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!

Mead: Recipe Formulation and Advanced Techniques

  • Speaker: Steve Piatz
  • Track: Alternative Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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.
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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
  • Homebrew Con 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.

2014 BJCP Style Guidelines

  • Speaker: Gordon Strong
  • Track: Beer Styles
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Gordon Strong, Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) president and author of Brewing Better Beer, will explain the updated 2014 BJCP style guidelines.

40 Things in 40 Minutes: 40 Tips, Tricks, Techniques & Tweaks to Improve your Brewing, Meadmaking & Cidermaking

  • Speakers: Barry MulsoMichael Spears
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

We will show you 40 tips, tricks, techniques and tweaks in 40 rapid-fire, interactive minutes. Don’t blink as Barry and Mike tackle rescuing failed fermentations, brewing resources, ingredients, beer styles, DIY, networking, competitions, hopping techniques, gadgets and technology, software, blending, off-flavors, clarifying, carbonating, homebrewing laws, clubs, brewing techniques, fun adjuncts, …More

A Guide to Blending Yeast Strains

  • Speaker: Kara Taylor
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever been curious about blending two yeasts together during fermentation? What would happen if you mixed your favorite Saison and British strains? We’ll look at ways you can blend yeast strains to obtain your optimal fermentation and flavor profiles. We’ll consider the pros and cons of different methods …More

A Homebrewer’s Musings on Barrel Aging

  • Speaker: Chris P. Frey
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

While barrel aging is popular at the pro level, it can be intimidating for homebrewers. Not understanding nuances specific to barrel aging can create uncertainty for homebrewers and potentially leads to avoidance of these traditional flavor- and aroma- enhancing vessels. This seminar is practically focused, with a minimum of science. …More

An Introduction to Brewing Sake

  • Speaker: Edward Hoskin
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Sake is a beverage that unlike beer, wine, cider—and more recently mead—has neither a strong cultural tradition nor a large, knowledgeable hobbyist collective in the U.S. That said, the process of making sake shares many similarities with Western fermentables. This seminar will demystify sake and make it accessible to the …More

Backyard Beekeeping for Homebrewers

  • Speakers: Eric KramerMichael Mullins
  • Track: Other/Misc.
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Many homebrewers would make meads and use honey in their homebrew if they could get it more cheaply. Backyard beekeeping is the solution! Learn how to start in the beekeeping hobby and how to use your honey in your own meads, wines, ciders and beers.

Beer Recipes from the Inside Out

  • Speaker: Randy Mosher
  • Track: Recipe Formulation & Improvement
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Randy Mosher offers insights and practical tools for recipe formulation based on his long experience in homebrewing and more recently as a team member at two award-winning breweries. Each category of ingredient, especially malt and hops, has its own unique chemistry and vocabulary, and it is essential for brewers to …More

Bootleg Brew Science

  • Speaker: Jeff Mello
  • Track: Yeast & Fermentation
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

What’s more local than making homebrew with yeast isolated from your own backyard? Come learn how anyone can be a “bootleg” yeast wrangler, using proven homebrew methods, basic-level lab techniques and a paper clip. Jeff Mello from Bootleg Biology will show you easy methods to capture wild yeast, how to …More

Brew In A Bag: It Really Works!

  • Speakers: Brian PhadRex Slagel
  • Track: Brewing Process
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Brew In A Bag explained! We’ll cover every aspect of this method, including a few tips that will unravel the mystery of water volume and gravity. You will learn about equipment, insulation methods, bag material and uses, lifting techniques, and cooling. To spark ideas, we’ll show photos of rig set …More