National Homebrew Conference 2013


Free yeast at NHC 2013!

Philadelphia, PA – When thousands of jolly-faced, and (mostly) bearded people show up in a city looking to talk fermentation…you know it must be the National Homebrew Conference. For three days in June, Philly was awash with hordes of homebrewers looking to imbibe, discuss and further hone their craft.

Bootleg Biology’s humble captain, @melloknows, was there to hand out bugs and Fermetrics stickers, meet fellow “yeast enthusiasts” (euphemism?) and pour homebrew with fellow BURPers.

Two seminars at NHC particularly stood out for their relevance to bootleg biology.

Bootleg Biology On The Big Screen

Bootleg Biology On The Big Screen

Kyle Kohlmorgen from South House Pilot Brewery presented on Methods of Creating and Maintaining a Wild House Culture (his presentation with notes in PDF). Aside from the very kind shout out to bootleg biology, what struck me most was Kyle’s “Case For Mixed Cultures”. In his presentation he argues that mixed cultures contribute “increased depth, complexity, and uniqueness” in homebrewed wild beers, something we whole-heartedly agree with. And of course the most important point, house cultures are part of the homebrew DIY ethos…which I assume you agree with as well, or you wouldn’t have visited!

Shawn McBride gave a fantastic intro to homebrew lab techniques in his Yeast Culturing 101seminar (everything you need to know to Become a Contributor). One of the core tenets of Bootleg Biology is that you can do amazing things with a little knowledge and minimal resources. Sean’s presentation exemplified that to the fullest. I’ll post the link to his presentation once it is available on the AHA site. (If anyone has a link to a blog or other internet feed for Shawn, please let me know in the comments section so I can properly link to his work). UPDATE: The presentations for all speakers at NHC 2013 are now up on the AHA site; you can find a PDF of Shawn’s presentation here. You’ll need to be an AHA member to access.

NHC 2013 cultures

Future NHC 2014 Yeast?

Of course, it’s not NHC without Club Night. Basic Brewing has a video on YouTube showing some of the highlights, including a spotlight on DC Homebrewers at the 4:28 mark.

Since every good story should have a happy ending, you should know that during Club Night I took the opportunity to collect open-air cultures on an agar plate, as well as individual samples from homebrewed sours (after being thoroughly QA tested…nom nom nom). Hopefully the future official NHC 2014 yeast or wild bug blend is lurking somewhere in one of the samples.


Until next time.

To fermentation!

About Jeff Mello

Chief Yeast Wrangler @bootlegbiology. I play with yeast so you don't have to. You may have already met my beard.

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