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Evaluating and Judging Beer

  • Speaker: Jamie Floyd
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Jamie will begin this seminar by teaching the sensory technique for evaluation that is used in sensory labs as well as for judging. He will then discuss sensory evaluation in the commercial brewery and at home, and finish with a discussion of judging homebrew competitions. If you have ever wanted… Read More

Experimental Brewing

  • Speakers: Denny ConnDrew Beechum
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Drew Beechum and Denny Conn discuss concepts from their upcoming book, Experimental Homebrewing. They'll cover why you should experiment and how to set up and evaluate your experiments, as well as give tips on equipment, recipes and ingredients for fruitful experimentation. Read More

Farm to Glass: Brewing with Local Ingredients

  • Speakers: Brian TennisErik MayNick Rodammer
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever considered sourcing your malt, hops or even yeast locally? Join Michigan homebrewer Nick Rodammer, hop grower Brian Tennis and malt producer Erik May as they discuss the emerging trend of sourcing locally grown and produced brewing ingredients. Read More

From Five Gallons to Fifteen Barrels

  • Speaker: Adam Mills
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Adam Mills, head brewer at Cranker's Brewery in Big Rapids, Mich. will discuss the transition from homebrewing to brewing on a professional scale. He will address recipe scale-up, yeast handling and hopping rates with a special focus on whirlpool and dry hopping. Adam will pour samples of his Professor IPA. Read More

Herbs, Spices & Other Botanical Ingredients in Today’s Beer Recipes

  • Speaker: Mitch Steele
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Mitch Steele, brewmaster of Stone Brewing Co., covers a range of traditional and unconventional techniques in this seminar focused on the use of spice and herbs in beer. Starting with a brief review of historical uses, Mitch will then dive into the use of traditional spices in today’s craft beers.… Read More

Homebrew Competitions: How to Run One & How to Enter One

  • Speakers: Brian JoasBruce Buerger
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Homebrew competitions involve more than just collecting and judging entries and handing out medals. To be successful, they require some vision and strong planning ahead of the judging date. From the entrant’s perspective, there are multiple competitions to choose from. They are a great way to gain feedback and tips… Read More

How Good is Your Grist?

  • Speaker: Jennifer Helber
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

The American Society of Brewing Chemists coordinated a collaborative test with 12 breweries on a method to check the coarseness of milling with sieves. This method can also be useful to homebrewers, because a correct mill setting greatly impacts the efficiency of extracting fermentable sugars. We will discuss the method,… Read 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,… Read 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… Read More

Improving Clarity for Homebrewers

  • Speaker: Brad Smith
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Cloudy beer got you down? Brad Smith, author and podcast host, presents the causes and solutions for this problem. We’ll discuss the many potential contributors to cloudiness in beer including proteins, polyphenols, tannins and yeast. Brad will also explain the full range of products and techniques to improve clarity and… Read More

Keeping it Safe! The Home Brewery’s Safety Plan

  • Speaker: Sean Wolfe
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

It starts with a recipe and a dream of an award-winning homebrew; it ends with a trip to the emergency room and your spouse selling off all of your brewing equipment. Join Sean Wolfe, homebrewer and senior safety analyst for Lockheed Martin, as we work though some common safety concerns… Read More

Keeping It Simple: What Monks Can Teach Us About Brewing

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

When Brother Antoine was in charge of brewing at Rochefort, he said: "Two of the pale malts, two of the sugars, two hop varieties, two yeast strains . . . two of this and two of that . . . we like to keep it simple." That approach produces amazingly… Read More

Kosmicki Spills the Secrets

  • Speakers: Dave "Diamond" DeschaineJeremy Kosmicki
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

How does Founders continue to invent new and exciting beers? Jeremy Kosmicki will discuss recipe formulation, unique ingredients and processes, and how the brewery pushes the boundaries of their beer while still maintaining a delicious balance of flavors. Read More

Let’s Brew Small

  • Speaker: James Spencer
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

There are several advantages to brewing smaller batches. This seminar will take a look at the reasons to go small, the equipment needed for smaller brews, sample recipes that have been proven on the small scale, and how to scale up (or down) recipes once they are successful. Read More

Long Live Lagers

  • Speakers: Jason OliverWarren Haskell
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

This seminar will present an overview of brewing lager styles, from light and crisp to dark and heavy. It will take professional lager brewing practices and translate them into practical methods for the average homebrewer. Lagers, more than any other beer style, require the brewer to pay attention to the… Read More

Making the Jump to All-Grain

  • Speaker: Scott Mitchell
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Are you on the fence about making the jump to all-grain brewing? Come get the push you've always wanted as Scott explains the basic knowledge, costs, time requirements and techniques needed to brew your first all-grain batch. Read 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. Read More

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… Read More

No Boil Hop Beer

  • Speaker: Matthew Brown
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Brewing a balanced beer with no boil hops—is it possible? As part of the AHA's Research & Education Fund, a unique method of using hops in the brewing process was utilized to add clean bitterness to beer. Matthew Brown will describe the history of the idea and how the beer… Read More

Obscure and Ancient Beers

  • Speakers: Geoff GroffMark Pangle
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Do you want to know what Finnish Sahti is and how it is made? Are you familiar with Steinbeer, a German method of brewing beer with heated stones? Join homebrewers Geoff Groff and Mark Pangle as they discuss some of the more obscure as well as older beer styles and… Read More

Pair Like A Pro-Palate Trips and Pairing Practices

  • Speaker: Julia Herz
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Homebrewers are not just into beer, you’re also into food! Fellow foodies unite in this seminar breaking down the complex topic of pairing. We’ll talk about beer and food pairing principles, along with palate tricks and tips garnered through years of tasty research. Read More

Practical Brewing for Better Beer

  • Speaker: David Houseman
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Excellent beer can be made by beginner homebrewers with simple equipment and 10 simple steps to making better beer. By avoiding the most common faults in homebrewing, homebrewers using extract malts on their kitchen stoves can produce high-quality beer. This seminar’s tips will enable beginner to intermediate homebrewer to improve… Read More

Putting Some Numbers on First Wort & Mash Hop Additions

  • Speaker: David Curtis
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

First wort hopping is a method many homebrewers use with the idea that it adds a smoother bitterness and a unique flavor contribution to their beer. Mash hopping is avoided by many brewers because it is commonly thought to be a waste of good hops. David Curtis of Bell's Brewery's… Read More

Really Understanding Honey

  • Speaker: Ken Schramm
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Honey is a remarkable substance: it's hygroscopic, has intense osmotic pressure, weighs in at a specific gravity of 1.425, and can remain edible for centuries without preservative measures. This seminar explores honey's composition, varieties, key flavor and aroma elements, handling, acquisition, and the metabolic details of honey fermentation. It addresses… Read 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… Read More

Scaling Hops: A Comparison of Homebrew & Commercial Utilization

  • Speakers: Eric BeanFrank Barickman
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

This talk will compare both the technical and perceived differences between homebrew and commercial hop utilization, hop flavor and aromas. We’ll look at several beers made both commercially and homebrewed using the same wort and hops, varying the hop additions. Lab comparisons documenting the bittering units will be presented along… Read More

Sensory Evaluation: Methods to Improve Your Palate and Vocabulary

  • Speakers: Brian JoasBruce Buerger
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

All brewers use sensory evaluation as at least the primary, if not only, method to analyze their beer and determine how to improve it the next time they brew. For many, the palate sensitivity and/or vocabulary to evaluate and describe a beer is the limiting factor in determining how to… Read More

The Homebrewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer

  • Speakers: Paul LanglieRon Pattinson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Raise a glass to vintage beer! Treat yourself to a tour through time with beer historian/author Ron Pattinson of the blog Shut Up about Barclay Perkins. Ron will share brewing history and representative recipes from 1800 to 1950, from his new book, The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer. Ron… Read More

The Influence of Mashing on Sour Beer Production

  • Speaker: Michael Tonsmeire
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

The characteristics of sour beers are influenced less by the flavors contributed directly by the malt and more by the ways in which compounds in the wort influence the mixed fermentation. Join Michael Tonsmeire as he discusses practical techniques to control the levels of carbohydrates, acids, phenols, and proteins and… Read More

The Malt Nerds History Hour

  • Speakers: Andrea StanleyJohn Mallett
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Humans have been malting grains for use in brewing for many thousands of years. In relative terms, large-scale, industrial operations are recent developments. Prior to the 20th century, most malt was hand made by artisans—often unencumbered with science—who mainly assessed and controlled this natural process by touch, taste and smell.… Read More