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!

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

Keynote Address

  • Speaker: Charlie Papazian
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Lessons I’ve Learned in 50 Years of Brewing

  • Speaker: Ken Grossman
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is a steadfastly family-owned, family-run business, and founder Ken Grossman plays a large role in the brewery’s day-to-day operations. Under his direction, the brewery has evolved from one built with used dairy vessels to one of the most state-of-the-art brewing facilities in the world. The continued …More

Mastering Mead: Pro Tips on Making Better Mead

  • Speakers: Eric LoweMark TannerSteve FlettySusan Ruud
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Join this panel of experienced professional and home meadmakers to have your burning questions about mead answered. Each panelist will offer in-depth tips on how to improve as a meadmaker. Come with an open mind and an inquisitive palate.

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.

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.

Running Club Events and Education Sessions

  • Speaker: Bruce Buerger
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Want to take your homebrew club to the next level? If so, you won’t want to miss Bruce Buerger’s discussion of how to organize club events and educational programs. From hosting style reviews and tastings to scheduling study sessions, you and your club will benefit from learning the dos and …More

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

Specialty Malt: Extreme!

  • Speaker: Aaron Hyde
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Let’s take specialty malts to the extreme and create new brewing techniques, beer styles, and bold flavors! Ever wonder what a beer made with 50 percent caramel malt would taste like? Trying to figure out how to make the chocolateiest beer possible? We’ll cover the basics of specialty malt, guidelines …More

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

Stump the Experts Panel

  • Speakers: Jamil ZainasheffJohn PalmerMike "Tasty" McDole
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Bring your toughest questions to this panel discussion with renowned homebrewers Jamil Zainasheff, John Palmer, and Tasty McDole. Want to know about high gravity brewing, or carbonation techniques, or maybe even… dare we say… New England IPA? This expert panel is ready for your questions. No homebrewing topic is off …More

The “Sour” in Sour Beers: Microbiology Sensory Perception and Styles

  • Speaker: Robert Hall
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Sour beers are hugely popular with home- and commercial brewers alike. However, the term “sour beer” encompasses a large range of styles, methods, and flavors. In this talk, we’ll address variations in sour beers from sensory, microbiological, and stylistic perspectives. We’ll learn how we perceive different acids in beer, and …More

The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing

  • Speaker: Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Mead is an incredibly diverse beverage category with the potential to create sublime food pairings. This talk introduces mead styles, discusses food-pairing strategies, and offers tips on how to develop meads specifically to pair with meals at home.

The Art of the Pro-Am

  • Speaker: Adam Boyd
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

In this detailed look at commercial and homebrewing collaborations and competitions, attendees will discover the benefits of the Pro-Am for homebrew clubs and breweries and learn strategies a club can use to create their own events. This presentation examines the Pro-Am concept and takes a detailed look at a variety …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

The Style Hunter

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

The 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines added several new styles, so it’s complete now, right? Not so fast. New styles continue to be created and evolve, while historical styles are rediscovered and gain new interest. Join Gordon Strong, principal author of the style guidelines, in an exploration of new and old …More

The XXX Story of Australian Old Ale

  • Speaker: Peter Symons
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Australian old ale is as distinctive an Australian style as Australian sparkling ale, but it’s not the same as English old ale, nor is it a porter derivative. Learn how XXX became old, discover details of Australian brewing techniques across different eras, and discuss the characteristics of this distinctive style. …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

Understanding National Tradition

  • Speaker: Jeff Alworth
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Have you ever wondered how a Czech brewer thinks about brewing? How about a Belgian or a German? Chances are, they think about brewing very differently than Americans do. Beer styles are downstream consequences of particular ways of thinking about beer. In this seminar, we will explore the way styles …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

Without It This Conference Would Have Never Come to Exist: The Story of German Bier

  • Speaker: Carl Sakari
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This humorous and entertaining overview of the history of German beer includes the development of beer styles (with proper pronunciation), technological advancements, German drinking traditions and culture, and the immigration of German brewing to the Pacific Northwest in the 19th century. A look at recent trends in German beer, including …More

Yeast Genome Changes During Serial Repitching

  • Speaker: Maitreya Dunham
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

We used whole genome sequencing to follow the genetic changes that occurred after 29 serial repitches of the American Ale strain WY1056 by Postdoc Brewing. Comparing samples showed two mutations that became detectable in the population after 15 repitches and elevated to high frequency by the 29th. We will present …More

Achieving the Flavor Profile You Want from the Microorganisms in Your Homebrew

  • Speaker: Dr. Douglas Gladue
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

The microorganisms that ferment beer are responsible for countless flavor compounds, and brewers armed with the right knowledge can manipulate yeasts and bacteria to achieve desired profiles. Douglas will teach homebrewers how to choose different microbes for different outcomes and how to pitch and ferment under the right conditions for …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