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!

Beer School: Homebrew Tips from Brewing College and Pro Brewer Experience

  • Speaker: James Czar
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

In his two-year journey to a brewing science degree, and in his time as a professional brewer, James has had many “Aha!” moments—times when he realized that a specific technique or bit of knowledge could help his homebrew. Join James as he shares (often humorous) stories from school and work, …More

Brewing Simple: Great Beer with Less Effort and More Fun

  • Speaker: Drew Beechum & Denny Conn
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Why do homebrewers seem to want to do things in the most difficult way possible? Why measure your beer’s value in terms of sweat instead of savor? Learn how simplifying your brewing process can give you great beer in less time while you have the most fun with your brew. …More

Improving the Quality of Your Sour Beer through Blending

  • Speaker: Chris Rabeau
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Rarely is one carboy free of off flavors while also expressing the right balance of acidity and funk. Blending is one way to make consistently good sour beer most of the time. Brewers will learn how to blend to achieve a better, more consistent flavor in their beers.

Making Extract Beer That Rivals All-Grain Brewing

  • Speaker: Reed Antis
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Learn how to use extracts and specialty grains to brew beer that rivals all-grain brewing. We’ll cover recipe formulation and techniques that enable homebrewers to make superior beers with basic equipment and good planning.

The Little Things

  • Speaker: Nicholas McCoy & Jeff Poirot
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Ninkasi Award winners Nick McCoy and Jeff Poirot share “The Little Things” you can do to take your homebrewing to the next level. This seminar will cover tips and tricks in all areas of brewing and recipe creation.

Using Tannic Acid to Clarify and Stabilize Your Brew

  • Speaker: Joseph Formanek
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Mentioning the word tannin to a brewer usually brings up negative connotations of haze, astringency, and flawed processes. In fact, the world of tannins is a large and complex one, and certain citizens of this world can deliver positive attributes to your brew. We will discuss how to use tannic …More

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

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

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

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

It’s a Sprint: Brewing Beer Faster

  • Speakers: Marshall SchottMatt Del FiaccoSachin "Chino" Darji
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Can we brew beer faster without sacrificing quality? Between the increasing demands of life and the five-hour time commitment of a “traditional” brew day, it’s normal for brewers to ask themselves this question. In this talk, we examine the brewing process from mashing to carbonation and examine how we can …More

Kettle Souring: Four Brewers’ Different Approaches

  • Speakers: Adam RobbingsBen EdmundsBen LoveSean Burke
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join Ben Love from Gigantic Brewing, Ben Edmunds from Breakside Brewery, Sean Burke from Von Ebert Brewing, and Adam Robbings from Reuben’s Brews for a presentation about their individual approaches to and experiences with kettle souring wort. The presentations will be followed by a panel question-and-answer session to delve deeper …More

Next Level Home Brewing

  • Speakers: Fr. Jeff PoirotNicholas McCoy
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join 2017 Ninkasi Award winners Father Jeff Poirot and Nicholas McCoy as they discuss what it takes to brew at the next level and win homebrew competitions. This talk includes an in-depth look at Jeff and Nick’s approach to brewing processes, equipment, and recipe formulation.

Session Beers: Brewing for Flavor and Balance

  • Speaker: Jennifer Talley
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Sharing beers with friends after work or play is one of life’s pleasures. A good session beer, whose moderate strength invites more than one round, requires high brewing standards to achieve balance and drinkability. While session beers can be challenging to brew, they present many opportunities to showcase a brewer’s …More

Sour Power! A Pro Brewer Spontaneous Fermentation Roundtable

  • Speakers: Averie SwansonDave LogsdonJames HowatJeff MelloTrevor Rogers
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join Jeff Mello of Bootleg Biology for a professional brewer roundtable discussion of spontaneous fermentation process, ingredients, seasonality, locality, and terminology. Participants include Averie Swanson of Jester King Brewery, Trevor Rogers of de Garde Brewing, Dave Logsdon of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, and James Howat of Black Project Spontaneous & Wild …More

The Difficult Art of Simplicity

  • Speakers: Denny ConnDrew Beechum
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Simplicity isn’t just for beginning homebrewers. No matter how long you’ve been brewing or what your experience level is, cutting out unnecessary steps in your process can save you time and increase the fun factor. Denny and Drew will talk about ways to simplify your brewing, from equipment to ingredients …More

Whirlpool Techniques

  • Speaker: Greg Snow
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Many brewers are afraid to mess with wort after the boil, but a properly executed whirlpool lets the brewer “roll the dice” and do some exciting things. The whirlpool offers a great opportunity to fine-tune recipes and create deeper hop or dark-grain profiles. This seminar will cover whirlpool techniques for …More

Wild Beer Curling: Course Correcting and Guiding Your Beer to Success

  • Speaker: Shilpi Halemane
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Brewing wild beers, mixed fermentations, and barrel-aged and -fermented ales can be a long, arduous process, especially as a homebrewer. Along the way, a host of environmental and human factors can impart many variations in the finished beer. This presentation addresses methods to fix some common problems and prevent others, …More

Against the Grain: Wood Aging and Barrel Alternatives

  • Speaker: Matthew Del Fiacco
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Want to wood age your beer but don’t have the space? Interested in varieties of wood other than oak? Ditch the barrels and join Matt Del Fiacco as he discusses the use of wood aging alternatives in homebrewing and the wide variety of options available to homebrewers to produce incredible …More

Beer Blending Tips and Techniques

  • Speaker: Aaron Hyde
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

In this seminar, we take a look at the what, why, and how of beer blending. We’ll explore historic blending, standard styles, barrel-aged beers, big beers, and sours. Recipe formulation, experimentation, tips, techniques, and best practices for blending will also be discussed. Learn to use blending to create better, more …More

Brewing When You Have No Time (Getting More out of Your Limited Brewing Time)

  • Speaker: Sachin "Chino" Darji
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

In a busy world, it’s hard to dedicate time to a long, continuous brew day. This seminar challenges the dogma that you need six hours to brew a batch of beer. Let’s explore ways to brew more using less of your limited time. We’ll learn how to brew more quickly …More

Czech Plz! What I Learned Brewing with the Czech Masters

  • Speaker: Annie Johnson
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join 2013 Homebrewer of the Year Annie Johnson as she reveals the secrets of brewing authentic Czech Pilsner at home. We will learn about water chemistry, ingredients, decoction mashing, fermentation, and more, all while enjoying delicious Czech Pilsner. Annie has brewed with master brewers Vaclav Berka of the Pilsner Urquell …More

Dry Hopping Effectively

  • Speaker: Blaze Ruud
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 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 …More

Lagers to Lambic: Hard Stuff the Easy Way

  • Speakers: Brian HallDerek Springer
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Lager, lambic, high-gravity, low-gravity, fruity, and funky—it’s enough to make your head spin! Many brewers might believe that certain styles are out of reach, requiring techniques accessible only to the brewing elite. But these “challenge” styles are within your grasp and easier than you think! Join bloggers Brian Hall of …More

pH in the Home Brewery

  • Speaker: Tasty McDole
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

We’ll follow pH in the brewhouse from water to beer. Topics will include the definition of pH, brewing software and pH control, and the importance of pH in brewing water, mash, kettle, and the finished beer.

A Timeline for Sour Beer: How to get the Flavors you Want, When you Want Them

  • Speaker: Brian Hall
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

This seminar’s focus will be on attaining a wanted flavor profile without the all the fuss, specifically in Lambic and Berliner Weisse styles. Does age always matter? How does an imagined profile become reality when brewing wild beers? This presentation will look at traditional versus modern production—how to produce what …More

Brew Naked! (One Gallon at a Time)

  • Speakers: Chris HortonJennifer Indicott
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Learn the process and benefits of ultra-small batch brewing. One gallon batches are perfect for those with limited brewing and fermentation space. For those with larger brew systems that want to dial in recipes or experiment with ingredients, this is the perfect way to do so at minimal cost. One …More