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!

Effects of Hot Side Aeration of Wort, Mash & Sparge Water

  • Speaker: John Rozborski
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Ever wonder if you’re ruining your beer because of splashing your wort, over mixing your mash or aggressively sparging? This presentation is the results of an AHA Research & Education Fund project. It will share the results of an experiment designed to test these concepts and may give you guidance …More

Evaluating and Judging Beer

  • Speaker: Jamie Floyd
  • Track: Sensory Analysis
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Jamie will begin this seminar by teaching the sensory technique for evaluation that is used in sensory labs as well as for judging. He will then discuss sensory evaluation in the commercial brewery and at home, and finish with a discussion of judging homebrew competitions. If you have ever wanted …More

Experimental Brewing

  • Speakers: Denny ConnDrew Beechum
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Drew Beechum and Denny Conn discuss concepts from their upcoming book, Experimental Homebrewing. They’ll cover why you should experiment and how to set up and evaluate your experiments, as well as give tips on equipment, recipes and ingredients for fruitful experimentation.

Farm to Glass: Brewing with Local Ingredients

  • Speakers: Brian TennisErik MayNick Rodammer
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever considered sourcing your malt, hops or even yeast locally? Join Michigan homebrewer Nick Rodammer, hop grower Brian Tennis and malt producer Erik May as they discuss the emerging trend of sourcing locally grown and produced brewing ingredients.

From Five Gallons to Fifteen Barrels

  • Speaker: Adam Mills
  • Track: Going Pro
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Adam Mills, head brewer at Cranker’s Brewery in Big Rapids, Mich. will discuss the transition from homebrewing to brewing on a professional scale. He will address recipe scale-up, yeast handling and hopping rates with a special focus on whirlpool and dry hopping. Adam will pour samples of his Professor IPA.

Herbs, Spices & Other Botanical Ingredients in Today’s Beer Recipes

  • Speaker: Mitch Steele
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Mitch Steele, brewmaster of Stone Brewing Co., covers a range of traditional and unconventional techniques in this seminar focused on the use of spice and herbs in beer. Starting with a brief review of historical uses, Mitch will then dive into the use of traditional spices in today’s craft beers. …More

Homebrew Competitions: How to Run One & How to Enter One

  • Speakers: Brian JoasBruce Buerger
  • Track: Clubs & Competitions
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Homebrew competitions involve more than just collecting and judging entries and handing out medals. To be successful, they require some vision and strong planning ahead of the judging date. From the entrant’s perspective, there are multiple competitions to choose from. They are a great way to gain feedback and tips …More

How Good is Your Grist?

  • Speaker: Jennifer Helber
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

The American Society of Brewing Chemists coordinated a collaborative test with 12 breweries on a method to check the coarseness of milling with sieves. This method can also be useful to homebrewers, because a correct mill setting greatly impacts the efficiency of extracting fermentable sugars. We will discuss the method, …More

How to Manage Yeast for the Home Brewery

  • Speaker: Douglas Gladue
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

How were brewing strains chosen to make beer? Douglas will provide Information every homebrewer can use to ensure their beer is properly fermented and does not contain off flavors associated with bad fermentation. We’ll discuss picking proper yeast strains, reusing yeast for multiple batches and storing cultures for future use, …More

Ice Cider

  • Speaker: Nathan Williams
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Twenty years ago, a genuinely new kind of apple cider appeared in Quebec: cidre de glace, or ice cider. Made from frozen apples or juice, ice cider is a wine-strength, sweet drink that showcases the true character of apples. Learn about the brief history of ice cider, commercial production and …More

Improving Clarity for Homebrewers

  • Speaker: Brad Smith
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Cloudy beer got you down? Brad Smith, author and podcast host, presents the causes and solutions for this problem. We’ll discuss the many potential contributors to cloudiness in beer including proteins, polyphenols, tannins and yeast. Brad will also explain the full range of products and techniques to improve clarity and …More

Keeping it Safe! The Home Brewery’s Safety Plan

  • Speaker: Sean Wolfe
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

It starts with a recipe and a dream of an award-winning homebrew; it ends with a trip to the emergency room and your spouse selling off all of your brewing equipment. Join Sean Wolfe, homebrewer and senior safety analyst for Lockheed Martin, as we work though some common safety concerns …More

Keeping It Simple: What Monks Can Teach Us About Brewing

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

When Brother Antoine was in charge of brewing at Rochefort, he said: “Two of the pale malts, two of the sugars, two hop varieties, two yeast strains . . . two of this and two of that . . . we like to keep it simple.” That approach produces amazingly …More

Keynote

  • Speaker: Dave Engbers & Mike Stevens
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

2014 National Homebrewers Conference Keynote

Kosmicki Spills the Secrets

  • Speakers: Dave "Diamond" DeschaineJeremy Kosmicki
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

How does Founders continue to invent new and exciting beers? Jeremy Kosmicki will discuss recipe formulation, unique ingredients and processes, and how the brewery pushes the boundaries of their beer while still maintaining a delicious balance of flavors.

Let’s Brew Small

  • Speaker: James Spencer
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

There are several advantages to brewing smaller batches. This seminar will take a look at the reasons to go small, the equipment needed for smaller brews, sample recipes that have been proven on the small scale, and how to scale up (or down) recipes once they are successful.

Long Live Lagers

  • Speakers: Jason OliverWarren Haskell
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

This seminar will present an overview of brewing lager styles, from light and crisp to dark and heavy. It will take professional lager brewing practices and translate them into practical methods for the average homebrewer. Lagers, more than any other beer style, require the brewer to pay attention to the …More

Making the Jump to All-Grain

  • Speaker: Scott Mitchell
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Are you on the fence about making the jump to all-grain brewing? Come get the push you’ve always wanted as Scott explains the basic knowledge, costs, time requirements and techniques needed to brew your first all-grain batch.

Mead: Past & Present

  • Speaker: Berniece Van Der Berg
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Berniece Van Der Berg of Moonlight Meadery reflects on the history of mead, the ancestor of fermented beverages, as well as modern mead-making practices. Berniece will discuss honey, plus a variety of current professional practices and innovations.

Navigating the Complexities of Making Great Hard Cider at Home

  • Speaker: Corey Arrick
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

The seminar will explore various ways of making hard cider, from simple processes to the more complex, and will dive into how procedures, ingredient selection, creativity, time and patience will prove that you have control over the final outcome. The sky is the limit when it comes to making great …More

No Boil Hop Beer

  • Speaker: Matthew Brown
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Brewing a balanced beer with no boil hops—is it possible? As part of the AHA’s Research & Education Fund, a unique method of using hops in the brewing process was utilized to add clean bitterness to beer. Matthew Brown will describe the history of the idea and how the beer …More

A Simple Fermentation Monitoring and Control System

  • Speakers: Murthy TataSachin Pannuri
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

We present a simple approach to monitor beer and other alcoholic fermentations continuously and non-invasively using carbon dioxide evolution. CO2 evolution rates are used to estimate alcohol production and extract consumption in a continuous manner with simple and relatively inexpensive instrumentation (Fermentation Automation Technology, FermAT). The technique can be used …More

Alternative Wood Aging Techniques

  • Speaker: John Gasparine
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Did you know that wood has been used as a flavoring in modern beer since the 1700s? Yet most of us mistakenly believe that wood was historically used in the brewing process for form and function only—not flavor or aroma. Did you know that there are an estimated 100,000 species …More

Because Not Every Beer Is Stone Enjoy By: Preserving Hop Aroma

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Stone Brewing Co. notes that Stone Enjoy By is brewed not to last, loaded with hops at the back end—using a technique some call “hop bursting”—and heavily dry hopped. It’s full of hop aroma that is destined to fade, which is why Stone puts the enjoy by date in big …More

Beer Recipe Design

  • Speaker: Brad Smith
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

This talk offers a structured approach to beer recipe design, starting with a target style and walking through research, selection of ingredients and application of brewing techniques to create a great beer recipe. We’ll review examples of recipe design as well as cover some of the newer techniques brewers are …More

Beers of Our Founding Fathers

  • Speaker: Frank Clark
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

What were our founding fathers drinking? Learn about the beers and brewing methods of the 18th century. Join food and beer historian Frank Clark of Colonial Williamsburg for a fascinating look back at old beer styles and some of the pleasures and pitfalls of trying to recreate historic beers.

Biochemistry and the Mash

  • Speaker: Larry Horwitz
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Larry Horwitz covers carbohydrate structre, enzymes, hydrolysis and protein in this presentation.

Blame the Maltster: An Overview of Malting Operations and How They Influence Your Beer

  • Speaker: John Mallett
  • Track: Ingredients
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

As brewers, we understand that malt provides the base and backbone of beer flavor and fermentability. Because we have a lot of options when it comes to malt, understanding how they are produced can influence what we choose to use. This talk will explore influencing factors such as barley selection …More

Brewing Better Beer: Practical Applications

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

Join author Gordon Strong as he discusses how to apply favorite reader tips from Brewing Better Beer. Understand the decisions and reasoning used to create two new all-grain recipes. Learn the approach, not just the recipes, as you see how your target beer preferences impact the decisions you make throughout …More

Brewing Chemistry 101: pH and Buffering

  • Speaker: Bob Hall
  • Track: Technical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

This talk will cover basic brewing and water chemistry. Much of the chemical knowledge needed to understand how water affects brewing can often be daunting. However, words like pH, hardness, alkalinity, temporary hardness and residual alkalinity can be simplified once brewers understand the dual concepts of pH and buffers and …More