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!

Lagers to Lambic: Hard Stuff the Easy Way

  • Speakers: Brian HallDerek Springer
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Lager, lambic, high-gravity, low-gravity, fruity, and funky—it’s enough to make your head spin! Many brewers might believe that certain styles are out of reach, requiring techniques accessible only to the brewing elite. But these “challenge” styles are within your grasp and easier than you think! Join bloggers Brian Hall of …More

Liquid Time Capsules

  • Speakers: Dr. Patrick McGovernKen Schramm
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

In this two-part seminar, Patrick McGovern and Ken Schramm take us on a fascinating, fermented journey through time. Dr. McGovern brings the past alive with spicy, fruity, and malty aromas and flavors unearthed in his new book, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created. Then Ken explains why we are living in …More

Maintaining Quality after the Brew Day

  • Speaker: Warren Haskell
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This presentation focuses on quality from keg to glass. With all the time and effort we spend making our beer, let’s make sure we serve it with equal care! Kegerators, keezers, jockey boxes, and party taps are common equipment, and its important to know how to properly clean and maintain …More

Mastering Mead

  • Speakers: Curt StockMatthew WeideSteve FlettySteve PiatzThomas Eibner
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota is home to seven of the last 12 AHA Meadmakers of the Year: Curt Stock (2005), Steve Fletty (2007 and 2016), Steve Piatz (2008), Thomas Eibner (2009 and 2012), and Matthew Weide (2014). Join a panel discussion with these award-winning meadmakers and learn about their signature meads. Meads from …More

My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard: Brewing New England IPAs

  • Speakers: Brian HallMalcolm Frazer
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

New England Style IPA (NEIPA) showcases some of the best hop flavors and aromas to be found in beer, and it’s growing in popularity. Ed and Brian will shed light on this hazy, sometimes-controversial style and discuss the recipe formation and brewing techniques you need to create the crushable hop …More

Oaking Levels in Traditional Mead

  • Speaker: Susan Ruud
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This seminar demonstrates how aging Traditional Mead on oak can drastically change its flavor and perceived sweetness. Four Traditional Meads will be served: one that hasn’t been oaked at all, along with three that have been aged on the same kind of oak for different lengths of time.

Origins and Evolution of Australian Sparkling Ale

  • Speaker: Peter Symons
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Australian sparkling ale is in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines as Category 12.B., and now is a great time to explore this style in depth. This seminar includes details of brewing techniques across different eras and how these techniques might have influenced the flavors and development of Australian sparkling ale. Recreations …More

Pairing Beer: How Does Your Palate Approach, Taste, and Pair Beer?

  • Speaker: Adam Dulye
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Taking a sip of beer might seem as common as a blue sky, but what is the first thing you think about when you taste it? In this seminar, we will dive into the two main palate approaches to tasting beer, discover how each defines a pairing, and learn how …More

pH in the Home Brewery

  • Speaker: Tasty McDole
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

We’ll follow pH in the brewhouse from water to beer. Topics will include the definition of pH, brewing software and pH control, and the importance of pH in brewing water, mash, kettle, and the finished beer.

Recipe Development with Dangerous Man

  • Speakers: Alxndr JonesJohn LeingangRob Miller
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join the staff of Dangerous Man Brewing as they delve into the myriad ways to build a recipe. Whether it’s a nod to tradition, a twist on an old favorite, or a completely unique approach to an ale or lager, Rob, John, and Alxndr will offer their insights. Challenge your …More

Saluting the Ancient Purveyors and Preservers of Beer! Brewing on the Borders of Greek and Roman Dominion

  • Speaker: Travis Rupp
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Ancient sources discuss beer as an invention of the barbarians of Northern Europe and the savages of the Near East. This presentation explores those peoples of Northern Europe known to have produced and preserved beer culture under Roman and Greek oppression. Travis Rupp will explore ancient brewing conventions of British, …More

The Big Mo: Molasses Beer, America’s Forgotten Beer Style

  • Speaker: Frank Clark
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Early Americans often made their beer without malt—they used molasses instead! Why would they do this, and what kinds of beer did they make? Join beer historian and master of historic foodways Frank Clark as he explores America’s forgotten beer style, molasses beer! This beer was one of the most …More

The Critical and Often Overlooked Spec: Final Gravity

  • Speaker: Brennan Greene
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

This seminar highlights the importance of final gravity (FG) to various beer styles and discusses how to achieve target FGs. Commercial brewers and homebrewers often don’t pay enough attention to FG, but doing so and adjusting accordingly can greatly improve the quality of your beer. We will discuss mass-produced light …More

The Dinosaur in My Beer: 250 Million Years of Homebrewing History

  • Speaker: Dr. Andrew Farke
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

You probably know the historical origins of brewing in early human civilization, but our favorite ingredients also plant their roots back in the Age of Dinosaurs. Paleontologist Andy Farke will time travel with seminar participants, munching hops with Triceratops, tracing the connections between malting and bird evolution, and more! You …More

Use of Dry Yeast for Fermentation and Bottle Conditioning

  • Speaker: Jennifer Helber
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

The advantages of dry yeast are often misunderstood and discounted by homebrewers, but experience in a commercial brewery demonstrates the consistency of performance, especially for bottle conditioning. With the introduction of new varieties, dry yeast is a great tool for homebrewers! Join Jennifer Helber as she discusses the best practices …More

Using Trees in Unsual Ways to Create Unique Flavor Profiles

  • Speakers: Aaron KleidonMarika Josephson
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Using maple, hickory, juniper, and oak trees as guides, we describe how to create unique flavors from leaves, bark, sap, nuts, buds, berries, and branches. We’ll discuss historical uses of each tree and the different ways they add complexity to beer. We’ll also describe how to harvest different tree parts, …More

A Timeline for Sour Beer: How to get the Flavors you Want, When you Want Them

  • Speaker: Brian Hall
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

This seminar’s focus will be on attaining a wanted flavor profile without the all the fuss, specifically in Lambic and Berliner Weisse styles. Does age always matter? How does an imagined profile become reality when brewing wild beers? This presentation will look at traditional versus modern production—how to produce what …More

Beers That Flunked The Reinheitsgebot— Or How to Brew with Ingredients from Your Yard Without Killing Your Neighbors

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Brewing with ingredients from the garden, yard, and nearby woods is older than the famous German beer purity law. Learn about using cultivated ingredients or foraged ingredients—even yeast collected in the wild—to make beers that are as pleasant to drink as they are to talk about. You’ll learn tips on …More

Big Party, Big Money

  • Speakers: Scott HackettScott Michaels
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Celebrate your business with a party, invite customers to take part, and have a ginormous sales day. We’ll show store owners how to plan and throw a big shindig for around $200 and collect 30 times as much in sales the same day. It’s fun, it’s profitable, and it’s a …More

Blind Tasting: Sensory Development for the Homebrewer

  • Speaker: Sean Coughlin
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Removing preconceived bias from sensory evaluation will make for a more powerful learning/tasting experience. We will focus on sensory description along with the triangle test and how it can be used by the discriminating homebrewer.

Brew Naked! (One Gallon at a Time)

  • Speakers: Chris HortonJennifer Indicott
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Learn the process and benefits of ultra-small batch brewing. One gallon batches are perfect for those with limited brewing and fermentation space. For those with larger brew systems that want to dial in recipes or experiment with ingredients, this is the perfect way to do so at minimal cost. One …More

Brewing Grisette and Saison: Insight from Historical Records and Modern Producers

  • Speaker: David Janssen
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

This presentation will look at historical information, focusing on the industrial revolution to modern times, to better understand the history of grisettes (a historical beer style which disappeared in the mid-1900s) and saisons. We will discuss historical production methods, characteristics of historical versions, similarities and differences between these two beers, …More

Brewing on Premise: The Evolution of the Revolution

  • Speaker: Robb Larson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

The brew-on-premises (BOP) concept has been around for many years, but there are relatively few BOP facilities at present. The opportunity to brew beer without the hassle and expense of a complete homebrew setup appeals to many potential customers, and with the current craft beer boom, the idea is making …More

Brewing up a Perfect Pairing: Research-Backed Food Pairing Principles

  • Speakers: Pat FaheyRandy Mosher
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

The Beer and Food Pairing Working Group is engaged in standardizing the body of knowledge used to assemble awesome beer and food pairings by creating research-backed pairing principles. Come learn about what information already exists, participate in a pairing exercise, and find out how you can help further the research …More

Brewing Wild

  • Speakers: Brian WolfeJohn Wilson
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

John Wilson spent a year making only spontaneously fermented beer. This seminar explores the history of open fermenting, the science behind the practice, its current uses in traditional fermentation practices, as welll as a walk-through of fermenting a wild beer and a wild mead. Share in the lessons learned from …More

Brewing with Honey

  • Speakers: Hugo PatiñoKeith Seiz
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Honey is the perfect ingredient for homebrewers, providing flavor and functional benefits in a unique ingredient that’s accessible to all. This technical presentation will detail how honey’s composition impacts brewing, and the flavor and functional properties the ingredient brings to beer when added during different stages of the brewing process.

Building Your Homebrew Community

  • Speakers: Douglas AmportJohn LaPolla
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Learn how to bridge the gap between home brewers and craft breweries! In this seminar, John LaPolla and Douglas Amport, owners of Bitter & Esters home brew shop in Brooklyn N.Y., will show you how to foster your home brew community with events and demonstrations. A strong craft beer community …More

Cider: It’s All About the Yeast

  • Speaker: Kara Taylor
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

The cider revolution is coming and we’re bringing yeast to the forefront. For years, yeast has been ignored in home cider making. Find out about old and new strains, including some wild strains like Candida sp., used in cider making and fermentation techniques to take your ciders to the next …More