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Old 03-07-2012, 04:07 PM   #1
Jan 2011
baltimore, md
Posts: 201
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts

What are they?

Full disclosure, I currently have zero...I have read what seems like a million threads - but you all know as well as I every question seems to have 4 correct answers on here - many youtube vids, many step by steps, Palmer's online (rev1). I have maybe 15 brews under my belt, 4 all grain...I have an understanding of the basics for HOW to brew a good beer, I have no clue how to craft a recipe and wwowuld like to learn, etc. I will be buying a few on Amazon today or tomorrow. I do not know if it's a necessity but up to date would be preferred.

If you had a gun to my head and I had to purchase now I would get (per recommendations from friends) Designing Great Beers and Radical Brewing, but I look forward to your input.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:11 PM   #2
Nov 2011
Posts: 3,952
Liked 555 Times on 391 Posts

Originally Posted by natewv View Post
You have room for 2 or 3 brewing books on your shelf...
Build a bigger shelf.

JP's How to Brew is fantastic. Fundamentals of every step of the process.
Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing is a bit dated, but a very fun read. Awesome overview of the process, getting to know ingredients, styles, etc.
Daniel's Designing Great Beers is awesome for all grain brewing - knowing how to calculate grain & hop bills. The receipe sections are fine, but understanding the math of gravity & IBU's is very well-written.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
Dec 2011
Norman, OK
Posts: 181
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

+1 to Designing Great Beers. Instead of paying for brewing software, I just made an Excel spreadsheet for calculating recipes based on that book, and I have had good luck with those recipes.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
Insert Witty Title Here..
luke2080's Avatar
May 2011
Boston, MA
Posts: 460
Liked 19 Times on 18 Posts

For recipe design alone, I would say:
Designing Great Beers - Daniel
Radical Brewing - Randy Mosher

For other books:
Tasting Beer - Randy Mosher : Not as much about creating or designing beers, but a fun and informative read on beer styles, aroma, serving, etc.

Since you've already read Palmers How to Brew v1 - and probably know a lot of the updated methods due to these threads (when to transfer (or not) to a secondary, the autolysis and hot-side aeration boogey monsters) then I would recommend something more advanced:

Brewing - Tom Young: I am still reading this, and my first take...I could not have gotten through this as a beginner. But after brewing for a couple of years, reading BYO, reading these threads, and the books above, this becomes a good intermediate level book. Gives you a bit more of the engineering and scientific knowledge around brewing, without being a complex textbook.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,537
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I have several books. I have a book I almost never open, Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. The rest I use. I love the old standard, The Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian. I use my How to Brew by John Palmer the most. I also really like Brewing Classic Styles by Palmer and Zainasheff as it's all of the beer styles in a nutshell with recipes. It helped me learn what styles have, what makes them work, and how to do it. I also have Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels.

Designing Great Beers is a bit dated, and I asked Ray last summer when he was updating it. He told me he was getting ready then to work on it.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
Jan 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 937
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I have a book I almost never open, Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher.
I love Radical Brewing. I'm not sure how informative it is over-all but I really enjoy reading the book, and it does give you good ideas on brewing beer and styles that are unique.
Burning Fence Brewery

"blessing of your heart, you brew a good ale"

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Old 03-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
iijakii's Avatar
Jun 2010
Portland-ish, OR
Posts: 6,032
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Don't know why but I haven't felt like I gained much from reading Palmer's How to Brew and those other classics. Maybe I need to give them another chance.

The only book I've cracked twice is probably Designing Great Beers.

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Old 03-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #8
Feb 2011
Clemson, SC
Posts: 1,222
Liked 121 Times on 73 Posts

If you like Belgians at all I would recommend Brew Like a Monk. That, How to Brew, and Farmhouse Ales are my most referenced books.

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Old 03-07-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
TopherM's Avatar
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,974
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I learned on "Homebrewing for Dummies" and Palmer's "How to Brew."

I found the "Homebrewing for Dummies" to be MUCH more useful for the newbie brewer, and Palmer's book to be much better once you have a few batches under your belt.

I also found you have to complement ANY book with some extensive Homebrew Forum reading. Once you know the basics, you find that lots of the info in all homebrew books is 1980s-1990s brewing techniques. Most of these techniques are still the prevailing theory, but there is always a few techniques that are outdated or at the least unnecessary.
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!

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Old 03-07-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
May 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 228
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

It might be different if I were just getting into homebrewing, but now I'd pick

How to Brew
Brewing Classic Styles

I'm a bit a science nerd, thus the last one, plus it's a good one.

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