FIU Chaplin School's New Home-Brewing Classes

Read "Microbrewing in Miami."

Thirsty for knowledge? Well public education in Miami just became little better after Florida International University started offering classes on how to brew your own beer.

The FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management introduces beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons for the Fall 2012 Beer Academy.

The classes begin this Saturday, September 8, at the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus. The Basic Home Brewing Course is a one day, four hour course where you get to work with home brewing kits like a Mr. Beer kit and learn the basics of brewing at home like sanitization, bottle recycling and ingredient calculations. Cost is $45 per person.

Then on September 22 there is the one day, six-hour Intermediate Home Brewing Course where you learn to brew and bottle mini-mash beer and how to filter and keg suds. Costs $55 per person.

And lastly on November 17 there is the six-hour Advanced All-Grain Brewing course that teaches you how to modify your recipes, sanitization of brewing equipment, beer filtering and utilization of brewing software. Cost is $65.

All materials are provided with the price of admission. Besides the knowledge they take home from the course, students receive a certificate of appreciate, a one day parking pass, a beer flight and get to take two bottles of their own home brew with them.

You can actually find home brew supply stores that sell you DIY equipment and materials to brew your own batches of beer for a little less than the cost of all three courses, but with FIU's Beer Academy you get all of the science behind home brewing taught by an accredited university professor.

FIU professor and official wine judge Barry Gump and B.R.E.W. FIU president Matt Weintraub will be teaching the course. Gump's scientific approach to making beer combined with Weintraub's practical experience will give the public at large at taste of what FIU will have in store for its future microbrewing research laboratory.

Last March, Chaplin dean Mike Hampton announced the addition of a new research microbrewery to the school.

So far, FIU is the only public institution of higher learning in Miami to offer courses on making beer at home. 

The beer-making courses are a trial run for FIU. Weintraub and Gump are teaching this course on their own time. "We're basically taking the admission money and giving it straight to the university," Weintraub says.

Space is limited for all classes, but extremely limited for the advanced course, which already has reserved seats for a few select area beer vendors. Once, and if, space is available then the remaining seats will open up to the public.

All students who enroll in the course are required to prove that they are over 21 years of age.

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