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Old 02-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
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Default Recommend good homebrew books?

I am currently an extract/specialty grain homebrewer. I've read and digested Palmer's "How to Brew" I'm looking for a book (or two) that more thoroughly confronts a couple things:
1) the underlying science of brewing.
2) the partial mash and AG brewing techniques
3) the ins and outs of designing custom recipes.

Please hit me with suggestions so I can add to my homebrew library.

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Old 02-23-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Designing Great Beers

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Old 02-23-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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I would suggest 'Designing Great Beers'. This is an excellent resourse for formulating beers per style based on statistics compiled from award winning recipes.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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One of the books that I read way back in the day (and still sometimes consult) that was quite a good overview of Homebrewing, both extract and all grain, is Dave Miller's Homebrewing guide. This book is quite good in getting into the science involved in mashing, boiling, fermentation, etc. but doesn't get more complex than is really necessary for a intermediate brewer. I do feel that it is not laid out very well (you kinda have to search back and forth through chapters to formulate the information that is pertinent to your situation) but is certainly was a great book for me.

Charlie Papazian's The Complete Joy to Homebrewing is considered by most homebrewers as " the bible" and definitely has great information in it as well. He does delve into the science of brewing as well, but I feel that he writes in a more "flowery" manner than Dave Miller who tends to be a bit drier in his writing technique.

If you are looking for books on recipe formulation and don't mind technical writing, Ray Daniels Designing Great Beers is a good book to go through (I am actually reading it right now).

PS if you live in Denver, I know that the public library has both "The complete joy of homebrewing" (although an older version) and "Designing Great Beers"

Hope this information is of help!

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Old 02-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #5
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1. Principles of Brewing Science, Fix
2. Palmer's book is probably as good as it gets in terms of the practical side of homebrewing
3. Designing Great Beers, Daniels

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Old 02-23-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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+1 for Designing Great Beers. I've read it cover to cover multiple times. Rather than just hand you a recipe like Brewing Classic Styles does, Ray Daniels gives you everything you need to know about a style to make a great example of it by arming you with the knowledge to create your own recipe.

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Old 02-23-2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus View Post
+1 for Designing Great Beers. I've read it cover to cover multiple times. Rather than just hand you a recipe like Brewing Classic Styles does, Ray Daniels gives you everything you need to know about a style to make a great example of it by arming you with the knowledge to create your own recipe.
Does it still ignore Belgian styles completely? If so, I've heard good thinks about Brew Like a Monk to fill in that space.
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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Does it still ignore Belgian styles completely? If so, I've heard good thinks about Brew Like a Monk to fill in that space.
Designing Great Beers is great, but very outdated. For Belgians, I'd suggest the BP publications Brew Like a Monk, Farmhouse Ales and Wild Brews.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:51 PM   #9
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One interesting thing is that many of the things that are found in these books are generally accepted to be inaccurate by the experts on this forum. By that, I certainly don't mean me.

But things like having to use a secondary, the superiority of glass carboys or steel brew kettles are often flatly stated, especially in older books.

So my advice would be to read the books, but keep in mind the excellent advice that you can get here for free.

That said, for the things you're looking for, Designing Great Beers is your book.

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Old 02-23-2009, 11:20 PM   #10
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The two books that I used for starting out were:

How to Brew by John Palmer

Extreme Brewing by Sam Calagione

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