BYO News Page

Updated August 21, 2019

Homebrew News

2019 Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest Report

Australia Report:

In a report put out by HPA (Hop Products Australia), the three farms they oversee saw a 13% year over year increase in production. This included increases across their proprietary hop varieties, with an 8.6% increase in Galaxy, a 10.8% increase in Vic Secret, and a 125% increase in their newest proprietary hop variety Enigma. “This year’s production volume allowed us to meet contractual obligations across all varieties. All three farms endured major weather events during the growing season. Our Victorian farms — Rostrevor Hop Gardens and Buffalo Valley — experienced extended periods of heatwave conditions through which our irrigation systems performed well, preventing impact on yield. Tasmania experienced widespread bushfires throughout January when the majority of the crop at Bushy Park Estates was still in burr. Although these conditions did not affect yield, they are indicative of the hot and dry conditions that characterised this season.”

New Zealand Report:

According to Doug Donelan, CEO of New Zealand Hops Limited: “Harvest conditions were good commencing in late February and running through to the start of April. Overall harvest quality was very pleasing in a year that saw a significant increase in the cooperatives planted area. Yields were below average on the whole and this is mostly attributable to the large number of baby plants on new ground. High summer temperatures and long dry spells without rainfall also impacted cone development in some varieties, however others, especially early types like Motueka responded well to the conditions as did Rakau and Waimea. Aroma intensity scores were high on average throughout grading and selection with Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka and Moutere really standing up well to the conditions. Harvest volumes are set to increase further in coming seasons as new plantings continue to mature and further developments and expansion on planted areas continue.“

South Africa Report:

According to importer Greg Crum of ZA Hops: “In general, the yield for 2019 was about 5% less than expected.  While not great, it is better than for 2018. 2019 also brought a second straight year of drought, though drought conditions were not as bad as for 2018.  Farms that had adequate water in their reservoirs faired better than those who didn’t.  For example, one farm ran out of water about two months prior to harvest and their crop of Southern Passion was rejected. South African hops will be available this year in North America through ZA Hops with sales to homebrewers via a new commerce website.” Direct to consumer commerce site was still in development during production of this piece.

What’s New

The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor

If you are looking to take your IPAs (or any hop-forward beer) to the next level, Scott Janish has pouring through scientific research that he disseminates into a new hop-lover’s compendium. His blog posts at has for the past several years has been a bastion for those looking to brew hazy style IPAs — with insight into not only the key ingredients for brewing the style, but also techniques and tools that brewers can utilize to get the most out of the style. In The New IPA, he refines concepts from his blog and lays them out into an orderly guide to making the most of this style. For more information on the book or to order a copy for yourself, vist:

BTH Brew Supplies Gentle Rain Fly Sparger

The new Gentle Rain Fly Sparger is made for all-grain brewers looking for an effective sparge water dispersal system. Using a six-hole, billet-machined stainless steel nozzle, it comes equipped to connect directly to your hot liquor tank. The 7-piece sparging kit includes an acrylic plate that fits over most mash tuns, two ½-in. stainless steel disconnects, 24-in. (60-cm) food-grade silicone tubing, and two stainless worm clamps. Tubing can be trimmed to best fit your system. The kit retails for $48.99 and the steel nozzle can be purchased separately. Find out more at

The ANVIL Foundry™

This new all-in-one brewing system features an ultra low-watt density, triple element heater in order to prevent scorching. Currently available in two sizes, a 10.5-gallon (40-L) model to produce 5-gallon (19-L) batches and a 6.5-gallon (24.6-L) model, which produces 3-gallon (11-L) batches. The Foundry can switch between 120V, 1600W, 13A rating and 240V, 2800W, 12A rating if the brewer is looking for faster heating times. The high flow grain basket is designed to eliminate stuck mashes and the large capacity increases efficiency. The unit comes with an immersion chiller with hoses and fittings. Optional recirculation pump kit and a distillation kit are available as well. Units start at $274.99. Learn more at

Blichmann Engineering Spunding Valve

Pressurized fermentation is a great option for creating lager-like flavor profiles at room temperature, without the hassle of temperature control. And you can complete your fermentations faster and easier. The Blichmann Engineering Spunding Valve is purpose-built for homebrewers to control your pressures with precision. Research by Blichmann Engineering and White Labs shows significant reduction of esters (fruity flavors found in most ales) and low levels of diacetyl, by fermenting under pressure. Homebrewers can also naturally carbonate their beer and the spunding valve can be used for counter-pressure transfers. This spunding valve has fine adjustments from 0 to 35 psi and is suitable for vessles up to 42 gallons (160 L). It’s offered in 1⁄2-in. NPT and tri-clamp models. For more visit:

Briess Blonde RoastOat™ Malt

This oat malt is lightly roasted (4 °L), providing a mild sweetness with full mouthfeel — and can be used to impart character and flavor to any beer style. Higher levels of usage will create a progressively clean, “oaty” flavor. Blonde RoastOat™ malt does not have any diastatic power, so 30% would probably be the maximum recommended when used in conjunction with a high-diastatic base malt. Blonde RoastOat™ kernels are thinner than whole kernel malted barley so changing the gap setting on your mill is recommended. For more visit:

Spike Flex

The new Spike FLEX is a small-batch, 5-gallon (19-L) fermenter that is meant to fill the gap between pro-style conical unitanks and a glass carboy or plastic bucket fermenter. The FLEX was designed with versatility in mind. The base FLEX model features include sanitary welded 1.5-in. tri-clamp fittings, a liquid crystal stick-on thermometer, a three-piece valve and 5⁄8-in. quick-connect racking arm, which rotates for clearer beer transfers. The domed, five-clip lid holds 2 PSI and includes an airlock, bung and a 4-in. tri-clamp port. The FLEX+ adds several upgrades to the base model including the ability to hold 15 psi. There are over 20 accessories that can be added to the base FLEX to control temperatures, pressure transfer, and carbonate. Learn more at:

Upcoming Events

September 16 – Early Discount deadline for 2019 NanoCon

Join Nano breweries (and Nanos in planning) for two days packed with over 30 seminars, workshops, and events geared just for you – the small-scale commercial brewery, or brewery in-planning, working on smaller systems – in Vancouver, WA just across the bridge from Portland, OR. Save $100 when you sign up by September 16! For more information, visit:

October 5 Fresh Hop Ale Festival

Located in Yakima Valley, Washington. This is a non-profit organization that hosts a combined beer festival with music and competition (homebrew and professional) to raise money for local art and science programs. 2019 marks the 17th annual festival, which has a goal “to drink some amazing craft beer, and do some good!”

October 19 2nd Annual CYC Beer Fest

Hosted by the homebrew club SoCal Cerveceros Y Cerveceras, the CYC Beer Fest is located at the Plaza De La Raza in Los Angeles, California. Homebrew and craft beer will be pouring, as well as a lineup of local food vendors, and artisan craft vendors. This is a fundraiser event for Latino-owned businesses, charities, and non-profits.

November 2 – Entry Deadline

The 8th annual Beer For Boobs competition organized by the Scioto Olentangy Darby Zymurgists (SODZ) is open to any amateur homebrewer age 21 or older. All net proceeds go to benefit Beer for Boobs breast cancer research, a non-profit organization started by White Labs founder and Vice President Lisa White. To date, SODZ has raised over $6,000 for the charity. All entries must be received by November 2 and judging takes place November 16. For more information or to register, visit