2014 Seminars

Stay tuned for 2015 conference information!

Thursday, June 12

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

A Guide to Blending Yeast Strains

Have you ever been curious about blending two yeasts together during fermentation? What would happened 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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Kosmicki Spills the Secrets

How does Founders continue to invent new and exciting beers? Jeremy Kosmicki and Dave “Diamond” Deschaine 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.

  • Location: Ballroom B

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Influence of Mashing on Sour Beer Prodution

The characteristics of sour beers are influenced less by the flavors contributed directly by the malt and more by the ways in which compounds in the wort influence the mixed fermentation. Join Michael Tonsmeire as he discusses practical techniques to control the levels of carbohydrates, acids, phenols, and proteins and More »

  • Location: Ballroom A

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Draft System Design and Maintenance

You’ve got your beer in a keg, but how do you get it out? Learn how to design and balance your draft system for the perfect pour of your beer, cider and mead. We’ll also talk about how and why to clean the lines, finding CO2 leaks (and avoiding them More »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

2:00 pm – 2:00 pm

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

Ever wonder if you’re ruining your beer because of splashing your wort, over-mixing your mash or aggressively sparging? This seminar is the result of an AHA Research & Education Fund project, and will share the results of an experiment designed to test these concepts. Find guidance on which process steps More »

  • Location: Ballroom C

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Obscure and Ancient Beers

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Cohumulone: Friend or Foe?

The word on the street is that Cohumulone is bad, but what if it is just misunderstood? Mike Karnowski has a controversial theory that might change the way we think about the bad boy of alpha acids. Multiple beers brewed with various levels of cohumulone are analyzed to determine if More »

  • Location: Ballroom C

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Brewing Consistency: Identifying and Controling the Variables

Do you feel like you’re getting inconsistent results from brew to brew? Mike “Tasty” McDole is well known for expounding the benefits of brewing consistency and how consistency matters in making quality, recipe-driven homebrew. This seminar will identify variables that affect consistency and ways to remove or control them.

  • Location: Ballroom B

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

The Homebrewer’s Guide To Vintage Beer

Raise a glass to vintage beer! Treat yourself to a tour through time with beer historian/author Ron Pattinson of the blog Shut Up about Barclay Perkins. Ron will share brewing history and representative recipes from 1800 to 1950, from his new book, The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer. Ron More »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

The Shenanigans of Barrel Aging

Founders Brewing Co. has been aging beer in bourbon barrels since 2001. This seminar will discuss our process of selecting barrels and the beers to age, with particular attention focused on high-volume brands KBS and Backwoods Bastard. The growth of Founder’s barrel program from a single barrel to the thousands More »

  • Location: Ballroom A

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

How to Manage Yeast for the Home Brewery

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

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

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’re are a great way to gain feedback and tips More »

  • Location: Ballroom B

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Conditioning and Aging Beer

Join Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers co-author Colin Kaminski for a discussion of conditioning and aging beer, including when and how to rack, when and how to use finings, how to carbonate and measure, and steps to improve flavors and minimize problems from the brewhouse.

  • Location: Ballroom A

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Brew In a Bag: It Really Works!

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 »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Keeping it Safe! The Home Brewery’s Safety Plan

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom C

Friday, June 13

12:00 am – 10:00 am

From Five Gallons to Fifteen Barrels

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.

  • Location: Ballroom B

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Keeping It Simple: What Monks Can Teach Us About Brewing

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 complex beers. In this session, we’ll More »

  • Location: Ballroom A

9:00 am – 10:00 am

The Homebrewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer

Raise a glass to vintage beer! Treat yourself to a tour through time with beer historian/author Ron Pattinson of the blog Shut Up about Barclay Perkins. Ron will share brewing history and representative recipes from 1800 to 1950, from his new book, The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer. Ron More »

  • Location: Balroom D

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Ice Cider

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 breif history of ice cider, commercial production and More »

  • Location: Grand Gallery ABCD

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Navigating the Complexities of Making Great Hard Cider at Home

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 »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Practical Brewing for Better Beer

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom C

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Bootleg Brew Science

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

10:15 am – 11:15 am

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

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom B

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Long Live Lagers

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom A

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

Cider Post-Fermentation Adjustments

Learn more about cider made from dessert apples and cider apples as well as some of the standard techniques used after fermentation to adjust cider to meet consumer expectations. This hands-on session will emphasize basic bench trial techniques along with a conceptual exploration of what it means to make craft More »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

12:45 pm – 1:45 am

Can You Make a Living in Beer?

Join Ray Daniels for a discussion of possible job and business opportunities in the beer sector and his take on their prospects for their success. Tapping his knowledge and lessons learned as director of the Cicerone Certification Program®, a co-owner of Revolution Brewing, and instructor of the Siebel Institute course More »

  • Location: Ballroom A

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

Water Chemistry and Beer pH

Join John Palmer, author of How to Brew, Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers and Brewing Classic Styles, as he dives into the subject of brewing water. Topics include the effect that brewing water chemistry has on mash pH, beer pH and beer flavor. Seminar attendees will sample two beers More »

  • Location: Ballroom B

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

A Guide to Blending Yeast Strains

Have you ever been curious about blending two yeasts together during fermentation? What would happened 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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Cider Panel

Bring your questions! This panel discussion will cover all things cider making. Panelists will include Gary Awdey, president of the Great Lakes Cider and Perry Association, Jeff Carlson, four-time AHA Cidermaker of the Year and Paul Vander Heide and Joel Brower of Vandermill Ciders.

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Malt Nerds History Hour

Humans have been malting grains for use in brewing for many thousands of years. In relative terms, large-scale, industrial operations are recent developments. Prior to the 20th century, most malt was hand made by artisans—often unencumbered with science—who mainly assessed and controlled this natural process by touch, taste and smell. More »

  • Location: Ballroom D

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Top 10 Legal Mistakes Start-Up Breweries Make

For homebrewers planning to open a commercial brewery, there are numerous legal steps that should be taken to help protect yourself and the business. Without knowing what you need to do, it can be very easy to run afoul of the law. This seminar will discuss some of the most More »

  • Location: Ballroom A

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Using Spirits Barrels and Blending Sour Ales in Wood

New Holland Brewing Company founder Brett Vanderkamp will discuss his history with barrel aging and the development of New Holland’s signature barrel-aged beer, Dragon’s Milk. Drawing upon his experience as a distiller and founder of New Holland Artisan Spirits, Brett will also discuss the many uses of spirits barrels and More »

  • Location: Ballroom B

Saturday, June 14

9:00 am – 10:00 am

How Good Is Your Grist?

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 More »

  • Location: Ballroom C

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Putting Some Numbers on First Wort & Mash Hop Additions

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

9:00 am – 10:00 am

An Introduction to Brewing Sake

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 »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Kosmicki Spills the Secrets

How does Founders continue to invent new and exciting beers? Jeremy Kosmicki and Dave “Diamond” Deschaine 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.

  • Location: Ballroom B

9:00 am – 10:00 am

The Influence of Mashing on Sour Beer Prodution

The characteristics of sour beers are influenced less by the flavors contributed directly by the malt and more by the ways in which compounds in the wort influence the mixed fermentation. Join Michael Tonsmeire as he discusses practical techniques to control the levels of carbohydrates, acids, phenols, and proteins and More »

  • Location: Ballroom A

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Experimental Brewing

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.

  • Location: Ballroom A

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Backyard Beekeeping for Homebrewers

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.

  • Location: Ballroom C

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Brewing with New Hop Varieties

Homebrewers are gaining access to more and more new hop varieties such as Mosaic, El Dorado, Belma, Azacca, Saphir, Apollo and Galaxy. Many of these have an interesting signature hop potential that differs from what Amarillo, Simcoe and Citra have to offer. This seminar will discuss how to get more More »

  • Location: Ballroom B

10:15 am – 11:15 am

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

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 »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Debunking the Detested Decoction

Ever heard someone say, “You never need to do a decoction?” Today we might say, “You may never absolutely need to do a decoction, but you should embrace it as another available technique.” Join us as we take a fresh look at the decoction process, including tips for making this More »

  • Location: Ballroom D

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

No Boil Hop Beer

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Evaluating and Judging Beer

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 »

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Draft System Design and Maintenance

You’ve got your beer in a keg, but how do you get it out? Learn how to design and balance your draft system for the perfect pour of your beer, cider and mead. We’ll also talk about how and why to clean the lines, finding CO2 leaks (and avoiding them More »

  • Location: Ballroom C

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Really Understanding Honey

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom B

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Improving Clarity for Homebrewers

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom A

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Scaling Hops: A Comparison of Homebrew & Commercial Utilization

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Pair Like A Pro: Palate Trips and Pairing Practices

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.

  • Location: Grand Gallery A-D

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Yes, Funky Sour Meads

The sour beer world has exploded, but what about sour meads? In this seminar you will learn about using Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces and other funky tricks to make specialty meads that are tart and dank. Michael will share what he has learned about what works, what doesn’t, how much time is More »

  • Location: Ballroom B

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

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

Ever wonder if you’re ruining your beer because of splashing your wort, over-mixing your mash or aggressively sparging? This seminar is the result of an AHA Research & Education Fund project, and will share the results of an experiment designed to test these concepts. Find guidance on which process steps More »

  • Location: Ballroom C

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

2014 BJCP Style Guidelines

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

  • Location: Ballroom A

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

A Homebrewer’s Musings on Barrel Aging

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom D

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Beer Recipes from the Inside Out

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 »

  • Location: Ballroom A

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Let’s Brew Small

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.

  • Location: Ballroom C

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Mead: Past & Present

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.

  • Location: Ballroom B