BYO News Page

Updated August 28, 2023

Homebrew News

New Realm Brewing Co. Teams Up with Auburn University

auburn university and new realm brewing's logos

An announced collaboration between Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Brewing Science and Operations program and Atlanta, Georgia-based New Realm Brewing Co. offers an exciting new look at the way brewing education programs may move. New Realm operates production breweries and distilleries, each with on-site scratch kitchens serving globally inspired, locally sourced fare, in multiple Southeastern U.S. cities. New Realm’s newest location at Auburn opened mid-summer in the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, home to the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management in the College of Human Sciences. Students will receive hands-on training in the 7-barrel brewhouse as well as the taproom. New Realm’s head brewer based there will be an affiliated professor alongside team members who will be guest lecturers on a variety of topics including brewing, distilling, recipe development, and supply chain management.

Yeast Gene Discovered That Makes Beer Hazy

a flight of five hazy beers
Photo courtesy of

The folks at Omega Yeast announced that their Research and Development team discovered the gene that promotes haze in beers when certain key elements are added to the beer, like dry hops. The team, led by Dr. Laura Burns, separated yeast strains into two categories, those that left a haze in the beer and those that cleared. They named the strains that made the beer turbid the haze-positive strains. They tested variations on the recipes and dry hop timing, but the results with the haze-positive strains were always the same . . . they left a milky haze in the beer. Since yeast strain traits control other factors of its performance such as attenuation, phenolic production, and flocculation, they hypothesized that genes also controlled the haze characteristic as well.

After several genetic studies on the haze-positive strains, they finally found what they called HZY1, the gene that codes for the yeast strain characteristic that produces hazy beers. Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, they were able to remove this gene from haze-positive yeast strains and found that they now produced clear beers. We’re sure that more research into the gene and how it creates the haze will be forthcoming from this exciting discovery.

AI Wins Beer Recipe Competition Over Humans

cans of human vs. robot generated recipes
Photo courtesy of 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co.

The rise of AI (artificial intelligence) has become a hot-button topic over the last few years as its availability is on the rise and is not universally loved. A Saskatoon, Canada, brewery, 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co., recently held a competition that pitted an AI-derived recipe against their own brewing team’s recipe. As you learned in the title, the AI-produced recipe garnered the most votes when it came time to serve the beer to the judges — their customers — in a people’s choice award judging system. 

While this seems like a bit of a shock, when you dig into the details you realize that the AI-derived recipe was really just partially computer made with a heavy hand from the brewers themselves, having to refresh the recipe 5 or 6 times before a feasible recipe came to pass. A few of the first recipes were up near distillates strength, at 40% ABV. The brewing process was also heavily modified by the brewing team. So while this was a fun event to hear about, brewers worldwide shouldn’t be worried that AI will be taking over their creative avenue just yet. But it does show how AI could possibly be of assistance.

Bottles Vs. Cans

beer bottle and can on ice
Photo courtesy of

It’s been a question openly discussed in many craft beer and brewing circles over the last two decades — which is better for beer stability, cans or bottles? Well, in a study published by the American Chemical Society, researchers put it to the test. They looked at two beers, an amber ale and an IPA, brewed at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado, and tested the two aging beers over the course of 6 months. One thing those familiar with this topic know is that the total package oxygen (TPO) of the beer is very impactful. It was surprising to see that for both beers the TPO was slightly higher for the bottling lines, although all four packaging runs were well within normal range for industry standards of 0–150 ppb. 

The study concluded that for the amber ale the bottled beer was the clear winner over time maintaining a much fresher character, which supports traditionalists’ claim that bottled beer tastes better. Results for the IPA were not as clear-cut. It was theorized that the extra polyphenolic load from the hops were possibly the reason for the differences. We hope to see more research coming out on the topic.

What’s New

Solo Panel

spike solo electric panel

Ready to make the jump from propane to electric? The new Solo Panel from Spike Brewing allows for an easy transition with no autotuning required, a 3.2-in. (8.1-cm) LCD screen, and plenty of mounting options. Available in 120V and 240V options, it can handle up to 3000W at 120V and 6000W with the 240V version. Aircraft-style toggle switches turn elements or pumps on and off. There are manual or auto modes, as well as mash or boil modes to control either temperature or percent power delivered to your vessels via a rotary dial. Microprocessor driven, an internal heat sink and fan dissipate the heat. Includes a 6-ft. (1.8-m) power cord and a 10-ft. (3-m) temperature probe.

Brewery Safety Book

front cover of Brewery Safety book

It’s not just about government regulation, it is also about making your brewery the best brewery possible — for your beer, your staff, and your visitors. Breweries face hazards that can be divided into physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and psychosocial hazards. Learning to address these aspects of safety to ensure a safe product and working environment is key. From physical trauma to chemical irritations, biological hazards to psychosocial hazards, Brewery Safety explores how to think about and avoid these hazards. Learn to evaluate, educate, and execute safety conscious measures to ensure that the working environment, welfare of staff, and the quality of the product are first and foremost.

Horizontal Lagering Tanks

For small-scale craft breweries, new stackable horizontal lagering tanks from Blichmann Engineering are now available for those looking to take their lagers to the next level. Available as single tanks or stacking pairs, they allow brewers to free up fermenter space during lagering. A 5-degree slope ensures a good sedimentation at the bottom of the tank. Available in sizes ranging from 5-BBL up to 30-BBL capacity, horizontal lagering tanks help shorten required lagering times. Other features include a sample port with Perlick-style valve, analog thermometer, carbonation stone, and clean-in-place (CIP) arm and rotary spray ball.

Boilermaker Surface™

blichmann boilermaker surface kettle with heating element in the floor of the kettle

The classic Boilermaker kettle from Blichmann Engineering has a new line of electric kettles in their G2 series that is designed to reduce your brew day cleaning routine. The heating element is bonded to the underside of the kettle, eliminating the “hard-to-clean” immersion heating element found in most electric kettles, which makes the Surface™ kettle faster and easier to clean since the element isn’t in contact with the beer. Kettles are available with either weldless NPT or welded tri-clamp inlets and outlets and can be used as a boil kettle, hot liquor tank, or mash tun (with a recirculating system). An ultra-low watt density element spreads the heat out over the entire floor of the kettle. Blichmann recommends pairing with a BrewCommander Brewhouse Controller.

Aroma Sciences Heartwood™

aroma sciences heartwood infusions with different wood types and toast levels

A new line of extracts from Aroma Sciences utilizes evaporative extraction technology that can instantly add oak character to any beer. The natural oak-barrel extracts are available in a wide range of offerings including both American and French oak barrel profiles in light, medium, dark, and extra dark toast levels. There are also a number of spirit-aged barrel extracts such as American whiskey, tequila, Caribbean rum, Brazilian cachaça, and French oak brandy. The extracts remove the risks inherent to the oak barrel aging process such as the risk for spoilage bacteria. It also allows precisely metered oak additions to your brew, ranging from nearly imperceptible to strong oak character in any style of beer.

Grainfather GC2 Glycol Chiller

grainfather GC2 glycol chiller

A new 2-stage glycol chiller is launching from Grainfather. It will be very similar to the current GC4 Glycol Chiller (4-stage) that was launched by Grainfather a few years ago, but it will only feature ports for running glycol to two different fermenters, instead of four. The unit will be much smaller, weigh less, and will have a lower price point and weight ($999.95 | 49 lbs.) than the GC4 ($1,199 | 62 lbs.). Both the GC2 (new) and the GC4 feature wireless control capabilities, so users can cold-crash their beer as low as 39 °F (4 °C). Both units are designed to sync seamlessly with the GF30 conical fermenter, or the Grainfather Glycol Chiller Adapter (GCA) kit, which allows users to hook up to almost any kind of fermenter on the market.

The Mongoose Immersion Wort Chiller

exchilerator's mongoose immersion chiller

Designed with 5-gallon (19-L) batch brewers in mind, the Mongoose is engineered in both depth and diameter requirements for submersion in systems of that size. Even a 5-gallon (19-L) batch in a 20-gallon (76-L) kettle has just a small showing of copper coil out of the wort. With a total outside diameter of 10⅜ in. (190 cm) and a height of about 7 in. (18 cm), this chiller fits pretty much every kettle or all-in-one system on the market. With 75 ft. (23 m) of U.S.-made convected copper heat transfer, you can expect rapid and efficient wort cooling and a cold break at the end of every brew day.

White Labs Dry Yeast Sachets

dry yeast sachet for white labs california ale wlp001

White Labs is now offering their popular WLP001 (California Ale) strain in a dried format. At the time of publication, there were only 500-g bricks available for purchase, but homebrew-sized, 11-g sachets are set to be coming down the pipeline soon. The California strain is well known to ferment cleanly with relatively few by-products, is a strong attenuator, has high-alcohol tolerance, and is well-suited for a wide array of beer styles.

Sensory Training For Sour Beer

siebel institute's sour beer sensory training kit logo

The rise of sour beers calls for an understanding that pH and total acidity are not the only parameters to be taken into consideration for this beer category. Organic acids, diacetyl, and biogenic amines are all produced via specific bacterial metabolic pathways that are species- and strain-dependent. The Siebel Institute Sour Sensory Training Kit offers 6 vials with different compounds commonly produced by microbiological acidifying agents such as bacteria. Each vial allows for spiking 1 L of beer.

Spike Brewing’s CIP Lid For Tanks and Kettles

spike brewings CIP (clean-in-place) lid with a port for sprayball for kettles and tanks

A standard for the commercial brewing world is being able to CIP (clean-in-place) any larger vessel. Spike Brewing now has made an optional lid for their homebrew-sized tanks and kettles available specifically to perform this task. This stainless steel lid has a port for a CIP ball (sold separately) so cleanup is easier and more efficient. It can be used on all their tanks and bottom-drain systems. The CIP lid will also work for all OG kettles as well. The lid has a welded 1.5-in. port to install the CIP ball. They recommend running your brew pump for 5–10 minutes for a squeaky clean finish.

Upcoming Event

September 17, 2023

Aurora City Brew Club logo

Verticals For Vets

Hosted by the Aurora City Brew Club, the Verticals for Vets is an auction and all proceeds will go the the Veterans Community Project. The club has acquired a collection of the sought after Thomas Hardy Ale, spanning from 1986–1997 and will be auctioning off the vertical. Also available is a range of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Ale brewed between 2011–2016.

September 23, 2023

2023 Brewstock Fest logo

Brewstock Fest

The second annual event will take place at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 before September 1, and $50 after that date. There is unlimited sampling of over 100 homebrews for attendees as well as a free sampling cup. Each pourer will have a chance to win the Best of Fest competition since attendees will be voting for their favorite.

October 19, 2023

Early Discount Deadline

Save $100 when you register by October 19 for 2023 NanoCon Online, which takes place November 3&4, 2023. This is also the deadline for attendees with a U.S. mailing address to receive a NanoCon Goodie Box. 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.

Issue: July-August 2023