If you missed mine or any of the other fantastic presentations from the 2015 National Homebrewers Conference, the audio and slide decks are now online!
I enjoyed several of the seminars I attended, and here are a few that I highly recommend:
- Jeff Crane (the sour beer guru for Council Brewing) talked about brewing an acid beer for blending, adding complexity and acidity to fresh beer.
- James Howat (Former Future / Black Project) discussed 'spontaneous' fermentation techniques for the homebrewer. James was a riot, and his tips for building a homebrew-sized coolship will be helpful for any aspiring wild ale brewer.
- Patrick Dawson (author of Vintage Beer) spoke on brewing cellar-worthy beer. He discussed the positive and negative flavors produced as a beer ages, and ways to adjust your recipe and process to maximize the potential for positive aged flavors to emerge. I didn't know the origin of many of these flavors (dried fruits, dark caramel, etc.) and learned a lot from Patrick!
- The "Headliners", authors and brewing industry veterans, all offered a wealth of information: Randy Mosher, Vinnie Cilurzo, Jamil Zainasheff, Mitch Steele, John Mallet, Chris White, Ray Daniels, etc.
Hopefully you'll also check out my seminar on Blending and Post-Fermentation Adjustments. I was given a lot of positive feedback throughout the conference, and I felt like the content was well received. I added some additional slides to the PDF that we didn't get to discuss during the seminar: adding fruits and spices, a practical blending example, and adjusting for intensity. Please contact me with any questions!
You must be an American Homebrewers Association (AHA) member to access the seminars. If you are a homebrewer but not a member, please consider it! Most of the membership benefits listed below are worth the cost of membership alone ($43/year at the time of this post). AHA membership benefits include:
- Access to Past NHC Seminars (audio and slides)
- Zymurgy Magazine (six issues per year)
- AHA Members Deals: Discounts at pubs, breweries, homebrew stores, and online retailers. My local examples include employee keg pricing at Schlafly, 10% off beer at UCBC, and 20% off beer at Perennial!
- Access to the AHA Forum
- Events such as the National Homebrewers Conference, the Members-Only Saturday Session of GABF, and AHA Rallies.
- Discounts and advance sales on all books from Brewers Publications
- Access to the Research and Education Fund
Most importantly, the AHA is the homebrewing community's advocate in legislative efforts. The AHA has recently helped make homebrewing legal in all 50 states, and they continue to lobby for legislation that reduces restrictions and promotes growth of the hobby.