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!

7 Hops: Bitter Sisters Who Reveal the Secrets of Humulus lupulus

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

How should you use a hop you’ve never heard of? Why are New World hops different? What’s a thiol? How come nobody warned us about hop creep? We’ll consider these questions, talk about the latest scientific research, and vote for the most important hop ever after getting up close and …More

Brewing with Fruit

  • Speaker: Bret Kollman Baker
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Get the most out of your fruit beers. Bret Kollmann Baker, head brewer at Urban Artifact, covers a wide range of techniques and options for maximizing fruit usage in your beers. We’ll discuss fermentation and brewhouse fruit usage rates, the impacts of different fruit types (whole, fresh, frozen, puree, concentrate, …More

Brewing with Oats

  • Speaker: Sachin "Chino" Darji
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

What if there were a secret ingredient that could take your beer from good to remarkable? What if this secret could help you make something beery, delicious, and totally unique? The humble oat has been a traditional brewing grain since before recorded beer history. Let’s unlock the secrets of the …More

Brewing without Hops: Back to the Future of Botanical Brewing

  • Speaker: George "Butch" Heilshorn
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Folks from around the world have brewed beer for thousands of years, and for most of that time, they didn’t use hops! Join brewer, brewpub owner, and author of Against All Hops Butch Heilshorn for a jaunt down the wonderful wormhole of botanical brewing. Learn its rich history, discover what …More

Everyone’s Second Favorite Liquid: Basic Water Comprehension for Homebrewing

  • Speaker: John LaPolla
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Brewing water can be an intimidating topic for homebrewers. In this talk, we will cover the water basics every brewer should know and learn how to improve your beer through water treatment. This session will be light on chemistry and big on practical advice.

Gluten-Free Brewing: Choosing the Best Grains for Taste, Texture, and Color

  • Speaker: Robert Keifer
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Robert Keifer has been gluten-free since 2010 and became tired of never having any beer to drink. After discovering gluten-free beer, he immersed himself in learning everything there is to know about brewing. He aspires to put his beers on the map at the Great American Beer Festival® Pro-Am Competition …More

In Search of the Haze: Adjuncts, Malts & Hazy IPAs

  • Speaker: Don Moore
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Malt is the soul of beer, crafted by transforming barley into packages of starch that enzymes can convert to yeast-fermentable sugars. While new varieties of barley are formulated, tested, and approved every year, malting companies continue to innovate beyond that by developing new techniques for extracting unique flavor profiles that …More

Using Raw Ingredients: Cereal Mashing Explained

  • Speaker: Aaron Hyde
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Open a whole new world of brewing opportunity with raw grains! Accessible from your own backyard or the local grocery aisle, unmalted grains have been used in brewing since the beginning of time. From amaranth to wheat, we’ll look at what grains are available to use in the brewing process.

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

Coffee Beer: 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

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

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.

Putting Brewing Water in Perspective

  • Speaker: John Palmer
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Brewing water can have a noticeable effect on beer flavor. This seminar reviews the science behind these effects and demonstrates them with three different waters used to brew the same beer recipe. The base waters and the beers will be served to the audience for evaluation.

Spruce Beer Two Ways: Experiences from West Virginia and Oregon

  • Speaker: Tedd Huffman
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Spruce tips come in many varieties, and spruce forests are found across the United States. Tedd Huffman draws on his experience brewing with classic Sitka spruce tips from Oregon and the less-than-classic red spruce tips from the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Spruce tips work in many beer styles, so …More

True Confessions of a Homebrew Ingredient Hoarder

  • Speakers: Chris HortonJennifer Indicott
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Through the years, “some” homebrewers collect massive amounts of hops, bulk barley, yeast cultures, and adjuncts. Learn how to properly store, manage, and protect those ingredients from bugs, mold, mice, oxygen, fruit flies, light, and time. This seminar will discuss several types of homebrew ingredients and reveal best practices for …More

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

  • Speaker: Dr. Patricia Aron
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This talk covers the basics of bitterness and the truth about the International Bitterness Unit. 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 …More

Compound Interest: The Essentials of Essential Oils

  • Speakers: Matt McCarrollStan Hieronymus
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Why does a beer dry hopped with Centennial smell different than one dry hopped with Saaz? When you can’t get Citra, what other hops should you look for to create similar aromas? Will five parts Cascade and one part Lemondrop really pass for Amarillo? After starting with the basics, we’ll …More

Using Trees in Unsual Ways to Create Unique Flavor Profiles

  • Speakers: Aaron KleidonMarika Josephson
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Using maple, hickory, juniper, and oak trees as guides, we describe how to create unique flavors from leaves, bark, sap, nuts, buds, berries, and branches. We’ll discuss historical uses of each tree and the different ways they add complexity to beer. We’ll also describe how to harvest different tree parts, …More

Beers That Flunked The Reinheitsgebot— Or How to Brew with Ingredients from Your Yard Without Killing Your Neighbors

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Brewing with ingredients from the garden, yard, and nearby woods is older than the famous German beer purity law. Learn about using cultivated ingredients or foraged ingredients—even yeast collected in the wild—to make beers that are as pleasant to drink as they are to talk about. You’ll learn tips on …More

Brewing with Honey

  • Speakers: Hugo PatiñoKeith Seiz
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Honey is the perfect ingredient for homebrewers, providing flavor and functional benefits in a unique ingredient that’s accessible to all. This technical presentation will detail how honey’s composition impacts brewing, and the flavor and functional properties the ingredient brings to beer when added during different stages of the brewing process.

Hoppy Sour Beers: Taking the Bitter out of IPA

  • Speaker: Michael Tonsmeire
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Conventional brewing wisdom was that hoppy beers shouldn’t be sour and sour beers shouldn’t be hoppy. Luckily, innovative brewers have discovered that hops’ citrusy, tropical and spicy aromatics meld beautifully with acidity. But what is the best process: mixed-fermentation with dry hops, kettle soured with a hop-stand, maybe 100 percent …More

How Cold Steeping Malt Can Elevate Your Beer

  • Speaker: Dan Bies
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

This seminar will describe how cold steeping techniques can be used to create truly innovative beer that is maltier, more colorful and cleaner than previously thought possible. The process is simple and the flavors created are exciting. Attendees will leave this seminar with a new perspective on how dynamic an …More

Brewing with Coffee: Approaches & Techniques from Dry-Beaning to Home Roasting

  • Speakers: Amy KroneJacob McKeanMichael Tonsmeire
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Do you dream of making a coffee beer that really stands out from the pack? Jacob McKean, Amy Krone and Michael Tonsmeire will provide an overview of their years of experiments with coffee beers at both the homebrewing and professional levels. They’ll delve into how coffee origins and roast profiles …More

Brewing With Experimental Hops: A New Hop Variety Just For Homebrewers

  • Speakers: Jason PerraultKarl VanevenhovenVinnie Cilurzo
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Until now, all experimental hop varieties have been tested and run through the craft beer industry first. For the first time a new hop has been bred and developed for homebrewers. Jason Perrault of the Hop Breeding Company and Perrault Farms, Karl Vanevenhoven of Yakima Chief-Hopunion, and Vinnie Cilurzo of …More

Confessions of a Celebrity Hop Variety: How Did I End Up Beer?

  • Speaker: Pat Purcell
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

The odds of creating a wildly successful new hop variety are one in several million (so we’re saying there’s a chance…), but every once in a while, we hit a home run. This is the story of a hop variety that was developed over a 10-year period to capture a …More

Hops: Grow and Enjoy Your Own

  • Speaker: Sean Gardinier
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Grow, harvest, brew, drink, repeat! Backyard hops are increasingly common and homebrewers should join in. Practical guidelines will give seminar attendess the opportunity to grow and enjoy their own fresh hops.

Kilned Versus Roasted: Do You Really Know Your Specialty Malt?

  • Speaker: David Richter
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

There are only two commercial maltsters in the U.S. operating roasters to produce specialty malt, so there is not a lot of information available on roasted specialty malts. David will provide a basic understanding of the malting process before delving into the differences between producing malt on a kiln and …More