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BYO News Page

Updated November 22, 2021

Homebrew News

A Toast To Larry Bell And His Retirement

In early November 2021, the latest news item in the beer world rippled across social media, beer forums, and news sites with seismic proportions. Larry Bell announced his retirement and the sale of Bell’s Brewery to Lion, a subsidiary of Kirin Brewery (Lion is also the owner of New Belgium Brewing). As those of us that have been in the industry or hobby for a number of years know, Larry Bell’s impacts on the modern beer world have been huge and influential. With this in mind, we wanted to give a little recap about what he has done for beer lovers around the globe.

Starting as a homebrew shop under the name Kalamazoo Brewing Supplies in 1983, Bell was already deep into our hobby that only had been legalized in the U.S. five years prior. Bell was a highly experimental homebrewer who in 1985 made the difficult leap into the commercial beer world under the name Bell’s Brewery. Operating on a nano-sized system for the first five years of existence and self-distributing their beers, Larry showed other aspiring homebrewers what was possible. Many of the beers originally featured in Bell’s lineup are still found today like Kalamazoo Stout, Amber Ale, and Bell’s Porter. Larry paved the way for what would become one of the epicenters of the modern U.S. craft beer movement based in Michigan, and the momentum he helped build has spread not only through the country, but around the globe as well.

So from everyone here at Brew Your Own magazine, let’s all raise a toast to Larry Bell, what he has accomplished, and what he has done for the modern homebrewing and craft beer movements. Cheers!

Ancient Beer and Cheese Pairing

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

While this story may not send anyone scrambling in search of an ancient recipe or down the path towards a new strain of yeast used in beer of old . . . scientists found in Austrian salt mines 2,700-year-old human feces with clear evidence of beer and cheese consumption by its creator. A new subject to us, paleofeces is the study of ancient, preserved feces. Researchers, using DNA sequencing technology, were able to pinpoint two specialized microorganisms in the preserved remains: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, beer yeast, and Penicillium roqueforti, fungi used to create blue cheese. While we know that beer and other fermented food products would have been known to the people of the day, just how widespread their availability was during the Iron Age becomes a little more clear. The fact that folks in that time utilized the same organisms our modern techniques use is fairly intriguing. To read more or find out how to possibly become a paleofeceologist, visit: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(21)01271-9

Untrained Beer Tasters Can Distinguish Different Barley Types

Photo courtesy of Evan Craine/Washington State University

Researchers at Washington State University set about to test four new breeds of barley that they developed by gathering a large group of beer drinkers to taste SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beers brewed using those four new barley strains. They compared the new varietals against a beer with the high-quality and popular Copeland strain of barley. While the trained beer drinkers were easily able to distinguish between the five beers, what surprised researchers most was that even a large group of untrained beer drinkers could distinguish the differences. Some beers contained “fruity and sweet aromatic” flavors while another one had “citrus” qualities according to panelists. They found that tasters preferred the newer varietals more than the Copeland. Keep your eyes out for news about the release of these new varietals from maltsters. https://news.wsu.edu/2021/07/20/untrained-beer-drinkers-can-taste-different-barley-genotypes/



What’s New

Oast House Oils

If you’re a big fan of hop-forward beers but cringe at the loss of all the precious beer during the dry hopping stage, a new line from Isolate Labs called Oast House Oils offers a solution. Using super-critical CO2 processing to extract hop oils, the folks at Isolate have developed a range of hop products that are split into two groupings. One group is their Fusion Hop Terpenes line that is extracted oil from specific hop varietals. The other group is called the Citrus Terpenes, which at the time of production of this issue, offered an orange and a grapefruit. These oils dissolve quickly into beer and are meant to replace standard dry hops. These products are available for both homebrewers and commercial-scale. Learn more at https://oasthouseoils.com/

Grainfather S40 & G40

The Grainfather has come out with two new mid-sized all-in-one countertop brewing systems, both with a 12-gallon (40-L) pre-boil maximum capacity. The G40 (seen here) grain bill maxes out at 26 lbs. (12 kg) while the S40 can go up to 22 lbs. (10 kg) of grain. You can brew a high-ABV recipe on these systems simply by brewing a smaller volume. The G40 allows brewers to manage a brew remotely with the smart controller that has built-in wireless connectivity. Both systems connect to the Grainfather app. Another difference is the G40 comes with 3,300W of power while the S40 has 2,300W, while both run on 230V. To learn more, visit https://shop.grainfather.com/us/shop/brewing.html

Blichmann Tri-Clamp G2 Linear Flow Valves

The G2 Linear Flow valve is now available for tri-clamp brew systems. The linear flow design allows brewers to fine-tune flow rate for sparging, lautering, and chilling. The built-in 90-degree outlet can be oriented at any angle to make hose routing kink-free. These valves disassemble for cleaning by simply removing a retainer clip and unscrewing the valve. The silicone grip handles temperatures up to 600 °F (315 °C) so it won’t melt like vinyl on ball valves. https://www.blichmannengineering.com/tri-clamp-g2-valve.html

Omega Dried Lutra Kveik OYL-071Dry

The same clean Lutra that homebrewers and professional brewers have used in liquid is now available in a convenient dry format. Dried Lutra’s clean fermentation profile, wide temperature range, high alcohol tolerance, and fast finishing speeds means flexibility for a wide range of styles. Brewers have employed this strain for brewing a pseudo-lager to a big imperial stout with a temperature range from 68–95 °F (20–35 °C), an alcohol tolerance up to 15%, phenolic off-flavor negative (POF-), and attenuation in the 75–82% range. And, as with all dried yeast, shipping in heat or cold conditions is much less worrisome. Dried Lutra is a gluten-free product. https://omegayeast.com/yeast/kveiks/dried-lutra-kveik

Omega Cosmic Punch™ OYL-402

Omega Yeast has launched a new series of yeast strains and Cosmic Punch™ is the first in this new Thiolized™ series. As the name suggests the new strains will be geared towards working on hop thiols, specifically biotransformations on the sulfurous compounds that lend highly tropical fruit character to hop-forward beers (think grapefruit, passion fruit, and guava). The parent strain is Omega’s popular British V (OYL-011), sometimes referred to as the Boddington strain by some homebrewers. As with the parent strain, they do recommend a good aeration or oxygenation of the wort for pitching to make sure the yeast reaches full attenuation. Expect to get similar performance and haze levels that have made the parent strain popular, but experimentation of hopping schedule is recommended to play with the biotransformative capabilities of the new strain. Learn more at https://omegayeast.com/yeast/ales/cosmic-punch-ale

The Fermentation Kitchen

Fermented foods are experiencing a surge in popularity due to potential health benefits and the flavors they provide. Brewer and distiller Gabe Toth has dedicated 15 years to learning and experimenting with the fundamentals of fermented vegetables, condiments, sausage, dairy, meat, bread, vinegar, kombucha, and other live-culture foods. In The Fermentation Kitchen, he provides lessons and easy-to-follow information that is both technical and practical. Part how-to guide, part cookbook, and part reference manual, The Fermentation Kitchen is a wide-ranging introduction to fermentation for brewers, food enthusiasts, and home fermentationists who want to go beyond just recipes to understand what’s happening as their food is transformed. Learn more or purchase at https://www.brewerspublications.com/products/the-fermentation-kitchen

Anvil Brewing High Precision Brewing Scale

A new high-precision digital scale from Anvil Brewing Equipment has a 5-in. x 5-in. (13-cm x 13-cm) weighing surface and a large backlit screen for easy viewing. The scale’s weight capacity is 6.6 lbs. (3 kg), meaning it should not be used for purposes like weighing out base grains. But with a precision of 0.05 oz. (0.1 g), it makes the scale ideal for water salt measurements, hops, and specialty grains. It’s easy to toggle between ounces and grams and it includes sample trays. There is also a built-in timer so that batteries will not die if left on. Batteries are included. Learn more at: https://www.anvilbrewing.com/product-p/anv-scale-small-v2.htm

Dry Run Protection On Blichmann Riptide™ Pumps

Brewers who utilize pumps in their brewhouse often fear that noise; the high-pitch screeching noise when the pump loses prime and the pumphead runs dry. It can melt and warp the impeller head, seizing the pump if left on too long. This can also damage performance if left dry in shorter stints. Blichmann Engineering now offers dry run protection on all of its RipTide™ pump models. This new version utilizes a carbon fiber impeller that can withstand the intense heat caused by having the pumphead dry while the impeller is spinning. Due to supply chain issues, these impellers are only available in new pumps, but Blichmann Engineering does plan to sell them as an upgrade in the future. Learn more at https://www.blichmannengineering.com/riptide-brewing-pump.html

SafCider Yeast

Fermentis has announced a new line of yeast strains geared specifically for cidermakers. There are many different ways to produce a cider across the globe and there are many cidermakers who want to innovate and create a new style of cider to feed diversity in this cider world. Different cider styles require different technical demands on the yeast when picking a yeast strain for your cider. To make this selection process easier for the cidermaker, Fermentis has created four new cider strains to obtain the cider profile they desire. SafCider AB-1 for balanced ciders, SafCider AC-4 for fresh and crisp cider, SafCider AS-2 to bring sweetness to your cider, and SafCider TF-6 to maximize the fruitiness of your ciders. These strains are available in 5-g sachets for cider production at home. To discover more visit www.fermentis.com


Upcoming Events

December 3–4 — BYO NanoCon Online

Get your questions answered live by speakers, meet and learn from fellow attendees, and talk with vendors specializing in the small-scale Nano brewing niche. Don’t miss this targeted conference for anyone running (or thinking about starting) a small-scale craft brewery. Learn the new business, marketing, and brewing strategies targeted for your sized needs at NanoCon Online December 3 & 4. From strategies to building back taproom sales to more accurately managing cash flow to checking out the latest nano-scaled gear, you’ll learn invaluable and very timely strategies over two days from experts and Nano brewers. 30+ Online Seminars – Recorded live and available for reference as video recordings. https://byo.com/nanocon/2021-nanocon-online-overview-2/

BYO Online Brewing Workshops

January 14, 2022 1 pm to 5 pm (Eastern) — Home Draft Systems with Bill Jablonski

January 28, 2022 1 pm to 5 pm (Eastern) — Sour Beer Techniques with Michael Tonsmeire

February 4, 2022 2 pm to 6 pm (Eastern) — Distilling with Aaron Hyde

February 25, 2022 1 pm to 5 pm (Eastern) — Home Hop Growing with Eric Sannerud