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The Shenanigans of Barrel Aging

  • Speakers: Brett KosmickiJason Heystek
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Founders Brewing Co. has been aging beer in bourbon barrels since 2001. This seminar will discuss our process of selecting barrels and the beers to age, with particular attention focused on high-volume brands KBS and Backwoods Bastard. The growth of Founders barrel program from a single barrel to the thousands…

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Top 10 Legal Mistakes Start-Up Breweries Make

  • Speakers: Candace L. MoonEsq.
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

For homebrewers planning to open a commercial brewery, there are numerous legal steps that should be taken to help protect yourself and the business. Without knowing what you need to do, it can be very easy to run afoul of the law. This seminar will discuss some of the most…

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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…

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Water Chemistry and Beer pH

  • Speaker: John Palmer
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Join John Palmer, author of How to Brew, Water and Brewing Classic Styles, as he dives into the subject of brewing water. Topics include the effect that brewing water chemistry has on mash pH, beer pH and beer flavor. Seminar attendees will sample two beers from the same recipe that…

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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…

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2013 Keynote

  • Speaker: Tom Peters
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

2013 National Homebrewers Conference keynote

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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…

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Alternative Wood Aging Techniques

  • Speaker: John Gasparine
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Did you know that wood has been used as a flavoring in modern beer since the 1700s? Yet most of us mistakenly believe that wood was historically used in the brewing process for form and function only—not flavor or aroma. Did you know that there are an estimated 100,000 species…

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Because Not Every Beer Is Stone Enjoy By: Preserving Hop Aroma

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Stone Brewing Co. notes that Stone Enjoy By is brewed not to last, loaded with hops at the back end—using a technique some call "hop bursting"—and heavily dry hopped. It's full of hop aroma that is destined to fade, which is why Stone puts the enjoy by date in big…

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Beer Recipe Design

  • Speaker: Brad Smith
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

This talk offers a structured approach to beer recipe design, starting with a target style and walking through research, selection of ingredients and application of brewing techniques to create a great beer recipe. We’ll review examples of recipe design as well as cover some of the newer techniques brewers are…

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Beers of Our Founding Fathers

  • Speaker: Frank Clark
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

What were our founding fathers drinking? Learn about the beers and brewing methods of the 18th century. Join food and beer historian Frank Clark of Colonial Williamsburg for a fascinating look back at old beer styles and some of the pleasures and pitfalls of trying to recreate historic beers.

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Biochemistry and the Mash

  • Speaker: Larry Horwitz
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Larry Horwitz covers carbohydrate structre, enzymes, hydrolysis and protein in this presentation.

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Brewing Better Beer: Practical Applications

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Join author Gordon Strong as he discusses how to apply favorite reader tips from Brewing Better Beer. Understand the decisions and reasoning used to create two new all-grain recipes. Learn the approach, not just the recipes, as you see how your target beer preferences impact the decisions you make throughout…

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Brewing Chemistry 101: pH and Buffering

  • Speaker: Bob Hall
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

This talk will cover basic brewing and water chemistry. Much of the chemical knowledge needed to understand how water affects brewing can often be daunting. However, words like pH, hardness, alkalinity, temporary hardness and residual alkalinity can be simplified once brewers understand the dual concepts of pH and buffers and…

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Brewing with Induction

  • Speaker: Joshua Weikert
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Few brewers use electric heat to boil—and frequently transition to propane when the opportunity arises —and many are missing out on the benefits of electric induction elements, either as a primary or secondary source of boil heat. Induction is cost-effective, efficient and safer than traditional electric elements or propane/LNG jet…

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Building a Walk-In Cooler

  • Speaker: Will Minderhout
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Build your own walk-in cooler and do it on the cheap. This talk will outline how I built a 10'x4'x6' space for approximately $150, via Craigslist and eBay. While it won’t be easy to repeat this cost, it can be done. Styrofoam makes up the majority of the supplies needed…

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Cider Revolution: How to Brew Great Cider from Everyday Ingredients

  • Speaker: Chris Banker
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

We are in the midst of a revolution in cidermaking and many homebrewers are still not aware how easy it can be to make outstanding ciders with inexpensive, easy to acquire ingredients. This talk will discuss proven methods for making excellent fruit and specialty ciders from commonly available ingredients, using…

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Colonial Brewing Practices and Beers with Historical British Influences

  • Speaker: Bob Grossman
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

The freedom-seeking settlers were influenced by their dependency on fermented beverages, a necessary alternative to the tainted water supplies in England. They brought with them a great appreciation for alcoholic beverages, a perspective derived from a long brewing tradition founded in folk wisdom, herbal pharmacopoeia and lore, political leadership and…

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Come One, Come All—Wait a Minute: Assessing the Elastic Limits of Opportunity

  • Speaker: Dick Cantwell
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

These days it seems a new brewery is opening every day. Well, actually, that's true—a new brewery is opening pretty much every day, and sometimes more than one. With this proliferation of new breweries attempting to sell their beer in an already crowded market, questions are being asked in all…

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Current Techniques and Recent Developments for Brewing Great IPAs

  • Speaker: Mitch Steele
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

In a follow-up to last year’s presentation on brewing historical IPAs, this year’s presentation focuses on current craft brewing techniques to brew other great IPAs. We will discuss hop varieties, hop products, alternative hopping schedules, and methods to maximize hop flavor in beer. We’ll also review IPA style variations, such…

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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…

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Geeking Out in the Cellar

  • Speaker: Garry Pitman
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Have you ever wanted to track and control what is going on in the cellar while you’re away? We will discuss a couple of options available to you. We will review the simple solutions as well as how to achieve full mastery of your cellar temperature control.

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Gluten-Free Brewing

  • Speaker: Bob Hansen
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Celiac disease affects roughly one percent of the U.S. population. Many of us know people who have this disease and are denied the basic joys of barley and wheat-based foods, including beer. Commercial constraints can hinder good gluten free beer being brought to market. The U.S. beer industry is again…

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Going Pro Panel

  • Speakers: Chris White & Jamil ZainasheffDick CantwellPete VelezRich Ellis
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Dick Cantwell is joined by professionals from multiple corners of the brewing world in this seminar focused on enlightening those homebrewers interested in turning their hobby into a career. Industry experts will be on hand to provide insights covering topics from sourcing ingredients and formulating hop contracts to acquiring equipment…

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Historic Water

  • Speaker: Martin Brungard
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

The range and variety of beer styles from around the world were in large part the products of the local water they were brewed with. The local water chemistry made some styles more suitable for brewing or the water enhanced beer flavor. Unfortunately, some brewers make the mistake of trying…

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Hop Growing 101: An Introduction for Everyone, Including Non-Gardeners

  • Speaker: Andrei Henry
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

The goal of this seminar is to demystify hop growing and give participants the knowledge and confidence to grow their own. While there is a lot of information online about growing hops, it is scattered. The seminar will offer one-stop-shopping for anyone contemplating growing hops. This talk is suitable for…

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Hops vs. Malt: A Smackdown with Cheese

  • Speaker: Janet Fletcher
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Two brews go mano a mano in this tasting, competing for your vote. In the ring: a hoppy ale and a malt-focused brew. On the plate: five artisan cheeses. Guided by Cheese & Beer author Janet Fletcher, you’ll learn to identify the cheese styles that respond better to hoppy beers…

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How to Improve Club Events and Empower Leaders

  • Speaker: Bruce Buerger
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

There is a lot of good homebrewing talent out there, but more often than not, those organizing events have difficulty tapping into it. This session aims to empower club leaders, elected or otherwise, with tools to make their events successful. We'll talk about classic pitfalls, the fear of failing in…

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It’s Not Done ’til it’s Done: Post-Fermentation Mead Tweaks

  • Speakers: Curt StockGordon Strong
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Mead fermentation can be unpredictable, especially with unusual ingredients. At the end of primary fermentation you may be left with a problematic beverage. Learn techniques you can employ to deal with those issues and transform a lifeless mead into something enjoyable.

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