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!

Becoming a Better Beer Judge

  • Speaker: Amanda Burkemper
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Becoming a BJCP judge is hard enough, but it’s after you become a judge that the learning really begins. Why is that, and what can we do to become a better beer judge? Entrants pay money to enter competitions, and we owe it to them to offer the best score …More

Beer Blending Tips and Techniques

  • Speaker: Aaron Hyde
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

In this seminar, we take a look at the what, why, and how of beer blending. We’ll explore historic blending, standard styles, barrel-aged beers, big beers, and sours. Recipe formulation, experimentation, tips, techniques, and best practices for blending will also be discussed. Learn to use blending to create better, more …More

Beer Oxidation: Chemistry, Sensory Evaluation, and Prevention

  • Speakers: Andy MitchellRobert Hall
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Beer oxidation is one of the most common flaws for homebrews and commercial beers alike, yet the processes are not well understood. Evaluation of oxidation is often difficult because it manifests itself in a variety of ways in the flavor beyond the well-known paper notes. In this seminar, we will …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

Bochet Mead: The Art and Science of Caramelizing Honey

  • Speaker: Matthew Weide
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Bochet has a long, if misunderstood history, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Caramelizing honey lets meadmakers turn honey into wonderful “burnt mead.” This presentation covers mead basics and history, BJCP categorization, caramelizing methods, common mistakes, recipes, and tips for making your own. Bochets will be served with a Q&A to …More

Brewing and Enjoying Smoked Beer

  • Speaker: Larry Reuter
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Do you enjoy classic smoked beer styles like rauchbier, Grodziskie, and Lichtenhainer? In this seminar, we will discuss popular smoked beer styles available in our favorite beer stores, including a bit of history. We’ll also examine the various types of smoked malt available to homebrewers, and most importantly, we’ll learn …More

Brewing Berliner Weisse: Moving Beyond Kettle Souring

  • Speaker: Jace Marti
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This session is all about slowing things down. Join us as we take a deep dive into the historical brewing techniques of Berliner weisse, as they reveal some surprising facts about a style that has been mostly relegated to kettle souring. We’ll go behind the scenes and discuss traditional production …More

Brewing Dreams: Stories about Going Pro

  • Speakers: Beverly ArmstrongChris SpinnelliJennifer GlanvilleTim Thomssen
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join Samuel Adams brewer Jennifer Glanville for a spirited discussion with Tim Thomssen (winner of the 2015 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Competition and founder of Boiler Brewing Company), Beverly Armstrong (founder of Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer), and Chris Spinelli (co-founder of Roc Brewing Co.). We’ll trace each brewer’s path …More

Brewing When You Have No Time (Getting More out of Your Limited Brewing Time)

  • Speaker: Sachin "Chino" Darji
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

In a busy world, it’s hard to dedicate time to a long, continuous brew day. This seminar challenges the dogma that you need six hours to brew a batch of beer. Let’s explore ways to brew more using less of your limited time. We’ll learn how to brew more quickly …More

Building a Business Plan for Funding and the SBA

  • Speaker: Tim Soczka
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Starting a business is hard, especially if you do not have a BA degree. Learn how to build the content and financials that lending institutions look for into your business plan. We’ll go over the necessary documentation and recommendations for a successful meeting with the lenders and the Small Business …More

Building Great Homebrew Clubs

  • Speakers: Drew BeechumJason RandallMartin BrungardRon Minkoff
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join representatives from three former Radegast Award–winning homebrew clubs—the Carolina Brewmasters, Maltose Falcons, and the Hogtown Brewers—for a spirited discussion on what makes great homebrew clubs. Attendees can expect to learn new, exciting ways to engage their memberships and take club events to the next level.

Common Beer Off Flavors and Fixes

  • Speakers: Amaey MundkurPat Fahey
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Learning to properly identify common beer off flavors is essential to improving your beer and your ability to judge. Come taste several of these unwelcome flavors—including diacetyl, dimethyl sulfide, acetaldehyde, and isovaleric acid—as we cover information about their formation and teach you ways to make sure that they don’t end …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

Czech Plz! What I Learned Brewing with the Czech Masters

  • Speaker: Annie Johnson
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join 2013 Homebrewer of the Year Annie Johnson as she reveals the secrets of brewing authentic Czech Pilsner at home. We will learn about water chemistry, ingredients, decoction mashing, fermentation, and more, all while enjoying delicious Czech Pilsner. Annie has brewed with master brewers Vaclav Berka of the Pilsner Urquell …More

Designing Beer Recipes

  • Speaker: Dr. Brad Smith
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Recipe design and techniques have evolved rapidly the past few years. Brad shares what he’s learned by brewing and by interviewing the top homebrewers and commercial brewers from around the world. He explains different approaches used by top brewers with a focus on understanding ingredients and applying techniques to drive …More

Dry Hopping Effectively

  • Speaker: Blaze Ruud
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

What is dry hopping? At what stage of fermentation should dry hops be added? At what temperature should you dry hop, and what are the differences in perceived hop aroma and flavor for these temperatures? Learn how to dry hop successfully and what you can do to improve aroma in …More

Embrace Your Inner Nerd: Simple Steps to Setting up a Home Lab

  • Speaker: Zachary Taggart
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This seminar outlines basic steps homebrewers can take to establish a small lab in their home. We will review equipment and procedures to get you up and running on cell counts, plating yeast samples, setting up a home yeast bank, and utilizing basic spreadsheets to track your experiments and brewing …More

Evaluate Your Beer Like a Master Judge

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Learn practical methods for assessing the aroma and flavor of your homebrew, exercises for developing your palate, and the techniques beer judges use to assess beer in amateur and professional competitions. Lean the structured tasting process, how to read and apply style guidelines, and how to evaluate beer for technical …More

Exploring Fruit Ciders

  • Speaker: Chris Smith
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This seminar offers an overview of the procedures and processes of adding additional fruit to hard cider. Topics include base cider selection, fruit pairing and preparation, yeast selection, nutrients, aeration, and more. From acidity and tannins to stabilizing and back sweetening, you’ll gain a comprehensive overview of what it takes …More

Fermenting All of It! Filling the Table with Home Fermented Goodness

  • Speakers: Brian WolfJohn Wilson
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This presentation highlights the similarities and differences among fermented products like vinegar, kombucha, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables. We endeavor to fill a table with delicious home-fermented foods made without commercially isolated cultures. We want to inspire homebrewers to expand their fermentation horizons, try something outside of their comfort zones, …More

From Harebrained Idea to Medal Winner

  • Speaker: Scot Schaar
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

There are multitudes of great recipe ideas out there if only you know where to look. A night out for dinner or a trip down the grocery store aisle could be the inspiration for your next award-winning mead. Learn where to find these ideas and how to bring them to …More

Going Pro: Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Turn Your Hobby into a Business

  • Speaker: Ryan Krill
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

For most of us, becoming a professional surfer, baseball player, or drummer just isn’t in the cards. But becoming a professional brewer? It can happen. This presentation will empower hobby brewers who are considering going pro with the information they need. It will attack the idea from an administrative angle, …More

Hardcore Mild

  • Speaker: Adam Stine
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Mild ale is a style with a long, sometimes confusing history. It’s rare to find commercially brewed milds in the US, so homebrewers who want a pint of mild often need to brew it themselves. Luckily, it’s a relatively quick and inexpensive style to brew at home. Mild ale can …More

Hold My Beer and Watch Me Science!

  • Speakers: Denny ConnDrew BeechumMalcolm FrazerMarshall Schott
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join Denny Conn and Drew Beechum from Experimental Brewing, along with Marshall Schott and Malcolm Frazer from Brülosophy, for this panel discussion. Learn how citizen science can improve your brewing and help you discover what works and what doesn’t. Questions will be taken and are encouraged!

Homebrew Disrupts American Beer: A Live Interview with Charlie Papazian

  • Speakers: Charlie PapazianChip WaltonTom Dalldorf
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join Charlie Papazian as he reveals the events and ideas in his life that helped immerse millions of homebrewers in the disruptive revolution of homebrewing. Homebrewing changed how the world views beer and will continue to be the leading edge of beer’s evolution. Tom Dalldorf and Chip Walton will join …More

Homebrew Worldwide: An International Panel

  • Speakers: Brian CondronChip WaltonGaston RiveraLai I Jie & Miguel LozaPeter Symons
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join moderator Chip Walton of Chop & Brew and a panel of international homebrewers to discuss our hobby and the global homebrewing culture from many different perspectives. Learn how homebrewers from other countries overcome challenges related to supplies and equipment, work with indigenous and popular styles, and brew beer on …More

Ice Cider

  • Speaker: Jeremy Olsen
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Ice cider is a delicious but uncommon cider style. This seminar reviews the history and origins of ice cider and discusses tips and techniques for making it at home. Learn about apple juice selection, the freezing process, fermentation, and post-fermentation adjustments to make your own ice cider.

In It to Win It: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Competing Your Way to Better Beer

  • Speakers: Derrick FlippinDexter Garner
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

With great beer comes great awards! Learn how homebrew competitions can improve your beer and ultimately make you a better brewer. Find out how to maximize your chances at winning gold from two highly successful competition brewers who have a history of going against each other, tooth and nail, to …More

Lager Yeast Strain Selection for Style, Flavor, and Aroma

  • Speaker: Kevin Lane
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

There are many lager strains available on the market and a number of diverse lager styles. Selecting the correct right lager strain for your goals is the first step towards brewing your best lager ever. This seminar analyzes different lager styles and helps homebrewers learn the yeast selection criteria needed …More