach a friend to homebrew day: planning

I’m inviting some friends over to brew and especially appreciate beer.

So far, here is the plan:

I will have finished most of the process and will be standing in front of a pot of wort when they arrive. I figure the rest of the process is a bit long for casual beer enjoyers, but I will take them on a tour and explain things, show them my mill, etc, while we wait for the boil.

Tasting: (This is where I want some feedback).

We’re going to have a selection of IPAs, Schwarzbiers, and Saisons (including craft and hombrewed versions). For one of the IPAs I contacted the brewer and he told me the hops he uses, so I popped by my homebrew store and picked up some Saaz and Styrian Goldings.

I want my guests to be able to smell the hops while they’re trying the beer. Is there a better way other than just having them crumble up pellets? Hop tea?

I also have a variety of specialty and base malts on hand, so I was considering doing something with them. Beyond having them in little bowls with labels, any suggestions?

The other thing is that we’re going to have about a dozen different beers to taste (the three styles, plus whatever people bring). I bought some plain crackers to cleanse palates and I will try to organize the tasting in from least to most hoppy, but is there anything else I should keep in mind logistically?

Thanks for your feedback!

Hop “tea” is a good idea. You could also try putting the hops into a tea ball or make little hop “tea bags” out of coffee filters. This would let them smell the hops and you could also do sort of a dry hop / randall sort of thing by putting the tea ball or packets into a poured beer for a few minutes or pouring over them. That would let you do a sort of side-by-side comparison and you’d see how the hop aroma and a little dry hop flavor interacts with the beer.

The faux dry hop is pretty interesting. May give that a shot.

[quote=“BeaverBrewer”]I want my guests to be able to smell the hops while they’re trying the beer. Is there a better way other than just having them crumble up pellets? Hop tea?[/quote]Hop tea, if made with water, changes the character of the hop and not in a nice way. When I last did a demonstration of brewing ingredients, I had grains in small sherbert cups (so people could shake a kernel or two into their hand and then munch) and put hops in small jars with lids so they could remove the lid and get a good whiff of the aroma but the smell of the stronger hops wouldn’t become overwhelming like potpourri and wash out the more delicate hops.

I was thinking i could make a little 1.040 wort with lme, aliquot to mason jars, hop and cover them tonight.

I like the idea about tasting the grain. You can tell them, with a little milk, you’ll have a great breakfast cereal. When the grain is finished, as beer, you’ll have an even better DINNER.

This is a good exercise and something i wouldn’t have done for myself, but I’m learning from it. I
made wort read with willamettr,saaz, styrian goldings,goldings, and serebrianka. I wish I had some citrusy hops open, but whatever. Lots of spice and a little garlic.

Wow. Tough to keep your wits about you with that many beers flowing. saison ipa schwarz, etc etc.