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!

Mastering the Art of Hop-Fu!

  • Speaker: Kelsey McNair
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Do you want to know the secrets to brewing amazing, award-winning IPAs? Over the last five years, Kelsey McNair has earned dozens of awards for his IPAs including one silver and three gold medals in the final round of the National Homebrew Competition. This seminar will cover the history, techniques …More

Mead Panel

  • Speakers: Curt StockKen SchrammMichael FairbrotherRyan ChaytorSteve Piatz
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Mead making is growing at an astounding rate and there a few great icons who have shaped the movement. From traditional mead makers to the ones who push the limits, come and learn their secrets. Topics will include equipment, ingredients, recipes and techniques for beginner to advanced mead makers.

Mead: Recipe Formulation and Advanced Techniques

  • Speaker: Steve Piatz
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Join 2008 AHA Meadmaker of the Year Steve Piatz for a seminar covering current ideas on mead making. Topics will include recipe formulation and advanced mead making techniques.

Ménage à Myces: Blended Yeast Fermentation

  • Speaker: Chris White
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Have you ever found a yeast strain that had a great fermentation flavor, but didn’t attenuate well? Have you ever used a Belgian yeast strain that didn’t flocculate well? The solution might be blending yeasts. Historically all breweries had a blend of yeast in their fermentation. It wasn’t until the …More

Modern Homebrew Recipes

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Gordon Strong, author of Brewing Better Beer and the forthcoming Modern Homebrew Recipes, will discuss using modern techniques to formulate recipes, particularly for new styles from the 2014 BJCP style guidelines, as well as how to interpret and adapt recipes to your system and how to select ingredients and techniques …More

Motivating Club Member Participation

  • Speaker: Lauren & Joe Domm
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

The greatest thing you can do to encourage people to participate is provide consistency, entertainment and opportunity! Lauren and Joe of Carolina BrewMasters, 2014 Radegast Club of the Year, will present the things that are working for their club. From meetings to brew sessions to competitions to social events to …More

Nitro Draught for the Homebrewer

  • Speaker: Juice Drapeau
  • Track: Technical
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Learn how to create the perfect nitro beer based on combining the correct temperature, pressure and time of gas in solution. Juice will provide proven techniques to help you create the perfect pour based on your specific equipment.

Organized CHAOS: Taking Your Club to the Next Level

  • Speakers: Dave WilliamsKen GettyLucas Morris
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

CHAOS Brew Club of Chicago has done something that few, if any, other clubs have done: create a dedicated community space for people to brew, socialize and share. This seminar will focus on the ups and downs of the club’s journey so that other clubs and brewers can learn from …More

Panel on Regulatory Climate for Homebrewers

  • Speakers: Craig HendryGary GlassTom McCormick
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

With the rapid growth of homebrewing, the hobby has come under increased scrutiny from regulators in recent years. A panel consisting of AHA director Gary Glass, Raise Your Pints president Craig Hendry, and California Craft Brewers Association executive director Tom McCormick will discuss federal and state homebrew law, the current …More

Panel: Taking Homebrewing to the Pro Level, From Concept and Design Through Opening

  • Speakers: Curtis ChismDustin HauckKelsey McNairPaul Sangster
  • Track: Going Pro
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This panel will discuss the topics to consider and the tradeoffs one has to make when taking their passion for homebrewing to opening a brewery. Panelists will give their perspectives on key issues that impacted their road to opening. This panel includes an architect who has designed and built several …More

Practical Blending and Post-Fermentation Adjustments for the Homebrewer

  • Speaker: Kyle Kohlmorgen
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Taste. Evaluate. Adjust. Repeat. This seminar will guide and challenge you to improve your beers through tasting, evaluation and adjustment. Seminar participants will explore techniques for fine-tuning a beer’s “seasoning” and body, highlighting signature flavors and achieving balance through blending. Kyle will borrow techniques from chefs , winemakers, bakers and …More

Selecting Yeast Based on Strain Characteristics and Applying Environmental Conditions to Promote Flavor and Aroma Production

  • Speaker: Kevin Lane
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Yeasts are living microorganisms whose performance is influenced immensely by the environment. The homebrewing community produces a wide range of beverages made from a wide range of raw materials, including raw or malted grains, fruits, honey, grasses (sugar cane), etc. The sugar extract derived from the different raw materials varies …More

Sensory and Flavor Training for Brewers

  • Speaker: Pat Fahey
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

A brief introduction to taste physiology and techniques for assessing beer will be followed by a guided tasting through several of the most common brewing-related off flavors found in beer. In addition to tasting these flavors, participants will learn the most common causes of these flavors, along with tips on …More

Taking Funky Beers from Homebrew to Pro

  • Speaker: Peter Perrecone
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Peter will talk about where to find funky and wild strains and how to grow them up and use them. He’ll also discuss the different and important ways in which malt and hops affect the beer.

Tasting Beyond the Scoresheet

  • Speaker: Rich Higgins
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Beyond drinking beer and beyond judging beer lies tasting beer. Truly tasting and evaluating beer is an exploration into the soul of a beer and the mind of the brewer. The best beers take you to a time and place and let you get to know the brewer and culture …More

The Beginnings of Beer in the Ancient World

  • Speaker: Travis Rupp
  • Track: Historical
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This presentation will examine the beginnings of beer production in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Specifically, it will survey the domestication of barley and wheat in ancient Sumeria and Egypt, which was conceived for early beer production. It will then examine the impact on later Greek and Roman beer …More

The Nuts and Bolts of Store Design for Homebrew Retailers

  • Speaker: Jeff Grant
  • Track: Historical
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

A lesson on driving sales through storefront seduction, in-store lighting and display techniques, and web store traffic management. Presented by Jeff Grant, author and expert in retail design for large and small independent retailers

Thinking of Going Pro? You Must Understand How to Make Money Making Beer

  • Speaker: Sam Holloway
  • Track: Going Pro
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Your business model determines how much money you keep with each pint sold. If you are a homebrewer thinking of going pro, you owe it to yourself and to your family to have a basic understanding of how your business model affects your margins, which dictate how much money you …More

Tips on How to Homebrew Lagers

  • Speaker: Jason Pratt
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Jason Pratt of MillerCoors will share tips and tricks to help perfect making an exceptional lager at home. Learn how to apply some large scale quality processes to your small batch setup.

What a Proper Pairing Can Do for Your Beer

  • Speakers: Adam DulyeGreg BrownSean Clark
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Tasting a beer when pairing to food is different than tasting to evaluate beer style. This seminar will cover how food interacts with beer and how to approach tasting beer when pairing to food. From pairing your own homebrew for a dinner at home to dining out on the town …More

Why Good Tasting Water Can’t Guarantee You Great Beer

  • Speaker: Martin Brungard
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

How water tastes is no indicator of its suitability for brewing. A water used to produce great beer in one range of styles may make poor examples of other styles. There is no water source that can create great examples of all beer styles without treatment. A variety of simple …More

Wild and Spontaneous Fermentation at Home

  • Speaker: James Howat
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Learn various techniques for using environmental wild yeast and bacteria in brewing. Topics will include how to isolate yeast and bacteria from the wild and using a home coolship to make 100 percent spontaneous ales.

Obscure and Ancient Beers

  • Speakers: Geoff GroffMark Pangle
  • Track: Historical
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Do you want to know what Finnish Sahti is and how it is made? Are you familiar with Steinbeer, a German method of brewing beer with heated stones? Join homebrewers Geoff Groff and Mark Pangle as they discuss some of the more obscure as well as older beer styles and …More

Pair Like A Pro-Palate Trips and Pairing Practices

  • Speaker: Julia Herz
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Homebrewers are not just into beer, you’re also into food! Fellow foodies unite in this seminar breaking down the complex topic of pairing. We’ll talk about beer and food pairing principles, along with palate tricks and tips garnered through years of tasty research.

Practical Brewing for Better Beer

  • Speaker: David Houseman
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Excellent beer can be made by beginner homebrewers with simple equipment and 10 simple steps to making better beer. By avoiding the most common faults in homebrewing, homebrewers using extract malts on their kitchen stoves can produce high-quality beer. This seminar’s tips will enable beginner to intermediate homebrewer to improve …More

Putting Some Numbers on First Wort & Mash Hop Additions

  • Speaker: David Curtis
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

First wort hopping is a method many homebrewers use with the idea that it adds a smoother bitterness and a unique flavor contribution to their beer. Mash hopping is avoided by many brewers because it is commonly thought to be a waste of good hops. David Curtis of Bell’s Brewery’s …More

Really Understanding Honey

  • Speaker: Ken Schramm
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Honey is a remarkable substance: it’s hygroscopic, has intense osmotic pressure, weighs in at a specific gravity of 1.425, and can remain edible for centuries without preservative measures. This seminar explores honey’s composition, varieties, key flavor and aroma elements, handling, acquisition, and the metabolic details of honey fermentation. It addresses …More

S. eubayanus: Practical Brewing Knowledge with the Father of Lager Yeast

  • Speaker: Bret Baker
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever wondered, like many homebrewers, where lager yeast originated and if it can be used to make good beer? Join Bret Baker as we delve into a recent discovery made in Patagonia by Diego Libkind for a lesson in biology, history and practical brewing applications with the father …More

Scaling Hops: A Comparison of Homebrew & Commercial Utilization

  • Speakers: Eric BeanFrank Barickman
  • Track: Ingredients
  • 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

This talk will compare both the technical and perceived differences between homebrew and commercial hop utilization, hop flavor and aromas. We’ll look at several beers made both commercially and homebrewed using the same wort and hops, varying the hop additions. Lab comparisons documenting the bittering units will be presented along …More