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Old 11-30-2011, 12:36 PM   #11
Jan 2008
Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 887
Liked 42 Times on 37 Posts

The book is very good. It is not so much a technical guide as it is a philosophical guide to brewing. He doesn't break down ion content in water and brewing salts, or explore the chemical changes to alpha acid in boiling wort. If you're looking for those things read George Fix. What he does do is explore ideas that have helped him understand his process better, things to evaluate as you go through your brew day and ways to piece together your brewing system. I felt like it was very advance and very accessible. There is very little information for extract brewers but any all grain brewer could find ways to improve their brewing in this book.

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:06 PM   #12
cyberwollf's Avatar
Oct 2010
Melbourne, Florida
Posts: 214
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts

I picked up a signed copy from Gordon when he was at one of our local club meetings. Like everyone says its more about philosophy.

The one thing I do like about the book is each chapter gives a little background on the topic(yeast, water chem, mashing, etc) and glosses over known techniques. The part i find most intresting is the "what do I do" section. For example I have taken his water chemistry suggestion: he says that too many people over adjust water and add to many minerals. He brews most of his beers with RO water and adds only a tsp of calcium to get the mash pH correct (calcium sulfate/calcium cloride depending on malty or hoppy). He says it may not be "regoinally correct" (hard water for burton ales) but he finds that almost every beer taste better with "soft water". If its good enough for him to win his awards its good enough for me(and super simple)

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
Sep 2011
Posts: 36
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I read it. I am new to brewing, so it covered things I've never done. His insight into brew competitions is great. I also liked how he explained different methods of the same process, such as lautering, and explains when he found one to be appropriate to use over another.
His tone is colder, almost curmudgeonly, which is a good blend after reading Papazian's relax mantra, Palmer's step by step methods and the various forums' multiple personalities.

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Old 11-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #14
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Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 31,931
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I never finished it. I found I knew pretty much all of the points, and it's certainly not a "How To" guide, as much as a "How I Do" guide.

It almost seems as though he got tired of people asking how he won so many awards and decided to write a book instead of having to answer the same questions each time.

Not that it's not a good book. But it IS a book about brewing philosophy, more than a reference or guide.

Also, be aware that he does NOT discuss extract or PM brewing. He considers All Grain advanced, and that is what the book talks about.

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #15
ArcaneXor's Avatar
Nov 2007
Posts: 4,573
Liked 118 Times on 105 Posts

For advanced brewing stuff, you pretty much have to go to the commercial literature, some of which you can get via libraries, others you can order.

Look for Principles of Brewing Science by George Fix, Essays in Brewing Science by Bamforth & Lewis, and Brewing Science and Practice by Briggs et al. There are many others.

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Old 12-01-2011, 02:30 PM   #16
Sep 2008
Pointe st. Charles, QC, Quebec
Posts: 246
Liked 10 Times on 7 Posts

I would pass on the book. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I didn't find anything new from this book.

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Old 12-01-2011, 02:33 PM   #17
Nov 2010
Pinole, ca
Posts: 361
Liked 23 Times on 20 Posts

I learned write a bit from the book, but found myself irritated with the writing style. Ironic, I know.

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:27 PM   #18
Sep 2010
Posts: 1,689
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Originally Posted by seanybubbles View Post
I would pass on the book. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I didn't find anything new from this book.
Same here. Kinda disappointed.

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Old 03-18-2012, 12:19 PM   #19
Jun 2009
Posts: 446
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Thanks for all the info on this book. I ended up getting it, and though I didn't get a ton of new information, I definitely liked it. Everyone is right, it's more about philosophy rather than he tech side.

Has anyone ever ready this book by Ray Daniels: The Brewers Association Guide to starting your own brewery? http://www.amazon.com/Brewers-Associ...2073045&sr=8-1

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Old 03-18-2012, 05:33 PM   #20
Sep 2008
Posts: 2,062
Liked 181 Times on 135 Posts

I have the book and refer to it often. I like it that it isn't super "techy" but rather talks about what works for him. I have a couple of the more technical books too. the problem with parts of them is that,without lab equipment, they really don't apply to homebrewers.
Check out my nanobrewery!

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