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!

International Homebrewer Panel

  • Speakers: Eric CousineauKathy Yan LiMatías CifuentesPeter CartwrightSimon Pipola & Greg Rodwell
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Homebrewing is popular around the world! Join this panel discussion as international homebrewers share their experiences and help Homebrew Con attendees learn more about homebrewing scenes beyond the United States.

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

Macbeth! The Brutal Truth about Scottish Beer

  • Speaker: Ronald Pattinson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Join beer historian Ronald Pattinson as he highlights the last two centuries of Scottish beer history and debunks many myths that have sprung up around Scottish brewing. Ron will discuss ingredients, brewing techniques, beers styles, and how each of these has developed and evolved over the years.

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.

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.

Mastering Mead Making

  • Speaker: Michael Fairbrother
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Mead—made from as little as honey, water, and yeast—is so simple that it’s been around for thousands of years, but it can be mastered! Learn from Moonlight Meadery’s founder and master meadmaker Michael Fairbrother. Turning honey into mead involves so much more than just the base ingredients. Learn how factors …More

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.

Medieval Gruit Ales Reconstructed: New Theories about Old Beverages

  • Speaker: Susan Verberg
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Gruit as a product changed throughout its history. From a beer additive revered for its fermenting powers, it evolved into a beer with a reputation for powerful headache-causing herbals. The exact nature of gruit was once thought to be lost, but available sources paint an interesting picture of gruit, not …More

More Smoked Beer! Using Oak-Smoked Wheat Malt for More Than Grätzer

  • Speaker: Larry Reuter
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Do you enjoy smoked beer? Have you tried smoked beer? In this session, you’ll try five different beers brewed with oak-smoked wheat malt. Sample a saison, an oaked English pale ale, an American barleywine, a doppelbock, and a peach Berliner weisse, all brewed with oak-smoked wheat malt. This malt is …More

Often Overlooked in New Brewery Ventures: Quality, Safety, and Sustainability beyond the Garage

  • Speaker: Matt Stinchfield
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Things change when you scale up from a homebrew batch to your first commercial brewery, and we aren’t just talking recipe dynamics. Energy supplies and waste production increase substantially. Quality issues can cost real money and break reputations when batches are bigger. And the increased power of commercial brewery chemicals …More

Oxidation Effects in Beer

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

There are hundreds of compounds in beer that change as it oxidizes. Simple sensory descriptions of oxidation often focus on a limited set of effects, particularly those common to pale lagers. However, oxidation effects over time are much wider in the full range of beer styles. Grandmaster beer judge Gordon …More

Physiology of Alternative Yeasts and Bacteria: How to Use Unique Organisms to Emphasize Flavors in Beer

  • Speaker: Matthew Humbard
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces create more than just ethanol and carbon dioxide during fermentation. Metabolic compounds can enhance beer flavor (e.g. fruitiness, spiciness) or detract from it (e.g. vegetal, fusel). Additional organisms can complicate these profiles. Fermenting with Kluyveromyces, Zygosaccharomyces, Torulaspora, Pichia, Metschnikowia, Hanseniaspora, and Zymomonas can create complicated interactions between …More

Put It on Nitro! The Science and Methods of Beer Nitrogenation

  • Speaker: Michael Ferrari
  • Track: Do-It-Yourself
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Cascading bubbles, dense foam, and smooth mouthfeel—join Michael as he teaches you how to achieve the hallmarks of nitro beer in your own homebrew. We’ll go over the history, science, and methods of beer nitrogenation and cover the equipment needed for the perfect nitro pour.

Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew…then, Start a Revolution

  • Speaker: Janel Jackson-Beckham
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Brewers Association Diversity Ambassador “Dr. J” Jackson-Beckham shares current trends that are changing the craft brewing landscape, highlighting the important role that diversity and inclusion must play in the future growth and sustainability of the industry. In this seminar, she spotlights the unique role of the homebrewing community as the …More

Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus: The Story of a Contaminant Yeast That Shook the Brewing World

  • Speaker: Seth Clearwater & Katelyn Roberts
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Yeast that can referment beer poses a great risk to commercial brewers and homebrewers. Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus is a close relative to brewer’s yeast that can excrete glucoamylase enzymes that metabolize starches. Scientific understanding of this contaminant is lacking, and better identification procedures need to be developed. In light …More

So, You Want to Be a Pro Brewer: Are You Crazy?

  • Speaker: Michael Ferguson
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Come learn all the reasons you shouldn’t, all the reasons you should, and, most of all, what you need to do to be successful with such a crazy idea. With more than 7,000 breweries in the United States and as many as 3,000 in planning, are we reaching a saturation …More

The Deductive Beer Tasting Method: A Method to the Sensory Madness

  • Speaker: Rich Higgins
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Learn more from tasting the beer you brew! Join Rich Higgins, Master Cicerone and former brewmaster, to learn a method that lets you “look under the hood” and understand every beer you taste. Rich’s Deductive Beer Tasting Method builds upon the framework of aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impression …More

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 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.

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

Why You Do What You Do: Avoiding Common Off Flavors

  • Speaker: Megan Schwarz
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

The basics of brewing are well documented and generally understood by homebrewers: proper cleaning and sanitation, a vigorous boil, fast hot and cold break, healthy yeast, and temperature control, to name a few. However, brewers often don’t realize why each step is so crucial for a desired flavor profile. Sensory …More

Would I Lie to You? Homebrewing Advice Demystified as Legit or Myth!

  • Speakers: Amanda BurkemperDenny ConnJeff Gladish & Ron MinkoffMartin Brungard
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Pro brewers don’t want you to know this. Number 7 will surprise you! You won’t believe what happens next! Forgo the clickbait and join this seminar to get the real story on whether the common (and not-so-common) homebrewing advice you’ve heard is legit or myth. A seasoned panel of experienced …More

Yeast Harvesting, Banking, and Quality Control

  • Speaker: Eric Lowe
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Years ago, I started a thread on HomebrewTalk.com to share my techniques for banking yeast at home easily and inexpensively using slants. Little did I expect that the thread would go on to become one of the longest and most read threads on the world’s largest homebrew forum. It is …More

Adambier: Another Historical Beer Style That Almost Died Out

  • Speakers: John AitchisonToby Johnson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This journey in time from 16th-century Germany to modern-day America explores the history of Adambier and the cultural and scientific changes that brought about its downfall—until now!