So as most of you know in reading my posts, my counterpoint to Kim’s book passion is my passion for beer brewing. I’ve been doing it for around a year, and it incorporates a lot of the things I like in general: science, the ability to be creative, and a delicious result, beer! Additionally, it’s more economical than buying beer of a similar quality as it costs approximately $30 per batch (resulting in approximately 50 12 oz. bottles). Although it may seem like there is little in common between our passions, there is actually a large market for home brewing books. Although home brewing has been around for decades, there has been a huge increase in interest recently with the increasing availability of quality ingredients and the proliferation of online brew shops. With this explosion of interest, there has been much more emphasis on technique and method in order to steer new home brewers in the right direction. To that end, here are three crucial resources that I’ve used in my growth of a home brewer:
The Complete Joy of Home Brewing (Third Edition)
by Charlie Papazian
This book is the epitome of a common home brewing axiom: relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew. Often, new home brewers tend to over-worry about small details of their home brewing process. This axiom is used often to reassure them that 99% of the time the brewing and fermentation process is self-correcting. The fact that producing beer is often self-correcting and nothing illness-causing can be formed from making it, shows that it is difficult to truly mess up. Therefore, newer brewers can heed Papazian’s warning and really relax. Papazian’s writing style is humorous and candid, while he makes sure to hit all the finer points of brewing. Informative and fun, this book is a great primer to home brewing, where techniques can be learned and built upon.
How to Brew by John Palmer
This book was definitely written for me. Starting with easy to understand methods that walk a brewer through a typical brew day, How to Brew
then moves into the more complex science behind the brewing process. The chemical properties of the mash, the effect of sugar conversion on the finished beer, and yeast strains are just a few of the things that are covered in technical detail. I find myself going back to this book often, as it provides new information every time I open it. As someone with a science background, I like how Palmer discusses the science but makes it understandable enough for someone without such a background. He shows us how although making beer can be a simple process, it can expand into different levels of control that can make a good homebrew even better! The first edition of his book in its entirety can be found online here
How do I even explain this site? Although it’s not technically a book, it helps me just as much as the other two resources, serving to augment the basic techniques I’ve learned. Always changing, the site is full of experienced members who are more than happy to help newer members with their home brewing. The site is full of DIY instructions, product reviews, commercial beer reviews, and much much more. I visit it often to improve my brewing process, and it’s a great environment for me to share the things I’ve learned with newer members. I’ve even sold a few of my unused brewing items on the site. It’s an awesome resource for anyone who loves to make beer.
So there you have it! The above are the three main resources that I consult in my brewing. I definitely encourage anyone who has an interest in brewing to check them out. Also, I’d love to help those of you considering home brewing! You can contact me by using the form here, on the contact page. Happy brewing!