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Old 01-15-2009, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default Designing Great Bears vs. How to Brew

I've been homebrewing for about a year now and I'm interested in learning more. I just subscribed to BYO maganzine, and was going to start reading a new book. I'm most interested in learning techniques that would get me more consistent results and learning to formulate my own recipes. I've narrowed my options down to "How to Brew" and "Designing Great Beers".

I've read on this forum several times that "How to Brew" is one of the best books out there, but I've already read "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" cover to cover. Am I going to learn that much more from reading this book? Or should I go with "Designing Great Bears" that will go in depth into a specific topic that I know I want to learn more about?

Suggestions?

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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How many batches have you brewed and are you all-grain or extract?

If you've already brewed a half-dozen or more all grain beers, then "Designing" may be more apt for your goals.

"How to" is a great resource, but it is definitely the more "entry level" book for technique and less about honing your skills.

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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How to Brew is available electronically... literally.. the entire book. I would suggest just flipping through it and see if it's what you're looking for.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction

I really liked it.

Also... since it's available electronically, it's free so buy Designing Great Beers and just read How To Brew online and you'll have both!

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:00 PM   #4
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D'oh - I did read John Palmer's "How to Brew", very informative, and free.

Also - a recent thread with literature posted:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/need...library-97907/

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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How to Brew always 1st reading. I read the online version twice before doing my first batch, and when I bought the book I read it cover to cover in a couple of nights. It's the Bible. I recommend a second copy to keep under your pillow.

New Lager Brewing is like an advanced version of How to Brew. He gets into topics like step mashing, yeast culturing, etc. Lots of practical information in there.

Radical Brewing by Mosher is a great book to read to learn about beer styles and get your ideas going for styles you may want to brew you haven't thought about brewing. He also has a lot of great recipes in there. My Wit recipe and my Tripel (in my dropdown) both are derived from recipes he presented in that book.

Designing Great Beers I haven't read cover to cover as I see it more as a reference book. I read the chapter on the style I'm going to brew before I finalize my recipe and brew it.

Those are my top 4 books.

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
How many batches have you brewed and are you all-grain or extract?

If you've already brewed a half-dozen or more all grain beers, then "Designing" may be more apt for your goals.

"How to" is a great resource, but it is definitely the more "entry level" book for technique and less about honing your skills.
I've got my 7th batch in the fermenter now. I have not gone all-grain, and probably won't anytime soon. 3 young kids really cramp my budget and time

So is "Designing" more geared towards all-grain? Or it is applicable to lowly extract brewers like myself too
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
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So is "Designing" more geared towards all-grain? Or it is applicable to lowly extract brewers like myself too
It applies to all brewers who want to formulate their own recipes. It has general guidelines for the style, and talks about specific malts and hops which are used by commercial breweries as well as in award winning homebrewed recipes.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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Radical Brewing FTW!!!!

That book is awesome

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
Radical Brewing by Mosher is a great book to read to learn about beer styles and get your ideas going for styles you may want to brew you haven't thought about brewing. He also has a lot of great recipes in there. My Wit recipe and my Tripel (in my dropdown) both are derived from recipes he presented in that book.
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Radical Brewing FTW!!!!

That book is awesome
Thirded. I own an old NCJOHB, I borrow Designing Great Beers from the library when I want to brush up on something, but Radical Brewing lives on my nightstand.

New Lager Brewing is on my request list from the library.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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i read designing great beers cover to cover. that was quite a feat. i often fell asleep in the middle of a style and have to re-read.

a couple of long flights helped, too

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