Learning to Homebrew with the SLAB

This past Saturday, November 3rd, the South Lyon Area Brewers celebrated Learn To Homebrew Day with a homebrewing demo outside Witch’s Hat Brewing.  Much was taught, much was learned.

A crowd gathers to watch the hot homebrewing action.

If you’re going to spend a Saturday afternoon outside brewing beer during November in Michigan, it really helps to have three important things:  Sunshine, 2 or more people, and some good suds to sip while you wait for the wort to do what it do.  This past weekend, the South Lyon Area Brewers homebrew club (or SLAB for short) got lucky on all three counts, as a crowd of close to 20 homebrew enthusiasts celebrated “Learn to Homebrew Day” while basking in the sunshine (well, mostly) and sipping on Witch’s Hat beer.

SLAB members brought their own equipment and the kind folks at Witch’s Hat Brewing were gracious enough to provide ingredients and help setup shop out in front of the brewery taproom.  Shortly after 2PM, the propane burners ignited and we had liftoff.
In the brew kettles were two different recipies which should hopefully be ready in time for the holiday season: a cranberry chocolate porter and then a spiced ale brewed with cinnamon and ginger.  Each were 10-gallon all-grain batches, which gave novice homebrewers the opportunity to see beer brewed on a slightly larger scale using equipment they might not be used to seeing.
Many SLAB members were in attendance to answer questions and explain everything from the equipment to the ingredients.  Questions ranged anywhere from “Why do you need to check the pH?” by those observing, to “What the hell are you guys doing?” by folks driving by.  I’m always amazed by experienced brewers’ willingness to explain in detail how it all works, and the demo provided the perfect backdrop. 
In the end, SLAB was very pleased with the turnout along with the opportunity to get together in the name of beer-making.  Heck, if this many people were willing to show up so late in the year to hangout and brew, things ought to be even more impressive on National Homebrew Day next May.
If you’re interested in joining SLAB, contact information is available on the group’s Facebook page (search “South Lyon Area Brewers” on the FB home page) or else ask any of the staff at Witch’s Hat Brewing.