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AHB Articles: Brewing Books and Brew Related Readings


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#21 Wolfy

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 10:22 AM

I have added "Brew Your Own British Real Ale". The recipes are a bit so - so but the first part of the book is a fine intro to AG brewing, goes deeply into yeasts, hops etc. This one book has actually changed my whole schedule, i.e. I now do a minimum 90 min mash and 90 min boil with 90 min hops as well. A must do read for UK ale brewers.

Lots of charming little pom-isms as well ... "place in a warm area at 18 degrees". Warm? if only :lol: :lol:

I actually felt a little different about the book.

The first section is an adequate introduction to brewing (but not in the same ball park as "How to Brew").
There are virtually no pictures, while some things are covered in more depth than I've seen elsewhere, other may not be mentioned at all.
For example, The recommendation for mash liquor volume is mentioned in one sentence in a not so obvious place (how can you brew without knowing how much water to use!). A 'cask' is often mentioned and even has it's own sub-section, however nowhere does it actually say what one is, what one looks like, how it could be used, or provide any actual useful information about them - obviously this would be resolved if one could walk into a LHBS and look/see/touch one, but from just reading the book its not obvious.
To me it seems like much of the content in the book assumes a certain amount of previous (and UK-centric) knowledge from the reader.

The second section, as advertised on the cover has "over 100 recipes to try".
Of those 6 are 'Porter and Stout', 16 are 'Mild Ale' and the rest are in the 'Pale Ale and Bitter' category.
One important thing to note, is that they only cover what CAMRA considers 'Real Ale' so there are a significant number of 'famous' British beers that do not get a mention.
Each recipe has only the briefest of descriptions (sometimes only a few words, never more than 1 paragraph).
The malt bill for the majority of the recipes is (perhaps as expected) monotonously similar, hop quantities and times are well explained.

The biggest disappointment for me was there is absolutely no information or indication as to what yeast(s) should be used for each recipe - if you lived in the UK you may know that (for example) the Camerons brewery is in Hartlepool (Newcastle upon Tyne) and be able make a guess what what type of yeast they may use - but the book gives no yeast-related recommendations for any of the recipes.
The author has said (on the UK forums) that he does not trust the various lists of where (apparently) each commercially available yeast originated from and that trying each of the different yeasts for each beer would have been an impossibility. So instead of even vague recommendations as to the style of yeast appropriate, he instead suggests (on the UK forums) that the home brewer use 1 or 2 house yeasts they are happy and comfortable with for every recipe in the book.

#22 hsb

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 11:41 AM

True about the malt bills and the lack of yeast information but I'm yet to find a superior text for cloning British Real Ales - is there one?
I've found it a good starter on All Grain British ales but am open to suggestion on anything better. I'm certainly very happy personally with the selection of brews they've chosen.

Can anyone also recommend a recipe book that covers German and Belgian recipes? I'm more interested in Altbier, Duvel clones by way of example rather than a bible of lagering.
Just finding my way a bit with AG and am happy to clone from recipes and then tweak from there for now.

The only one that jumped out from the Wiki was

Homebrew Favourites and More Homebrew Favourites, Lutzen and Stevens.
- 500 odd extract and AG recipes (Mainly AG and claiming to be BOS beers). Seemed very comprehensive.


Is this the one?

#23 MHB

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 12:40 PM

It was Graham Wheeler's first book "The CAMRA Guide to Home Brewing" that got me into mash brewing, his subsequent books do all say in in the preface that they are primarily recipe not how books, it's well worth getting your hands on a copy of the CAMRA guide if one comes your way tho I see them on US eBay for over $100 USD (the second edition is a lot better than the first).

Brew Classic European Beers at Home is another great book for more recipes by Wheeler.

If you're looking for it
Brew Classic European Beers At Home
Graham Wheeler & Roger Protz
ISBN 1-887167-02-1
Published By
G.W. Kent 1995 and 1997

MHB

#24 hsb

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 01:05 PM

Thanks a lot, that looks like exactly what I'm after, now to find someone with stock.


re: the CAMRA Guide - what is that? Do you mean their Good Beer Guide? Or is this some kind of Compendium of all Real Ales? $100USD is going to be bit much for me for now in any case, I've still got 90 different Wheeler recipes to try!

Edited by hsb, 23 July 2010 - 01:05 PM.


#25 MHB

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:56 PM

Try eBay, there are a few listed but try for the second edition, the ones up now are all 1st I think.
MHB

#26 outbreak

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:09 AM

I just purchased "Brewing Classic Styles." Apart from being a book full of recipes it is actually a really good read! I enjoyed reading Jamil's story behind each brews name and his hints and tips for each style. These recipes look good too, I dare say this book will be getting a lot of use.

#27 manticle

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:27 AM

Currently making my way through several of the classic beer series.

I recently bought Belgian ale (Pierre Rajotte) Altbier (Horst Dornbusch) Porter (Terry Foster) and stout (Michael J Lewis).

So far I've read Belgian ale and altbier and part of stout. I'll reserve adding to the list until I've finished reading these four - readers of others in the series can add.

However, briefly: Altbier - really interesting, quite informative about general rules and principles. Contains recipes as well as history and guidelines.
Belgian ale: As above but a few things that seem to contradict other stuff I've read (including BLAM). That's brewing though and getting different thoughts, perspectives etc enables you to try your own.
Stout: Only started reading the introductory history section - interesting info, annoying writing style with far too many exclamation marks and the guy seems to have a bit too much to say about Guinness. Will reserve judgement till I've finished.
Porter - only read intro.

Definitely a series worth looking at - all seem to follow a similar style - history, statistics, guidelines to brewing commercially and at home, equipment (actually altbier has a really good description of making your own mash/lauter tun which could be improved with pictures/diagrams) and recipes.

Down sides: Despite being written by people with wide living experience in the countries of origin, they are generally geared towards North American craft brewing and therefore every recipe/statistic etc is in imperial US measurements. Belgian ale shows some metric equivalents but not for everything. This is also my only gripe with 'Designing Great Beers' incidentally - especially for a book so heavily formulae/number centric.

Not a down side as such but these are books for people who know something about brewing already. They aim to simplify and not get overly scientific but a certain level of knowledge is assumed (or at least would make things a little clearer to the reader). Not necessarily for beginners.

Also making my way through 'wild brews' by Sparrow which I think is mentioned in the article. About half way through but gets my vote, as does Markovski's 'farmhouse ales'. Fascinating read for anyone into artisanal brewing styles.

#28 HoppingMad

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:17 PM

Homebrew Favourites and More Homebrew Favourites, Lutzen and Stevens.
- 500 odd extract and AG recipes (Mainly AG and claiming to be BOS beers). Seemed very comprehensive.


Have found 'Homebrew Favourites' book to be mainly extract based. Unlike other recipe books where there is a paragraph showing how to make each one an AG, this book has that lacking. A problem with the book is that all recipes are from different people around the US with no set format in terms of how they are laid out and occasionally there are omissions in the recipe that you have to guess. Another criticism I have (personal taste really), it that they are all very - well American. If you like looking at everything in Lovibond, using Tomahawk hops and using bucket loads of crystal malt then this has a lot of that. But there is some interesting recipes for the more adventurous brewers out there all the same.

Hopper.

Edited by HoppingMad, 02 December 2010 - 12:18 PM.


#29 citymorgue2

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:41 PM

remember to update the actual article fellas not just put the description in this thread.

Ive updated the article to reflect some of my review of books and mags AS WELL as HoppingMad's review of HB Favs & Wolfy's 5 July review

#30 Grantw

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:27 PM

I've just started reading Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong, so far its a fascinating book which is written for the more advanced brewer who wants to develop and better understanding of the the brewing process. When I finish it I will post a more comprehensive precis in the wiki article, but from what I have read so far, well worth the modest purchase price from the AHA.

cheers

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#31 dcx3

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:48 PM

Just picked up the CAMRA guide got told it was 1994 3rd edition.Got it on ebay-rare books but was looking under home brew.

#32 proudscum

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:06 PM

I've just started reading Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong, so far its a fascinating book which is written for the more advanced brewer who wants to develop and better understanding of the the brewing process. When I finish it I will post a more comprehensive precis in the wiki article, but from what I have read so far, well worth the modest purchase price from the AHA.

cheers

Grant

The first brewing book that i have started reading from the beginning and not jumped all over the place.third of the way through and used his step mash schedule today and got 6 gravity points more than i thought i would.tomorrow will try his steeped grain idea for roasted malt in an ipa.

#33 Grantw

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:03 PM

The first brewing book that i have started reading from the beginning and not jumped all over the place.third of the way through and used his step mash schedule today and got 6 gravity points more than i thought i would.tomorrow will try his steeped grain idea for roasted malt in an ipa.



Yes, he has a great perspective and the book is well arranged and a very interesting to read. Gordon is certainly a source of inspiration if you are feeling a bit jaded with your brewing - particularly if you a turning out good beer but find yourself wanting to find that extra certain something... Has certainly given me some food for thought.

After 100 odd ags you can think you know it all, but really you're just scratching the surface...

cheers

grant

#34 mxd

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:19 AM

If this is not the right spot please forgive me.

Melbourne Brewers now have a agreement with bookdepository, so if you buy books bookdepository is one of the best spot for prices I've seen, if you use the following link, the price is the same but the Melbourne brewers will make some cents.

http://www.bookdepos...l...1&chan=wadd

cheers
Matt

#35 stephenkentucky

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:39 AM

As Both a winemaker and a brewer I am reading a book by Charles Bamforth, called Grape Vs Grain, it follows the history of winemaking and brewing, with some excellent insights into both processes, it re-afirms my belief that brewing is the far more challenging of the two. This is an easy book to read which seems to have been well researched and presented. As I have a Kindle e-reader I am not sure how expensive the book is in print, it is $12.50 or so on Amazon in the electronic edition.

#36 Amber Fluid

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:14 PM

I am looking to purchase "Brewing Classic Styles" as there appears to be a very high approval rating here and for $16.77 AUD it seems cheap. However, can someone please advise if the recipes are in Metric or is it something we need to convert?

Also has anybody read or heard about "The Complete Joy Of Home Brewing"?

Edited by Amber Fluid, 18 January 2012 - 02:20 PM.


#37 manticle

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:17 PM

BCS uses both metric and imperial for every recipe. Makes things a lot easier.

#38 Amber Fluid

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:20 PM

Fantastic, thanks Manticle.

#39 manticle

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:25 PM

Currently making my way through principles of brewing science by Dr George Fix. I'll hopefully remember to review it when I'm finished but interesting, referenced technical discussions of everything from FWH to water to malting, step mashing and hop components.

#40 Hogan

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

Also has anybody read or heard about "The Complete Joy Of Home Brewing"?



Charlie Papazian is considered one of the foremost authorities on brewing in the USA. I have read this book and it is excellent.


Cheers, Hoges.