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Old 08-11-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
indigi
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Default Intermediate/Advanced Book Recommendations?

I'm getting more interested in the science behind brewing beer, but I'm not sure where to start reading. I've read a number of homebrew books, but they've all been relatively light in the science department (except for a couple sections on water chemistry). I was searching the forums and other sites for recommendations, and it looks like there's a gap between casual homebrewing to scientific homebrewing books as far as chemistry goes. A lot of the reviews for something like George Fix's book or mention that they assume some knowledge of those fields. My chemistry knowledge stops at water = H2O.

Is this just a situation where there's not many good books in this transitional area and I'd probably be better off picking up Idiot's Guide to Chemistry to help me along in some of the more advanced books?

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Old 08-11-2010, 11:32 PM   #2
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You really do need knowledge of basic chemistry at the level of a high school or freshman college chemistry course. It can be rusty but if you've never had any chemistry then you'd need to buy a basic chemistry text and study that. Beyond that I'd say bite the bullet and buy DeClerck and Briggs, Hugh, Stevens and Young. And perhaps Handbook of Brewing. Believe it or not the most important aspect of brewing water chemistry, the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, seems to be better treated in biochemistry texts than in regular chemistry texts and, naturally, if you really want to understand brewing you need a fair amount of biochemistry. So get a good biochem text too.You will be totally bewildered at first but hang in there. After jumping around for a while in these texts you will notice that some of the stuff which bewildered you totally at first is starting to make sense. When you get to that point you have turned the corner so pour yourself a beer! Then start reading the literature i.e. JASBC, MBAA Tech Quarterly...

Good luck on your journey. It can be a fascinating one. The bad news is you'll never understand it all. The good news is you'll never understand it all.

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Old 08-12-2010, 01:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for the recommendations. I took high school chemisty and got all As, but that was in 2002. I've got a friend who is pretty knowledgable on the subject who could help me out if I got stuck somewhere.

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Old 08-12-2010, 03:12 AM   #4
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Which brewing books have you already read?


There is some good stuff here:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

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Old 08-12-2010, 03:29 AM   #5
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Have you read How To Brew by John Palmer?
You can check it out at www.howtobrew.com .

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Old 08-12-2010, 07:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
Which brewing books have you already read?


There is some good stuff here:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
Great page, thanks. I've read How to Brew, Radical Brewing, Designing Great Beers, Brew Like a Monk, the Scotch Ale and Altbier style series books, and the Papazian book, as well as Mosher's Tasting Beer (which does have quite a bit of useful info in it for brewers).
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:59 PM   #7
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New Brewing Lager Beer (Greg Noonan) has a lot of useful information that doesn't require a degree in chemistry to understand. It also isn't only about brewing lagers.

-a.

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Old 08-12-2010, 04:14 PM   #8
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That is an excellent suggestion. I feel remiss in not thinking of it because that's the book that taught me how to brew. A real pity that Greg was cut down so young!

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Old 08-12-2010, 10:19 PM   #9
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That one's actually next on my list for when I get paid (midnight EST, I'm so excited I can't contain myself.)

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Old 08-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #10
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If anybody wants it, I have two. I'd be happy to sell one for $10.00 (shipping included)
Send me a PM with your address if you're interested.

-a.

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