The final day of the 36th Annual Homebrewers Conference was filled with seminars. The first seminar I attended was by David Curtis and entitled Putting Some Numbers On First Wort & Mash Hop Additions. It was an interesting talk where he made three batches using a 60 minute bittering addition, mash hopping, and a first wort hopping and then took the beers to a sensory panel and had them analyzed by the lab at Bell’s. What was interesting was the actual IBU of the batches were much lower than the calculated values and then the major takeaway is if 60 minute is 100% utilization then first wort hopping yields 110%, while mash hopping yields 35%.

Next up was two old friends, Denny Conn and Drew Beechum, talking about Experimental Brewing. Nothing earth shattering here, but a bunch of great information coming your way when their book is published in the fall.

The next seminar was Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi Brewing speaking on Evaluating And Judging Beer. It was a very good discussion and I came away with some good techniques to further develop my own palate. Well worth the time to attend.

The afternoon session of seminars started with Gordon Strong talking about the 2014 BJCP Style Guidelines and how they will be updated. I’ll cover these in-depth in the blog at a later date.

The last seminar for the day was Brian Joas & Bruce Buerger talking about Sensory Evaluation To Improve Your Palate And Vocabulary. I gotta be honest, I did not personally learn much from this talk. Hopefully that was not the experience everyone in the room had.

After all the seminars was the BJCP Member’s Meeting. I’ll probably detail some of my notes in a future blog piece.

The last event of the conference was the AHA National Homebrewers Conference Grand Banquet sponsored by Samuel Adams. The food was divine and the beers were solid, but the acoustics were crap. We could not hear a word anyone said so in reality the night was about the food and not much else.

Next year the conference will be in San Diego, attend if you can. I’m planning to take next year off since I went to the AHA Conference the last time it was held there. Someone else will have to blog about next year’s festivities.