BYO News Page

Updated October 9, 2021

Homebrew News

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.

2020 Craft Beer Sales

Photo courtesy of

The Brewers Association released their 2020 Craft Brewing Industry Production Report, which showed something that most folks were expecting given the business climate last year. In the U.S., craft beer sales fell by 9% year-over-year compared to 2019 with draught sales down more than 40%. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and taproom closures for long durations across many regions, this news is not all that surprising for most in the industry. Craft beer sales represented about 24% of overall beer sales market share in 2020.

One thing is for sure, craft brewers of all sizes, but most notably the small, taproom-focused craft brewers found they needed to diversify, adapt, and grow more business savvy in order to compete and reach customers. The number of craft brewers in the U.S. continued to climb with 716 new breweries opening doors while 346 closed, bringing the total number of operating breweries in the country to an all-time high of 8,764, according to the report.

What’s New

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

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

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:

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

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

Anvil Oxygen Free Transfer Kit

For use with their Crucible™ conical fermenters and stainless steel bucket fermenters, the new Oxygen Free Transfer Kit from Anvil Brewing Equipment creates a closed loop environment for the transfer of your homebrews. The transfer starts with a purged Corny keg. The beer is filled from the bottom as the CO2 from the keg cycles to the top of the fermenter. The kit contains a 4-ft. (1.2-m) liquid hose, a 5-ft. (1.5-m) gas hose, a liquid ball-lock disconnect, 90° polypropylene elbow, gas ball-lock disconnect, and all the necessary connections to create the closed loop. Retail price is $35 and more information can be found at:

LalBrew Farmhouse

A new yeast hybrid called LalBrew Farmhouse is the result of the research and development work of Renaissance Biosciences in Vancouver, British Columbia. Both lab and field trials have confirmed this yeast as unique, performant, and displaying a desirable saison flavor profile. The Renaissance research team used classical and non-GMO science to produce a strain that did not have the STA1 gene, responsible for the diastatic activity of traditional saison yeast strains. Care was taken to retain normal brewing sugar utilization to produce dry saisons. Additionally, the patented technology from UC-Davis ensures that the strain will not produce sulfurous off-flavors, therefore enhancing the saison yeast’s aroma characteristics.

BeerSmith Web-Based Recipe Editor

BeerSmith has two new announcements, first is a web-based version of BeerSmith 3 along with a desktop BeerSmith 3.2 update. BeerSmith Web lets you to edit your cloud-based recipes from anywhere by simply logging into your cloud account at This new web-based layout can be utilized on your desktop, tablet, and phone/mobile devices. This new service is a free upgrade to all Gold, Platinum, and Professional BeerSmith 3 license holders. There is a free 30-day trial available for new users along with online tutorials to help get you get started. When you purchase a Gold, Platinum, or Professional license for BeerSmith you get access to both the web-based recipe editor and the latest desktop program. Learn more at:

Mangrove Jack’s M12 Kveik Yeast

A top fermenting yeast, Voss kveik offers fast fermentation at very high temperatures while retaining a neutral flavor character with subtle citrus fruit notes. M12 Kveik Yeast is suitable for a range of styles from Norwegian farmhouse ales to hop-forward beers like IPAs. This is both a high attenuation and high flocculation yeast strain that brewers can ferment in the range of 68–104 °F (20–40 °C), but for optimal results between 86–104 °F (30–40 °C).

Cryo Pop™ Blend

Using advanced chemical identification tools, Yakima Chief has developed a new hop pellet blend that is meant to provide strong tropical, stone fruit, and citrus aromas. While designed for single-hop usage, brewers can opt to blend with other hops as well in order to enhance and elevate the characteristics of other varieties. Cryo Pop™ pellets, formerly known as TRI2304CR, are well suited for loading whirlpool and active fermentation dry hop additions with these characteristics, thus creating an environment for yeast and hops to provide maximum aroma expression.

Brewing With Cannabis

A new book from Brewers Publications introduces the convergence of marijuana and brewing in the modern craft beer movement. Learn about the agriculture and biology of cannabis, unique characteristics of the plant, and the similarities between cannabis and hop plants. Delve into how and why the plant produces compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, how they function, and how to incorporate them into homebrew and commercial beer recipes.

Upcoming Events

November 4–6, 2021 — In-Person BYO Boot Camps

Join us for three full days packed with in-person brewing learning experiences. You’ll have two days of hands-on, small-class learning from brewing experts
in your choice of eight different full-day workshops. Plus you’ll have a full
bonus third day of back-to-back seminars from our experts so you have a
chance to learn from all our speakers beyond your small-class workshops. Save $100 by registering for a three-day option by September 7, 2021.

November 6 — Learn to Homebrew Day

On the first Saturday in November, thousands of people will gather at Learn to Homebrew Day sites worldwide to brew beer and learn about the hobby of homebrewing. In 1999, Learn to Homebrew Day was established to promote the most rewarding and delicious activity of all time — homebrewing. Grab some friends, pull together a recipe, and show them the beauty of homebrewing this year.

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.