Updated January 24, 2019
Sierra Nevada Resilience Butte County Proud IPA
November, 2018 brought about California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire to date; known as the Camp Fire due to its origins on Camp Creek Road. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, based in Chico, California narrowly avoided the destruction that affected neighboring Butte County towns like Paradise and Concow. In response, the brewery created Resilience IPA, which 100% of the proceeds will go to support friends, employees, and neighbors affected by the Camp Fire via the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund. You can donate here. In addition, Sierra Nevada made a call out to the greater brewing community to support the effort. In response, over one thousand breweries and countless homebrewers have used the recipe provided by Sierra Nevada to brew their own Resilience IPA with proceeds going for the relief effort. The rebuild process will take years, so while the immediate threat is over, every dollar counts. The beer will be available in late December according to Sierra Nevada or you can brew a batch yourself. Find the recipe here.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
A recent study published in Nature Metabolism, found a possible explanation of why certain cellular organisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, produce ethanol. According to scientists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, the reason may actually lie in the fact that it is a way to slow energy production, sort of like an engine governor. When placed in a nutrient-rich environment, such as those found in brewer’s wort, a yeast cell heads into hyper-drive metabolically speaking. When energy production exceeds a certain level, the yeast cells will switch from respiration to fermentation, effectively slowing down energy production.
This self-regulated “safety cap” on the cell’s metabolic rate means that instead of taking each 6-carbon sugar ring and fully respiring the sugar down to 6 carbon dioxides, we instead get 2 ethanol and 2 carbon dioxide molecules. This is a lot less energy efficient (19 times less efficient) for the yeast cell . . . but this, biologically speaking, may actually be a good thing for the organism. What the scientists theorize is that this excess energy would stir up too much motion within the cell, effectively harming key cellular functions acting within the cell. Meanwhile, ethanol production by yeast has traditionally been viewed as a biological advantage, as ethanol is lethal to many competing organisms. So, the question then is, why did this ethanol-producing mutation occur? Was it for cellular safety reasons or was it for biological advantage? Maybe a little of both — but to read more about the study, visit: www.nature.com/articles/s42255-018-0006-7
Blichmann Engineering Modular Power Controller
For brewers that are looking to get into electric brewing or to upgrade their boil control capabilities, the folks at Blichmann Engineering have crafted a controller for you. Available in a 240 V (7200 W) and 120 V (2400 W) model, this power controller is designed for boil kettles where temperature control is not needed. Utilizing linear power control allows for 0–100% optimization of the potential power of the immersion heater. This unit was designed to be plugged into the BoilCoil, but works with all manufacturers’ immersion heaters and can control up to 4 additional relays if more than one heating element is used in the kettle. Find out more at
Formerly known as HBC 438, the Sabro™ hop is the latest release from the Hop Breeding Company. Bred from wild hops indigenous to the American Southwest, Humulus lupulus var. neomexicanus. A unique brewing hop with notes of tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit, and stone fruit, but some tasters note cedar, mint, and cream in the mix as well. These are available for purchase at better homebrew shops and several online vendors. Or keep your eye out for a commercially-brewed beer with them in order to give this unique hop variety a taste. For more information on this variety, check out the “Hot New Hops” article found in the March-April 2019 issue.
March 15 — WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition is open to all homemade ciders, meads, and wine. Entry deadline is March 15 for the largest amateur competition of its kind in the world. Learn more at www.winemakermag.com/competition.
March 22–23 — BYO Boot Camps are being held in Asheville, North Carolina. Join BYO for this unique learning experience, offering a range of in-depth, full-day, small-class brewing courses split over two days. Space is limited, so sign up now. Additionally, there are local craft brewery tours available. Learn more at BYOBootCamp.com.