Lupulin Lessons: 5 Homebrew Con Seminars on Hops

By Matt Bolling, American Homebrewers Association

Hop heads, rejoice! We’ve compiled five Homebrew Con seminar recordings on your favorite bitter beer ingredient. So, grab a beer, kick back, and level up your homebrew skills!

Access to hundreds of Homebrew Con seminar recordings is an exclusive benefit of AHA membership. Not a member? Take AHA membership for a test spin with our 30-day free trial (no payment info collected)!


1. Late Hopping vs. Dry Hopping: Tailoring Hop Aroma Expression and Character by Choosing the Right Addition Timing

Speaker: Mike Brennan  |  Homebrew Con 2019 (Providence, RI)

Have you ever wondered why your Simcoe hop addition is fruity when added as a late-kettle addition but “catty” as a dry hop? If you want your Hallertau to express more spice notes than vegetal character, should you add it late in the boil or dry hop with it? Join us for this review of Oregon State University’s recent studies of hop aroma and learn how to achieve more consistent results from your aroma hops.

“I came out of this session with lots of new ideas to try for hopping methods!”


2. Better Hopping Through Science: Tales from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas

Speakers: Chris Hotz & Doug Brown  |  Homebrew Con 2018 (Portland, OR)

Brewing science is constantly evolving and improving. To bring homebrewers up to date on the latest scientific developments in the world of hopping, this seminar introduces attendees to four recent studies conducted by members of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. For each study, we explain how to incorporate the findings to improve homebrewing practices from hop selection to bittering to dry hopping.

“Wow! Had no idea about the complexities of dry hopping and selecting hops for different (non-alpha) characteristics. And I loved seeing real data.”


3. Inside IPA: Exploring Hop Essential Oils

Speaker: Pat Fahey  |  Homebrew Con 2018 (Portland, OR)

Ever wondered what people mean when they say a beer smells “catty?” Or what myrcene actually smells like? In this session, we’ll taste through several of the key essential oils that drive hop flavor and learn a bit about basic hop aroma chemistry along the way!

Pat Fahey is another exceptional speaker. I learned monumental things to not only take back to the brewery I work, but taste panels that I conduct frequently as well. He keeps it fun.”


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4. Bitterness and the IBU: What’s It All About?

Speaker: Dr. Patricia Aron  |  Homebrew Con 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)

Uncover the basics of bitterness and the truth about the International Bitterness Unit (IBU). We’ll have an in-depth overview of how raw materials contribute to bitterness in multiple ways, as well as how organic compounds contribute to the measurement known as the IBU. We will also discuss methods of analysis and learn why hop utilization calculations do not always correlate to perceived bitterness.

Dr. Aron was a great speaker and really knows her stuff. She displayed the ability to explain complex biochemistry to a room full of people with diverse levels of understanding – providing something for everyone.”


5. Dry Hopping Effectively

Speaker: Blaze Ruud  |  Homebrew Con 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)

What is dry hopping? At what stage of fermentation should dry hops be added? At what temperature should you dry hop, and what are the differences in perceived hop aroma and flavor for these temperatures? Learn how to dry hop successfully and what you can do to improve aroma in your beer in this seminar on the ins and outs of dry hops.

Learned so much, this will change how I approach dry-hopping in the future. Fun, low-key, informative, interactive … perfect talk.”


Check out the Homebrew Con Seminars archive for even more explorations on hops and other topics on beer, mead, and cider!

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