NHC 2014 FAQ


Now that it’s officially a week until NHC 2014 in Grand Rapids, it seemed helpful to post a FAQ regarding what shenanigans Bootleg Biology will be up to during the conference.

If I were interested in listening to a talking beard discuss paper clips and streaking, how would I go about that?

Bootleg Brew Science will be on Friday, June 13 at 10:15am ET in Ballroom D.

What is it that you think you’re going to accomplish with this presentation?

My goal is that following the seminar, all attendees will do at least one or more of the following:

1) At the very least, have the veil of mystery shrouding yeast wrangling lifted. And with that, feel confident knowing that if they ever want to isolate a wild yeast strain, they’ll be comfortable experimenting with basic lab techniques.

2) Get excited enough that soon after they’ll get out there and start capturing and isolating their own backyard wild yeast strain using basic lab techniques, and then…

3) become a Bootleg Biology Contributor. And hopefully…

4) share some of their wild fermented beer with me.

Saison du Backyard: Only at NHC 2014We were promised beer…why is my glass empty?

You slept in too late! For those who attend the seminar in time, kind volunteers will be pouring just two kegs of homebrew fermented with Bootleg Biology strains.

What is this mysterious liquid frothing in my glass?

Here’s the rundown:

Berliner Bear – A completely ahistorical, reimagining of a Berlinerweisse with a variation of a stout grain bill (thank Sam at Eureka Brewing for style inspiration). The pilsner/wheat malt base was mashed, then drained into a car boy where it was soured for 48 hours at ~40C/105F with Kimchi L. (Lactobacillus isolated from my homemade kimchi). After souring the wort was racked into the kettle, the dark grains were steeped for 10 minutes then the remaining wort was boiled for 20 minutes with a small amount of hops. After cooling, the wort was fermented out with S. arlingtonesis. It’s got a punch of lactic sourness (3.2 pH) that melds well with the roasted coffee and chocolate grain flavors. Oh, and it’s 3% ABV.

Saison du Backyard – A sort of demo beer for showing off the clean flavors possible with isolated wild yeast strains. This used a simple grain bill of mostly pilsner malt, and small amounts of wheat malt, caravienne and candi syrup. The wort was fermented using the original Bootleg Biology backyard yeast strain, S. arlingtonesis. Clean, crisp, a little spicy…my ideal summer beverage.

Berliner Bear: Seriously, only at NHC 2014So…where’s your booth?

As a fledging project we’re bootstrapping it at NHC this year. But have no fear, the good people at GRiST homebrew club have very kindly offered to let us hijack some of their space during Club Night on Friday (booth #27). This will give us more time to talk about yeast wrangling. Also I will have a few Backyard Yeast Wrangling Tool Kits, T-Shirts, and special vials of yeast & bugs available.

If I wanted a novelty conference tchotchke unlike any handed out at NHC, how would I acquire one?

Attend the Bootleg Brew Science seminar for details. Only 100 will be available, and I’m told the seminar room fits 600 people. So there’s that too.

I too have a beard and secretly play with yeast. How do I connect with you during the conference?

I’ll be live tweeting what I’m up to throughout the conference (Twitter handle @bootlegbiology) and sporting a dapper Bootleg Biology logo t-shirt. If you see me, come say hi. I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you yeast heads. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try some of your wild fermented homebrews, so save some for me!

I’m not able to attend NHC this year, how can I read/hear the presentation while avoiding doing work at the office?

The American Homebrewers Association will eventually post the seminar presentations as well as audio recordings on the NHC website. Not sure how long it will be after the conference before they’re posted, but I’ll be sure to add a link to bootlegbiology.com when they’re available.

[Side Note: Heather Vandenengel wrote a cool post for Craft Beer & Brewing on the Backyard Yeast Wrangling Tool Kit. Check it out.]

To fermentation & NHC!


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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