Boot Camp

2020 Boot Camp Speakers

John Blichmann is the President of Blichmann Engineering and has been an avid homebrewer and winemaker since 1991. He earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1988 from Iowa State University and worked at Caterpillar for 15 years. He founded Blichmann Engineering in 2001 in his garage and focused on providing homebrewers top notch quality and innovative designs to help homebrewers and winemakers enjoy their hobby and to help them make amazing home beverages. Let equipment guru John Blichmann take you hands-on through the full all-grain process from milling, mashing, and sparging before going into the boil. You’ll get to know the equipment, techniques, and ingredients first-hand and learn all-grain “brewing by doing” in a small-class environment in the “All-Grain Brewing Essentials” Boot Camp on Thursday, March 26.

Dave Green is Brew Your Own’s Recipe Editor and Associate Editor and has been with BYO for over a dozen years. In addition to reviewing every recipe appearing in the magazine for accuracy, he has written several feature stories on advanced hopping techniques for BYO including mash hopping, first wort hopping, whirlpool hopping, and advanced dry hopping. He enjoys brewing both at the office and at home and has a soft spot for hop-forward beers. Before BYO, Dave was a former professional brewer on Long Island, NY as well as a high school chemistry teacher. Dave will be leading the “Advanced Homebrew Hopping Techniques” workshop on Thursday, March 26.

Ashton Lewis started working for Brew Your Own before the premier edition hit the market in 1995 and has filled the role of Mr. Wizard and Technical Editor over the last 21 years.  In 1997 he joined the Paul Mueller Company as part of their brewery equipment group and as the Master Brewer at the Springfield Brewing Company, a showcase brewery built by Mueller that same year.  He is still the Master Brewer at Springfield Brewing Company and one of the partners in the business following its sale in 2011 and continues working full-time for Mueller as the company’s Staff Master Brewer and Brewing Market Manager.  Ashton completed his M.S. in food/brewing science from UC Davis in 1994 and his B.S. in food science from Virginia Tech in 1991.  His non-brewing interests include scuba diving, cycling and food. Ashton will lead “Troubleshooting Homebrew Faults and Fixes” Boot Camp on Thursday, March 26 to help you troubleshoot and fix your own homebrews.  On Saturday, March 28 Ashton conducts “Hands-On Homebrew Science” Boot Camp through how to best use scientific gear at home to help you improve the quality of your beer.

John Palmer is the author of How to Brew and co-author of Water – A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers and serves as the Publications Director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. He is also a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the Brewers Association. As an engineer, John is keenly interested in the nuts and bolts of the brewing process and he frequently travels to conferences all over the world to share what he has learned. He lives near Pasadena, California. On Thursday, March 26, join John in “All-Grain Brewing Essentials” Boot Camp designed for intermediate to beginner homebrewers getting into all-grain brewing. This full-day workshop will cover all you need to know to successfully make great homebrews using all-grain brewing both with traditional and newer techniques. On Saturday, March 28 John will help take the mystery out of water’s role in brewing and how to make better beer as a result in the “Brewing Water and Adjustments” Boot Camp.

Steve Parkes is the owner of Drop-In Brewing Company and also owner and lead instructor of the American Brewers Guild in Middlebury, Vermont. He holds a degree in Brewing Science from the prestigious brewing school at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.  One of the breweries Steve operated in the UK required that he build a working brewing system from old dairy equipment in a short amount of time; Steve learned improvisational skills that would serve him well in his new venture. After 6 years honing his brewing skills in the UK, winning awards and gaining valuable management experience, Steve took up the challenge of starting a new brewery in the USA. Thursday, March 26 begins his three-day “Turning Pro & Commercial Brewery Start-Up” Boot Camp that continues through Saturday, March 28 in which you will hear Steve’s expertise on planning decisions, and keys you need to know if you want to open a successful commercial craft brewery. When you register for this class you will attend it for all of Thursday, Friday and Saturday unlike our other offerings.

Jason Phelps is the owner of Ancient Fire Mead & Cider, an artisanal producer of meads, ciders and wines in Manchester, NH. He started home brewing and winemaking nearly 15 years ago, and like many hobbies it has been a life changing experience. After first learning to make beer Jason then branched out in to cider, wine and ultimately mead. Along the journey Jason has been honored with over 120 competition medals for a broad range of fermentations. As a BJCP certified beer and mead judge he has had the opportunity to judge in competitions all over the United States, giving back to the community he is so passionate and excited about. As an author of articles in both BYO and WineMaker magazines it is clear Jason loves to share his experiences and knowledge with other makers. In addition to Thursday’s “Cidermaking” Boot Camp he will be leading Saturday’s “Meadmaking” Boot Camp.

Dr. Brad Smith is the author of BeerSmith beer software and its founder.  He has written over 300 articles on brewing beer including magazines such as Brew Your Own and Zymurgy as well as a book. Brad is the host of the BeerSmith home brewing podcast, created BeerSmithRecipes.com (currently over 400,000 recipes), BrewWiki.com, created the BeerXML recipe standard, appeared in a How to Brew video series with John Palmer and regularly speaks at national and international events on brewing beer. He is also a retired Air Force Colonel and a former lab and satellite Commander. On Thursday, March 26 learn the best ways to jump into creating your own signature recipes and understand the keys to developing a specific grain bill, hop schedule, and ingredient proportions to meet your homebrewing goals with Recipe Formulation Essentials. On Saturday, Brad will guide you through how to take your recipe creations to the next level by dialing in the specific grain bill, hop schedule, ingredient proportions, and water treatments to meet your brewing goals with Advanced Recipe Formulations.

Gordon Strong is the President and highest ranking judge of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), the organization that certifies beer judges for homebrew competitions and also registers qualifying homebrew competitions. In addition to his Grand Master Level V judge status, Gordon is a three-time winner of the National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award and the author of Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers (Brewers Publications, 2011). He frequently contributes to Brew Your Own, including taking over the “Style Profile” column in early 2015.  On Thursday, March 26 learn how to master mashing techniques along with controlling your all-grain wort production in Gordon’s “Advanced All-Grain Techniques” Boot Camp. It is being offered again on Saturday, March 28. Please note due to many requests we are repeating this same Boot Camp topic from Thursday again on Saturday.

Kara Taylor is the Senior Laboratory Manager and has been with White Labs since 2009. She became interested in fermentation science while homebrewing during her days at Loyola Marymount University. She received a B.S. in Biology in 2009 and began employment at White Labs in San Diego as a yeast laboratory technician. Currently she resides as the Senior Laboratory Manager. She is a member of Master Brewers Association of Americas and the American Society of Brewing Chemists. Kara will be leading Saturday, March 28 “Advanced Yeast Lab” Boot Camp.

Dr. Chris White lives in San Diego, CA., USA, where he serves as President and CEO of White Labs Inc. Chris founded White Labs in 1995 to manufacture yeast cultures and provide fermentation services to the brewing, wine, and distilling industries. Chris has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis. While at Davis, Chris interned at Genentech Inc., the world’s first biotechnology company. White is coauthor of Yeast: The Practical Guide To Beer Fermentation, co-designer of BrewMaster: The Craft Beer Game, and has published numerous articles on yeast, beer, and fermentation. Chris White was a lecturer in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at U.C. San Diego from 1999-2007, and is currently teaching in the Brewing Certificate Program at U.C. San Diego Extension.  Chris was awarded the 2013 Recognition Award from the American Homebrewers Association. In “Advanced Yeast Techniques” Boot Camp on Thursday, March 26, Chris will lead you in mastering different yeast-related techniques in order to get the most from your yeast.

Pamela Zorn discovered cheese making just over 10 years ago when her mother needed a sheet of mozzarella and fell in love with the art. She has been teaching classes at her shop,Wine & Whey, in Denver for over 4 years now. Pamela believes everyone should learn to make cheese and has made it her goal to get the word out! Pamela is almost completely self taught but studies continuously to improve her skills and pass them on to her students. Join Pamela Saturday, March 28 with “Home Cheesemaking” Boot Camp.