Homebrew Con Seminars

Homebrew Con is an annual event hosted by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). The conference includes dozens of seminars on beer, mead, and cider. Join the AHA to gain access to Homebrew Con seminars dating back to 2012. You won’t find a resource like this anywhere else!

The Relationship Between Base Malt Flavor Preference and Beer Flavor Preference: Does Base Malt Flavor Matter?

  • Speaker: Cassandra Liscomb
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Does preferred base malt flavor translate to preferred beer flavor? Does base malt flavor really matter? In a collaborative study between Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., New Belgium Brewing Co., and Valley Malt, we gain an understanding of the importance of base malt flavor to the finished beer.

Cider: It’s All About the Yeast

  • Speaker: Kara Taylor
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

The cider revolution is coming and we’re bringing yeast to the forefront. For years, yeast has been ignored in home cider making. Find out about old and new strains, including some wild strains like Candida sp., used in cider making and fermentation techniques to take your ciders to the next …More

Blurring the Style Guidelines: Brewing Great, Mixed-Style Beers

  • Speaker: Peter Zien
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Style guidelines provide excellent definitions of world-aclaimed beer types. However, they are only guidelines and the creative brewer can break free to create unique beers that don’t necessarily fall into a single style category.

Adambier: Another Historical Beer Style That Almost Died Out

  • Speakers: John AitchisonToby Johnson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This journey in time from 16th-century Germany to modern-day America explores the history of Adambier and the cultural and scientific changes that brought about its downfall—until now!

Aging Beer in a Barrel or Wood Alternatives from Stouts to Sours

  • Speaker: Dr. Douglas Gladue
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This seminar discusses how to use barrel aging to achieve a barrel flavor and how to use the barrel as a medium for various microorganisms to achieve a sour profile. From oak powder to large oak barrels and everything in between, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of each …More

All About That Base: Learning More About Malt Through Sensory Analysis

  • Speaker: Jen Blair
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Brewers will learn the basics of sensory analysis, including a brief overview of the hot-steep method, and an overview of malt and the malting process. The presentation highlight will be a guided 30-minute malt sensory tasting session incorporating craft malt from around the United States, wherein participants will have the …More

American Hops: From Soil to Serve

  • Speaker: Nick Zeigler
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

In this inside look at how American hops are grown, harvested, processed, and used, Nick Zeigler will share insights on how to use different hop products to deliver the quality you want. You’ll learn to choose the right hop products for different steps in the brewing process and discover varied …More

Beasts and Bugs: Using the Science of Kombucha in Brewing Beer

  • Speaker: James Czar
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

At the center of kombucha brewing is an evolved symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Learn how the microbiology and chemistry of kombucha connects to beer brewing methods of the past and how understanding it can help you brew better beer. We’ll also cover basic kombucha brewing (so you …More

Beer and Food Pairing Principles

  • Speaker: Jay DeLong
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join Jay DeLong to examine the versatility of beer as it pairs with food. This talk discusses the primary beer-pairing factors as well as some general pairing guidelines. Primary emphasis will be on finding balance in both the beer and the food and how they can enhance each other. Pairing …More

Better Brewing Through Data Science and Machine Learning

  • Speaker: Justin Revelstoke
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join Justin Revelstoke as we analyze hundreds of thousands of homebrew recipes and uncover hidden trends. Create, modify, and refine recipes with a live artificial intelligence (AI) brewing assistant and taste the results. Discuss the data science challenges inherent to the brewing industry as we explore the exciting new ways …More

Better Hopping Through Science: Tales from the Master Brewers Association of America

  • Speakers: Chris HotzDoug Brown
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 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 America. For each study, we explain how to incorporate the …More

Biggest Mistakes in Sour Beer Making

  • Speaker: Jay Goodwin
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Perhaps the most difficult style of beer to execute well, sour beer is becoming increasingly popular for both home- and pro brewers. In this seminar, Jay Goodwin shares a few pitfalls of sour beer making from some of the best brewers in the world. From Cantillon and Rodenbach to Russian …More

Boil Pro: What Homebrewers Can Learn from Pros on Wort Boiling

  • Speaker: Martin Brungard
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Boiling sterilizes wort, drives off unpleasant compounds, coagulates proteins, and isomerizes hop acids, all of which are critical for producing great beer. While homebrewers have been told for years that a vigorous boil is desirable, long and vigorous boils are neither necessary nor desirable for producing high-quality beer. This presentation …More

Bringing a Brewery Quality Control Lab into Your Home

  • Speaker: Dr. Kevin McCabe
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

The laboratory at Full Sail Brewing takes advantage of the latest technology and instrumentation to ensure beer consistency and quality, but many of the most important, high-impact techniques can be easily and inexpensively adapted for the homebrewer. From cell counts to sensory analysis, Dr. McCabe will walk the audience through …More

Build Your Own Electric Brew-in-a-Bag Brewery

  • Speaker: Josh Cihak
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This seminar discusses the benefits of brewing on an electric brew-in-a-bag (eBIAB) system and how you can build one for yourself. Electric brew-in-a-bag is a method for making high quality all-grain beer that has many benefits for new and experienced brewers alike. You will learn the components, construction, and processes …More

Burton Ale

  • Speaker: Bill Schneller
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Burton ale is the parent style of barleywine and old ale. It was a staple of British brewing from the 1820s through the 1950s and 1960s, when it died out. Like most beers, it changed over the course of time. We’ll explore the history of Burton ale and learn how …More

Crash Course in the Business of Brewing

  • Speakers: Dustin FordJennifer GlanvilleMegan BakerMegan Parisi
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Do you know you have the drive, passion, and talent it takes to quit your day job and open up shop? The road to entrepreneurship can twist more than your tubing, but fear not! Samuel Adams has assembled a team of brewing and business pros to help you navigate the …More

Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in Homebrewing

  • Speakers: Annie JohnsonAnthony SalazarDebbie CerdaDiane GriffinKiley Gwynn
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This diverse panel of homebrewers will provide a forum in which to discuss the challenges, successes, and opportunities for diversity and inclusion in our homebrew community. We’ll discuss how homebrew clubs and beer appreciation groups and the craft beer industry can foster a greater appreciation and involvement in craft beer …More

Designing Beer

  • Speaker: Dr. Brad Smith
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This seminar offers an up-to-date look at beer recipe design, including recent techniques and findings. We’ll discuss how to design new beer recipes from scratch, brew beers to style, understand ingredient contributions, and apply brewing techniques to achieve a desired flavor profile. Recent innovations in brewing techniques will be highlighted.

Experimenting with Smoked Hops

  • Speaker: Brian Haslip
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

A must for those who enjoy beers made with smoked malts, this course introduces homebrewers to an alternative method of introducing smoke flavor: smoked hops. Smoked hops can be added in the boil or as dry hops to deliver a unique smoke flavor different from that of traditional rauchbier. Participants …More

Ferment THIS!

  • Speaker: Lorena Evans
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

As brewers and meadmakers, we have many of the tools and techniques (like sanitizing) to ferment other foods and drinks. Naturally pickled foods, hot sauce, cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, vinegar, kombucha, wine, and sourdough bread are all fermented products. We will discuss how to ferment these foods and drinks while avoiding …More

Flavor Profiles and Recipe Formulation

  • Speaker: Rodney Kibzey
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

In this presentation, accomplished homebrewer Rodney Kibzey discusses how ingredient flavor profiles can affect the development of a beer recipe.

Gluten-Free Homebrewing: No Barley Wheat or Rye

  • Speaker: Robert Keifer
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

In this talk, Robert Keifer will relate his own story of gluten-free brewing and offer various tips and tricks that he has learned over the years. The presentation will include an opportunity to taste a selection of gluten-free versions of popular beer styles.

Homebrew Cheesemaking for the Beer Lover

  • Speaker: Mark Carlson
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Are you a creative type who likes to brew something different every time? Do you enjoy experimenting with unique aromas and flavors? In this session, you’ll learn to apply what you already know about homebrewing to the world of homebrew cheesemaking. Come discover techniques and microorganisms, find out how to …More

Homebrew on Draft: Setup Theory and Maintenance

  • Speaker: Michael Ferrari
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join Michael Ferrari for this in-depth discussion of serving your homebrew on tap. We’ll go over how to build and maintain a clean, waste-free system. From draft system balance to cleaning and troubleshooting, you’ll learn to taste and share the best version of your beer!

Hops Hops and How to use Hops

  • Speaker: Ted Hausotter
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

It’s hoppy hour! Come join us for an examination of hops, the spice of beer, from both a brewer’s perspective and a hop industry insider. We will examine how hops are used, flavor profiles, hop varieties, substitutions, and storage.

Hot Hot Hot! Brewing a Stein Bier

  • Speaker: Annie Johnson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Stein bier is the result of a 10,000-year-old Germanic method of brewing with hot granite stones. Most common in Alpine regions of Europe, stein bier is all about a brewing method, not about a style—any beer can be a stein beer! Learn how to brew one safely in this red-hot …More

How Much Buzz Is in Your Brew?

  • Speaker: Kara Taylor
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Have you ever brewed with coffee and wondered how much caffeine was in your beer? In this presentation, we’ll discuss caffeine levels of different commercial beers and how different extraction techniques can affect the caffeine in your beer. The presentation will show how caffeine is extracted from beans and explain …More

How to Brew with Low O2

  • Speakers: John WattMike PaladinoScott McCormick
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This seminar discusses the myths, benefits, and techniques of low oxygen brewing (LODO). From hot-side aeration and flavor preservation to shelf stability, you’ll learn why you should care about keeping oxygen out of your beer at all stages of the process. Come discover why there is growing interest in this …More

Hyperlocal: Bringing the Pub Back to the Neighborhood

  • Speaker: Jason Romano
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Nanobreweries are uniquely suited to serve their local communities, not from strip malls or industrial parks, but directly in their own neighborhoods. Learn how to open a hyperlocal, community-focused brewery.

Imbibing in Ancient Iberia: Celtic to Flemish Brewing and Beyond

  • Speaker: Travis Rupp
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

At the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Homebrew Cons, we examined the world of brewing in the ancient Near East, Mediterranean, and Europe. This year we move to ancient Iberia and examine the development of caelia, an ancient beer that predated the Roman conquest of Spain in 206 BCE. As an …More

Inside IPA: Exploring Hop Essential Oils

  • Speaker: Pat Fahey
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • 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!