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Old 12-30-2010, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Educating myself

Before stumbling on this forum, I found some recommendations for a John Palmer's "How To Brew." I ordered it from Amazon and it should be delivered today or tomorrow.

I'm pretty excited about reading it (I used to hate reading, but then learned that as long as it wasn't a novel or story but rather an instructional or information book, I tend to fly right through them).

I'm hoping to get a better understanding of what I've been doing the last couple of years, and then be able to ask more education questions on here.

Also, I get paid tomorrow, so I'll probably shell out the 25 bucks for a 1 year membership on here. I've only been on for 24 hours and already loving this community.

Does anyone have any other good books about homebrewing?

Thanks!

Nic

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Great pick Nic! Palmers book is a must have (IMHO.) If you haven't already done so, also check out BrewStrong on the Brewing Network. There is a huge archive of podcasts (internet radio talk show) featuring John Palmer & Jamil Zainasheff discussing detailed brew topics (temp control, sanitation, fermentation, dry hop, etc, etc.)

If you have an IPOD you can subscribe through I-tunes & download all the archived eps. It's great stuff for car trips, lying in bed at night, or while you brew. Cheers!

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Is the Brewing Network a TV channel or is that what you were describing as the huge archive of podcasts?

I do not have an iPod, but I"m pretty sure I can still use the iTunes software to play downloaded files right there on the compy286.

Nic

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Bottled: a strange yet somehow award winning pale ale
Primary Fermenter: Experimental porter
Kegged: Nothing, as I have no kegging equipment
Favorite Commercial Beers: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Young's D.C. Stout, Choc Last Laugh
Upscale equipment project slowly progressing.

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ILuvIPA View Post
Great pick Nic! Palmers book is a must have (IMHO.) If you haven't already done so, also check out BrewStrong on the Brewing Network. There is a huge archive of podcasts (internet radio talk show) featuring John Palmer & Jamil Zainasheff discussing detailed brew topics (temp control, sanitation, fermentation, dry hop, etc, etc.)

If you have an IPOD you can subscribe through I-tunes & download all the archived eps. It's great stuff for car trips, lying in bed at night, or while you brew. Cheers!
+1 on this. Also check out Can You Brew It? where they try to clone commercial recipes. They have interviews with the brewers beforehand and there are some great tips in there. The Jamil Show, which was before CYBI, does a show on each BJCP style with co-host Jon Plise.

Also, the Sunday Session has some great info as well ( a little raunchier than the others but we all have fun in the live chat ).

Other books would include Ray Daniels - Designing Great Beers and Jamil Zainasheff and Dr. Chris White's yeast book.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nic0 View Post
Is the Brewing Network a TV channel or is that what you were describing as the huge archive of podcasts?

I do not have an iPod, but I"m pretty sure I can still use the iTunes software to play downloaded files right there on the compy286.

Nic
The Brewing Network is all "Brewcasts". Although there generally is video available when there is a live show at www.justin.tv/brewingnetwork

Check the main site for the schedule and to download the brewcasts.www.thebrewingnetwork.com They are all in mp3 format so they can be played on a lot of devices.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #6
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Score. Thanks!

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Bottled: a strange yet somehow award winning pale ale
Primary Fermenter: Experimental porter
Kegged: Nothing, as I have no kegging equipment
Favorite Commercial Beers: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Young's D.C. Stout, Choc Last Laugh
Upscale equipment project slowly progressing.

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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Hi Nic, I'm right there with ya. My wife got me that book for christmas, in 3 days I read through half of it. It really, really, really let me know what all the terminology means, gravity this, yeast types that, mash this, hops that. It also explained how my beer really wasn't as great as it can be. After reading just about half the book I now know what the seasoned veterans on the forum are talking about, and man did it help with my confidence and recipes. At this point I feel fairly educated a lot more than what specific kits give you within their small book of watered down instructions.

I think Palmer's book is really all you need since it's the most comprehensive. I've been here on the forums for only a month or two, but in combination with Palmer's book, it is really all you need. You're getting the book smarts (from the book of course), and street smarts (from the great folks on here). Put two-and-two together you'll learn a lot and you'll retain most of it!

My only problem is I see things like elaborate keezer builds, 3 tier burners, entire brewing rooms, 15g batches, conical fermenters that look like space rockets, etc. And I want it all... just can't afford it! Although it is the birth of my passion/hobby, it is also the fall of my wallet!

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:34 PM   #8
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My only problem is I see things like elaborate keezer builds, 3 tier burners, entire brewing rooms, 15g batches, conical fermenters that look like space rockets, etc. And I want it all... just can't afford it! Although it is the birth of my passion/hobby, it is also the fall of my wallet!
Yep I know how ya feel. I'm a tinkerer by nature, and have WAY too many hobbies (I've tried to cut back and choose the ones I really want to pursue for a while.... beermaking is in the top 3).

And I just graduated from college last year and landed a pretty good paying job, but now that I"m not living with mom & dad anymore, I have learned how expensive it is just to live. And after reading Dave Ramsey books, I realize how much more money I need to NOT be spending on stuff I don't really need, even though the money is there. So now I'm probably overly budget concious and trying to fine tune finances.

And I'm married.

Cheers!
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Bottled: a strange yet somehow award winning pale ale
Primary Fermenter: Experimental porter
Kegged: Nothing, as I have no kegging equipment
Favorite Commercial Beers: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Young's D.C. Stout, Choc Last Laugh
Upscale equipment project slowly progressing.

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:47 PM   #9
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HTB is, IMO, the best how to book for brewing. I like JOH too, but while Papazian has a zest for brewing that is very infectious, Palmer's book is more detailed and scientific in nature, which is helpful too.

I also enjoy Randy moshers Tasting Beer. Good read, like his other book Radical Brewing, which I also recommend. Both are good for rounding out a brewing library, but not necessarily that helpful when you are starting out. (Well, Tasting Beer is a good read no matter what!)

The Brewing Network is a great source of information in audio format, as is basicbrewing.com There are others that are worth a listen to as well.

There will always be stuff you can buy and build, but to be honest, there are some very nice things that make your beer better for not much money. Most of the bling is unnecessary as cool as it looks.

Sanitation is one key element that costs next to nothing.

From there, pitching the right amount of yeast. You can build a large starter without fancy flasks and stirplates.

Fermentation temp control is maybe the biggest hurdle for people. There are plans for simple swamp coolers that are usually very effective and don't cost much.

These 3 things are the basic building blocks for very successful brewing. Much of the rest is added convenience or simply for the bling factor.

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Old 12-30-2010, 07:17 PM   #10
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...These 3 things are the basic building blocks for very successful brewing. Much of the rest is added convenience or simply for the bling factor.
Yeah, I don't really care about bling. If really cool stuff was given to me for free, then I'll most likely gladly take it.

But for now, here are my reasons for spending money on things beyond minimum basic requirements:
1) Safety
2) Consistancy
3) Convenience
4) I like to tinker and build stuff.
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Bottled: a strange yet somehow award winning pale ale
Primary Fermenter: Experimental porter
Kegged: Nothing, as I have no kegging equipment
Favorite Commercial Beers: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Young's D.C. Stout, Choc Last Laugh
Upscale equipment project slowly progressing.

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