Originally Posted by spagyric
but as far as brewing instruction goes, How To Brew delivers the information more clearly and concisely IMO.
I agree with this, despite recommending Papazian above.
I guess if you could read the Palmer book and keep telling yourself, "Even if I screw up 75% of this stuff, I'll still have a drinkable beer," that would be the way to go. Like I say, just don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The clarity and comprehensiveness of the Palmer book can be intimidating, since it's a near certainty you won't get everything right on the first try.
Palmer's book is like this: "It is important that you do X, and here are the specific reasons why, including some of the science behind it."
Papazian's book is like this: "Try to do X if you can, but if not... RDWHAHB."