1.Host a tasting of multiple beers and comment on their conformation to the style they are supposed to be, and what you think could be done to bring them more into style. Gather the comments of all the other participants, compare them to yours, and submit. Notes should be made on aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impression. (1 BJCP score sheet per beer http://www.bjcp.org/scoresheet.pdf and a summary of results, 100 words minimum, and minimum of 6 different beers.)


This tasting was done in a workshop format at Wellspring 2013.  The workshop started off with a brief description of where the idea of the workshop came from.  This was followed by a brief discussion on what each of the 5 sections of the BJCP judging sheet covered, and how to judge the beers.  A focus was put on the objective aspects of judging, specifically looking for what was actually found in the beer.  When everyone had commented on what they found, the style guideline for that beer was read and the results were compared.  Finally, I did a quick scoring of the beer and let everyone know what I would have scored it if entered in a competition.


What follows is a summary of our discussion and the aggregate of what was found objectively.


Beer 1: Kulmbacher's Eisbock:

Aroma: malt, sweet, burnt caramel (8)

Appearance: clear, brown, low head (3)

Flavor: malty, molasses, dark chocolate, a slight burnt after taste, long dry finish (15)

Mouthfeel: some carbonic bite, thick and syrupy. (4)

Overall: This is a good example (4)

Total: (38/50)


Beer 2: Gordon's Belgian triple:

Aroma: Floral, clove, oranges, slightly bready (12)

Appearance: clear, honey colored, lacy head (3)

Flavor: slightly sweet, orange/citrus throughout the beer, strong citrus aftertaste, slightly dry finish (15)

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, slightly hot alcohol (3)

Overall: This is a good example, but could be better (5)

Total: (38/50)


Beer 3: Fuller's London Porter:

Aroma: Coffee, burnt aromas, caramel (10)

Appearance: mahogany, low brown head, clear (3)

Flavor: Coffee flavored, burnt flavors throughout, bitter chocolate, burnt finish (16)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, no astringency, medium carbonation (4)

Overall: This is a good example, and showcases the burnt aspects of porters (6)

Total: (39/50)


Beer 4: Anchor Steam:

Aroma: sugar cane, woody, earthy, sweet, apple, citrus, peach? (8)

Appearance: Red/orange, clear, low head (2)

Flavor: nutty, light hop bitter, earthy, a sharp but clean finish, some astringency (16)

Mouthfeel: Low-medium body, medium carbonation, slightly creamy (5)

Overall: This is a good example (7)

Total: (38/50)


Beer 5: Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA:

Aroma: Hops – citrusy and piney in aroma (10)

Appearance: Light copper/amber, low head, clear (3)

Flavor: citrus and floral, some bright lemon flavors, malt at front, bitter at end, piney middle to end, dry finish (18)

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, med-med high body (4)

Overall: This is a good example (8)

Total: (43/50)


Beer 6: Lindemans Framboise:

Aroma: Raspberry, low earthy, yeasty, mild foot aroma (8)

Appearance: Opaque red, no head (2)

Flavor: sour, tart, raspberry, earthy end, slight lemon aftertaste (16)

Mouthfeel: medium-low body, low carbonation (4)

Overall: This is a good example, but people had troubles finding the lambic characteristics (7)

Total: (37/50)



2.Teach a workshop on how to brew beer. Submit your notes, handouts, and your comments and any you receive from the participants. The workshop should at minimum include the spiritual and historical importance of beer, the general techniques used for brewing beer (extract, mini-mash, and all grain), and the brewing of a beer. (100 words minimum)

This workshop was given at Wellspring 2012.  The brewing was assisted by Drum, and included as part of his 1st circle work.  Overall, this workshop seems to have been well received by everyone.  There were some interactive questions and answers as the workshop progressed.  I was able to cover all the how to parts of brewing a mini-mash beer and have been told by 2 people since that the workshop had inspired them to start brewing.  I have given this workshop many times over the years to multiple audiences and have changed it from an overall workshop covering all brewed beverages to what is shown before, this way I can focus more on the process for beer instead of rushing through it.


What follows is the general outline and notes for the workshop. 


Homebrewing Workshop - Beer

  • Introduction
    • Name
    • Experience
    • Basic outline of workshop.
  • History
    • Origins of brewing
      • Ancient History
        • Found in the Seal of Tepe Gawra (~4000 BCE Iraq)
        • Clay tablets from Uruk (~3000 BCE)
          • First recipe known to be recorded.
        • Found in Sumerian “medica” for healing properties. (~2000 BCE)
        • Hymn to Ninkasi (~2000 BCE Babylonian)
        • Codex of Hammurabi (1728-1686 BCE)
        • Gilgamesh (1700 BCE)
      • Explain why I think mead is oldest
        • Easiest fermentable sugar, just dilute
        • Fruits good too, but must separate from pulp
          • fermentation of fruit on the “vine” happens spontaneously.
        • Grains last due to needing modification
          • Malting of grains
          • It is possible to have this happen spontaneously, but difficult and conditions must be just right.
      • Some people postulate that it was beer, not bread that lead to civilization as there is an older record of beer recipes than bread.  Beer is more difficult than bread, so there may have been no need to write it down for bread.
    • Ancient times to 1516
      • Experimentation with all kinds of herbs for flavoring
        • Mostly bitter
        • Some poisonous
        • Some psychotropic
        • Local styles start to emerge
        • Yeast strains start becoming unique
    • Reinheitsgebot, 1516
    • Duke Wilhelm IV

“How beer should be served and brewed in summer and winter in the principality”


“Herewith, we decree, order, express and wish, together with the Privy Council, that from this day forth everywhere in the Principality of Bavaria, in the countryside as in the towns and marketplaces, wherever no other specific ordinance applies, from St. Michael’s Day until St. George’s Day a measure or head of beer shall not be sold for more than one pfenning Munich currency and from St. George’s Day until St. Michael’s Day a measure shall not be sold for more than two pfennings of the same currency, or a head for more than three haller.  Violators of this decree shall be punished as prescribed below.  Whoever should brew a beer other than Maerzen, is forbidden, under any circumstances, to serve or sell a measure for more than one pfenning.  We especially wish that, from this point on and everywhere in the countryside as well as in the towns and marketplaces, nothing is to be added to or used in beer other than barley, hops and water.  Whosoever knowingly disobeys this decree will be severely punished by the court having jurisdiction over him by having his barrel of beer confiscated whenever this offense occurs.  Whenever an innkeeper buys beer at the prescribed price from any brewery in the countryside as well as in the towns and marketplaces, he is allowed to resell it privately to the lowly peasantry for one haller more than the price of the measure or head of beer stipulated above.”


  • Yeast was not identified until Pasteur in the 1800’s
  • Hops chosen
    • Not poisonous
    • Taste good
    • Helps preserve beer (maybe?)
    • Covers off flavors easily
    • Makes beer less inebriating
    • Makes you sleepy
  • Barley required so bread grains will be available for bread
  • Use of law was a condition of first German unification
  • Was still in effect till 1992
  • Most German breweries still follow law
  • Since then
    • Hops, malt, water, and yeast have become standard throughout the world, with some local exceptions
    • Pure yeast strains identified and isolated
    • Multiple hop varieties breed
      • Male hop not found wild except in England
    • Currently 23 recognized styles of beer with an average of 4 subcategories each (BJCP)
  • Brewing
    • Legal
      • Check local laws
      • Federal, 100 gallons per person in house up to 200 gallons per year
      • Anyone can buy materials, considered food products
      • 21 to drink, unknown what age brewing is allowed to start
    • Sanitation
      • Heat
      • Bleach
      • Other chemicals like star-san, iodophore
      • Metabisulfite
    • Equipment: must have
      • Carboy/bucket
      • Airlock/blowoff tube
      • Big pot (4 gallons min for a 5 gallon batch)
      • Big spoon
      • Funnel
      • Tubing
      • Capper/corker
    • Equipment: nice to have
      • Hydrometer/refractometer
        • Alcohol content and follow progress
          • (OG-FG)*129 = ABV
      • pH meter
      • Balance
      • Mash and lauter tun
      • Conical fermenter
      • Temperature control
      • Wort chiller (counterflow, plate, immersion)
      • Hopback
      • Racking cane
  • Beer
    • Three methods, common point is preboil wort
    • Extract
      • Add malt extract to water (usually more than 3 gallons)
      • Bring to boil
      • Total volume a fraction of final to more than.
    • Mini-Mash or Partial Mash
      • “Tea” with specialty grains
      • Add malt extract and dilute (usually more than 3 gallons)
      • Bring to boil
      • Total volume a fraction of fine to more than.
    • All Grain (professional)
      • Mash grains
        • Protein, 120 F
        • B amalyase 145 F
        • A amalyase 160 F
        • 154 F good compromise
        • 170 F mashout
      • Lauter (usually around 170 F)
      • Total volume more than final
      • Bring to boil
    • Add bittering hops
    • Add aroma hops towards the end
    • Irish moss?
    • Cool quickly
    • Pitch yeast below 80 F
    • Rack to secondary after fermentation complete
      • 4 or 5 days for ales
      • 10-15 days for lagers
    • Age and clarify
    • Bottle
      • Add priming sugar, ¾ cup for 5 gallons, ½ cup honey
      • Bottle, possibly adding more yeast
    • Keg
      • Counter pressure bottling possible