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!

Deep Diving into Yeast Starters

  • Speaker: Kara Taylor
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Debating whether to make a starter can be confusing. Do I really need to make one? How is it different than just adding more yeast? In this talk we’ll explore what making a starter can do and dive into some data behind different types of starters. We’ll look at cell …More

Flavor Impacts of Brett Fermentation under Pressure

  • Speaker: Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder & Chris Saunders
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

It is a popular belief that fermenting with Brettanomyces under pressure yields a funkier outcome. At Escarpment Labs, we decided to put it to the test by fermenting the same co-pitched wort with and without top pressure. The finished product was then evaluated in a sensory panel and tested using …More

Physiology of Alternative Yeasts and Bacteria: How to Use Unique Organisms to Emphasize Flavors in Beer

  • Speaker: Matthew Humbard
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces create more than just ethanol and carbon dioxide during fermentation. Metabolic compounds can enhance beer flavor (e.g. fruitiness, spiciness) or detract from it (e.g. vegetal, fusel). Additional organisms can complicate these profiles. Fermenting with Kluyveromyces, Zygosaccharomyces, Torulaspora, Pichia, Metschnikowia, Hanseniaspora, and Zymomonas can create complicated interactions between …More

Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus: The Story of a Contaminant Yeast That Shook the Brewing World

  • Speaker: Seth Clearwater & Katelyn Roberts
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Yeast that can referment beer poses a great risk to commercial brewers and homebrewers. Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus is a close relative to brewer’s yeast that can excrete glucoamylase enzymes that metabolize starches. Scientific understanding of this contaminant is lacking, and better identification procedures need to be developed. In light …More

Would I Lie to You? Homebrewing Advice Demystified as Legit or Myth!

  • Speakers: Amanda BurkemperDenny ConnJeff Gladish & Ron MinkoffMartin Brungard
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Pro brewers don’t want you to know this. Number 7 will surprise you! You won’t believe what happens next! Forgo the clickbait and join this seminar to get the real story on whether the common (and not-so-common) homebrewing advice you’ve heard is legit or myth. A seasoned panel of experienced …More

Yeast Harvesting, Banking, and Quality Control

  • Speaker: Eric Lowe
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Years ago, I started a thread on HomebrewTalk.com to share my techniques for banking yeast at home easily and inexpensively using slants. Little did I expect that the thread would go on to become one of the longest and most read threads on the world’s largest homebrew forum. It is …More

The “Sour” in Sour Beers: Microbiology Sensory Perception and Styles

  • Speaker: Robert Hall
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Sour beers are hugely popular with home- and commercial brewers alike. However, the term “sour beer” encompasses a large range of styles, methods, and flavors. In this talk, we’ll address variations in sour beers from sensory, microbiological, and stylistic perspectives. We’ll learn how we perceive different acids in beer, and …More

Yeast Genome Changes During Serial Repitching

  • Speaker: Maitreya Dunham
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

We used whole genome sequencing to follow the genetic changes that occurred after 29 serial repitches of the American Ale strain WY1056 by Postdoc Brewing. Comparing samples showed two mutations that became detectable in the population after 15 repitches and elevated to high frequency by the 29th. We will present …More

Achieving the Flavor Profile You Want from the Microorganisms in Your Homebrew

  • Speaker: Dr. Douglas Gladue
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

The microorganisms that ferment beer are responsible for countless flavor compounds, and brewers armed with the right knowledge can manipulate yeasts and bacteria to achieve desired profiles. Douglas will teach homebrewers how to choose different microbes for different outcomes and how to pitch and ferment under the right conditions for …More

Lager Yeast Strain Selection for Style, Flavor, and Aroma

  • Speaker: Kevin Lane
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

There are many lager strains available on the market and a number of diverse lager styles. Selecting the correct right lager strain for your goals is the first step towards brewing your best lager ever. This seminar analyzes different lager styles and helps homebrewers learn the yeast selection criteria needed …More

Use of Dry Yeast for Fermentation and Bottle Conditioning

  • Speaker: Jennifer Helber
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

The advantages of dry yeast are often misunderstood and discounted by homebrewers, but experience in a commercial brewery demonstrates the consistency of performance, especially for bottle conditioning. With the introduction of new varieties, dry yeast is a great tool for homebrewers! Join Jennifer Helber as she discusses the best practices …More

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

How and What to Brew with S. eubayanus

  • Speaker: Jared Spidel
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Saccharomyces eubayanus was discoved just five years ago in the rugged mountains of Patagonia, the vast Tibetan Plateau and Wisconsin. Responsible for creating modern day lager yeast via hybridization with ale yeast, S. eubayanus has the potential of being a novel brewing yeast. However, since its discovery in 2011, little …More

Unlocking the Genetic Code of Brewing Strains

  • Speaker: Chris White
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Brewing yeast strains have been developed by brewers over centuries and not created in a lab. This seminar will look at how yeast have genetically developed over the years by brewers. Using science to unlock the genetic code of some brewing strains, we can look at how these strains have …More

What is Wild Yeast, Where is It, and How do you Brew With It?

  • Speaker: Jeff Mello
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

What makes a yeast truly wild? What is Brettanomyces, and are all beers with Brett actually wild? Where are the best places to find different types of wild yeast? Based on the latest research from Bootleg Biology, we’ll discuss how to classify different types of brewing microbes, where they actually …More

Does Your Fermenter Affect Your Beer?

  • Speakers: Bob SandagePhil Farrell
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

A commercial recipe was brewed and then split between an array of fermeters to see if the choice of fermeter had any effect on the finished beer. Plastic buckets, glass carboys, corny kegs and small SS conicals are compared to the 15 barrel SS commercial unitank the beer is normally …More

Hands-On Activities to Help You Master Beer Styles

  • Speaker: Ray Daniels
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Just reading about beer styles won’t help you remember them next time you sit down to judge. Really mastering BCJP styles requires hands-on activities to cement your knowledge. Ray Daniels started learning about beer styles more than 25 years ago and today spends a good deal of his time teaching …More

Managing Yeast: Better Fermentation at Lower Cost

  • Speaker: Jamil Zainasheff
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Come on, get more out of that package of yeast! Commercial brewers harvest and repitch yeast not only to save money, but for better fermentation quality. With a little knowledge, it can be easy for you to do the same. In this session you will learn step-by-step techniques for determining …More

Ménage à Myces: Blended Yeast Fermentation

  • Speaker: Chris White
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Have you ever found a yeast strain that had a great fermentation flavor, but didn’t attenuate well? Have you ever used a Belgian yeast strain that didn’t flocculate well? The solution might be blending yeasts. Historically all breweries had a blend of yeast in their fermentation. It wasn’t until the …More

Selecting Yeast Based on Strain Characteristics and Applying Environmental Conditions to Promote Flavor and Aroma Production

  • Speaker: Kevin Lane
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Yeasts are living microorganisms whose performance is influenced immensely by the environment. The homebrewing community produces a wide range of beverages made from a wide range of raw materials, including raw or malted grains, fruits, honey, grasses (sugar cane), etc. The sugar extract derived from the different raw materials varies …More

Wild and Spontaneous Fermentation at Home

  • Speaker: James Howat
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Learn various techniques for using environmental wild yeast and bacteria in brewing. Topics will include how to isolate yeast and bacteria from the wild and using a home coolship to make 100 percent spontaneous ales.

A Guide to Blending Yeast Strains

  • Speaker: Kara Taylor
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever been curious about blending two yeasts together during fermentation? What would happen if you mixed your favorite Saison and British strains? We’ll look at ways you can blend yeast strains to obtain your optimal fermentation and flavor profiles. We’ll consider the pros and cons of different methods …More

Bootleg Brew Science

  • Speaker: Jeff Mello
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

What’s more local than making homebrew with yeast isolated from your own backyard? Come learn how anyone can be a “bootleg” yeast wrangler, using proven homebrew methods, basic-level lab techniques and a paper clip. Jeff Mello from Bootleg Biology will show you easy methods to capture wild yeast, how to …More

How to Manage Yeast for the Home Brewery

  • Speaker: Douglas Gladue
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

How were brewing strains chosen to make beer? Douglas will provide Information every homebrewer can use to ensure their beer is properly fermented and does not contain off flavors associated with bad fermentation. We’ll discuss picking proper yeast strains, reusing yeast for multiple batches and storing cultures for future use, …More

S. eubayanus: Practical Brewing Knowledge with the Father of Lager Yeast

  • Speaker: Bret Baker
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever wondered, like many homebrewers, where lager yeast originated and if it can be used to make good beer? Join Bret Baker as we delve into a recent discovery made in Patagonia by Diego Libkind for a lesson in biology, history and practical brewing applications with the father …More

Using Spirits Barrels and Blending Sour Ales in Wood

  • Speaker: Brett Vanderkamp
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

New Holland Brewing Company founder Brett Vanderkamp will discuss his history with barrel aging and the development of New Holland’s signature barrel-aged beer, Dragon’s Milk. Drawing upon his experience as a distiller and founder of New Holland Artisan Spirits, Brett will also discuss the many uses of spirits barrels and …More

Yes, Funky Sour Meads

  • Speaker: Michael Fairbrother
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

The sour beer world has exploded, but what about sour meads? In this seminar you will learn about using Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces and other funky tricks to make specialty meads that are tart and dank. Michael will share what he has learned about what works, what doesn’t, how much time is …More

A Simple Fermentation Monitoring and Control System

  • Speakers: Murthy TataSachin Pannuri
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

We present a simple approach to monitor beer and other alcoholic fermentations continuously and non-invasively using carbon dioxide evolution. CO2 evolution rates are used to estimate alcohol production and extract consumption in a continuous manner with simple and relatively inexpensive instrumentation (Fermentation Automation Technology, FermAT). The technique can be used …More

Fermenting on the Flip Side: Alternative Fermentations & Practices

  • Speaker: Mary Izett
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Not everyone has the time or space for traditional homebrewing techniques, at least not all of the time. And even if you do, perhaps you’re seeking something new and different to brew. This seminar will include practices that can cut down on the time and space required to brew. We’ll …More

Methods of Creating and Maintaining a Wild House Culture

  • Speaker: Kyle Kohlmorgen
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

This presentation aims to help homebrewers create unique, complex and enjoyable beers using a house culture—a cocktail of non-traditional yeasts and bacteria from any number of sources. Several methods of creating and maintaining house cultures will be discussed and compared, each of which has been developed to make brewing with …More