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!

Better Bochet

  • Speaker: John WIlson & Brian Wolf
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

The deep copper color, vanilla aroma, and notes of caramel and burnt marshmallow of bochet have long been of interest to us. But, all too often, a bochet passed to us at a club meeting or sampled at Club Night managed to disappoint. The bochets we tasted lacked body, were …More

Brewing Beer-Style Meads

  • Speaker: Sergio Moutela
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Making beer-style mead involves more than just adding hops. This presentation covers everything that goes into making recipes that truly walk the fine line between these two amazing craft beverages.

Ferment THAT!

  • Speaker: Lorena Evans & Melinda Spalding
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Fermented foods have a long history and are currently a hot commodity. This seminar will build on some of the basics of fermentation and types of microbes involved in fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, vinegar, sausage, sauerkraut, hot sauces, cheese, and many more! In this sequel to Ferment THIS from …More

Kimchi for the Homebrewer

  • Speaker: Miguel Richards & Roxanne Westendorf
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Learn how to make kimchi at home. It’s easy and delicious! Kimchi can easily be customized to your personal preferences, too. Many of the principles involved with kimchi can also be applied to other fermented foods. Homemade kimchi will be available for tasting during the session! And yeah, some beer …More

Kombucha: Ancient History, Current Impact, and Future Potential

  • Speakers: Kim ArthursMatt McCarrollRose Forbes
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Our panel of experts will explore the history of kombucha from its earliest documented existence to its evolution into a commercially significant product. We will explore the intriguing and complex microbiology that underlies this mixed fermentation and culminates in the physical development of the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast …More

Mastering Cider: Tips for Making Better Cider from Master Cidermakers

  • Speakers: Bret GlennaChris Smith & Nathan WilliamsJeremy OlsenPavel Anisimov
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Join this panel of experienced home cidermakers to have your burning questions about cider answered. Each panelist will offer in-depth tips on how to improve as a cidermaker. Come with an open mind and an inquisitive palate.

Mead from 70 to 1750 CE: Inspirations and Lessons from 2,000 Recipes on Ingredients, Methods, and Styles

  • Speaker: Laura Angotti
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Using a proprietary catalog of more than 2,000 recipes drawn from primary sources, this presentation gives an overview of ingredients, methods, and styles for historical meads from before 1750. The focus is on overall trends in meads and interesting outliers covering styles, strength, ingredients (from almost 300 identified herbs, spices, …More

Mead Magic: Tips from Master Meadmakers

  • Speakers: Adam CrockettJason PhelpsSteve FlettySteve Piatz & Carvin Wilson
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

So, you want to make great mead, but you’re running into issues or need advice? Look no further! The master meadmakers are here to help. We’ll serve some mead and answer your questions to get your mead to the next level.

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

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

Mastering Mead: Pro Tips on Making Better Mead

  • Speakers: Eric LoweMark TannerSteve FlettySusan Ruud
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join this panel of experienced professional and home meadmakers to have your burning questions about mead answered. Each panelist will offer in-depth tips on how to improve as a meadmaker. Come with an open mind and an inquisitive palate.

Bochet Mead: The Art and Science of Caramelizing Honey

  • Speaker: Matthew Weide
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Bochet has a long, if misunderstood history, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Caramelizing honey lets meadmakers turn honey into wonderful “burnt mead.” This presentation covers mead basics and history, BJCP categorization, caramelizing methods, common mistakes, recipes, and tips for making your own. Bochets will be served with a Q&A to …More

Exploring Fruit Ciders

  • Speaker: Chris Smith
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This seminar offers an overview of the procedures and processes of adding additional fruit to hard cider. Topics include base cider selection, fruit pairing and preparation, yeast selection, nutrients, aeration, and more. From acidity and tannins to stabilizing and back sweetening, you’ll gain a comprehensive overview of what it takes …More

Fermenting All of It! Filling the Table with Home Fermented Goodness

  • Speakers: Brian WolfJohn Wilson
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This presentation highlights the similarities and differences among fermented products like vinegar, kombucha, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables. We endeavor to fill a table with delicious home-fermented foods made without commercially isolated cultures. We want to inspire homebrewers to expand their fermentation horizons, try something outside of their comfort zones, …More

From Harebrained Idea to Mead Medal Winner

  • Speaker: Scot Schaar
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

There are multitudes of great recipe ideas out there if only you know where to look. A night out for dinner or a trip down the grocery store aisle could be the inspiration for your next award-winning mead. Learn where to find these ideas and how to bring them to …More

Ice Cider

  • Speaker: Jeremy Olsen
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Ice cider is a delicious but uncommon cider style. This seminar reviews the history and origins of ice cider and discusses tips and techniques for making it at home. Learn about apple juice selection, the freezing process, fermentation, and post-fermentation adjustments to make your own ice cider.

Mastering Mead

  • Speakers: Curt StockMatthew WeideSteve FlettySteve PiatzThomas Eibner
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota is home to seven of the last 12 AHA Meadmakers of the Year: Curt Stock (2005), Steve Fletty (2007 and 2016), Steve Piatz (2008), Thomas Eibner (2009 and 2012), and Matthew Weide (2014). Join a panel discussion with these award-winning meadmakers and learn about their signature meads. Meads from …More

Oaking Levels in Traditional Mead

  • Speaker: Susan Ruud
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This seminar demonstrates how aging Traditional Mead on oak can drastically change its flavor and perceived sweetness. Four Traditional Meads will be served: one that hasn’t been oaked at all, along with three that have been aged on the same kind of oak for different lengths of time.

Frontiers in Mead

  • Speaker: Eric Lowe
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Mead isn’t just for renaissance festivals anymore! From low alcohol “session” meads to barrel-aged meads, sour meads and beyond, the diversity of mead styles has as many possibilities to explore as beer. Join Eric as he explores some recent trends in commercial mead styles, shares intelligence on current mead-making techniques …More

Modern Mead

  • Speaker: Ricky the Meadmaker
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Mead has been made since prehistoric times, but just because something’s ancient doesn’t automatically mean it’s good. Come meet Ricky the Meadmaker to learn why you don’t need to wait more than a month for excellent mead, why science is as important in mead as in beer, and why all …More

Return of the Mead Panel

  • Speakers: Curt StockKen SchrammMichael FairbrotherSteve Piatz
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Mead making is growing at an astounding rate and there a few great icons who have shaped the movement. From traditional mead makers to the ones who push the limits, come and learn their secrets. Topics will include equipment, ingredients, recipes and techniques for beginner to advanced mead makers. Curt …More

Fermenting Mead with Ale Yeasts

  • Speakers: Frank GolbeckMaurey Fletcher
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Most mead makers use wine yeasts when fermenting mead. Frank Golbeck and Maurey Fletcher from Golden Coast Mead will detail their experience fermenting mead with ale yeast. Golden Coast Mead uses ale yeast in their four major market mead varieties sold in more than 200 retail locations. They find many …More

Mead Panel

  • Speakers: Curt StockKen SchrammMichael FairbrotherRyan ChaytorSteve Piatz
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Mead making is growing at an astounding rate and there a few great icons who have shaped the movement. From traditional mead makers to the ones who push the limits, come and learn their secrets. Topics will include equipment, ingredients, recipes and techniques for beginner to advanced mead makers.

Mead: Recipe Formulation and Advanced Techniques

  • Speaker: Steve Piatz
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Join 2008 AHA Meadmaker of the Year Steve Piatz for a seminar covering current ideas on mead making. Topics will include recipe formulation and advanced mead making techniques.

Cider Panel

  • Speakers: Gary AwdeyJeff CarlsonJoel BrowerPaul Van Der Heide
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Bring your questions! This panel discussion will cover all things cider making. Panelists will include Gary Awdey, president of the Great Lakes Cider and Perry Association, Jeff Carlson, four-time AHA Cidermaker of the Year and Paul Vander Heide and Joel Brower of Vandermill Ciders.

Cider Post-Fermentation Adjustments

  • Speaker: Gary Awdey
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Learn more about cider made from dessert apples and cider apples as well as some of the standard techniques used after fermentation to adjust cider to meet consumer expectations. This hands-on session will emphasize basic bench trial techniques along with a conceptual exploration of what it means to make craft …More

Ice Cider

  • Speaker: Nathan Williams
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Twenty years ago, a genuinely new kind of apple cider appeared in Quebec: cidre de glace, or ice cider. Made from frozen apples or juice, ice cider is a wine-strength, sweet drink that showcases the true character of apples. Learn about the brief history of ice cider, commercial production and …More

Mead: Past & Present

  • Speaker: Berniece Van Der Berg
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Berniece Van Der Berg of Moonlight Meadery reflects on the history of mead, the ancestor of fermented beverages, as well as modern mead-making practices. Berniece will discuss honey, plus a variety of current professional practices and innovations.

Navigating the Complexities of Making Great Hard Cider at Home

  • Speaker: Corey Arrick
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

The seminar will explore various ways of making hard cider, from simple processes to the more complex, and will dive into how procedures, ingredient selection, creativity, time and patience will prove that you have control over the final outcome. The sky is the limit when it comes to making great …More