Originally Posted by Bandgeek11420
I will definitely check that out. What I'm looking to focus a lot on is the stout and porter style brews.
Palmer's book is more of a vast overview of brewing than a treatise on a specific style. But it will provide a good solid knowledge base on where to begin.
Keep in mind that as Revvy has posted on a few threads, books are like a snapshot in time . . . and that brewing techniques are likely to be adjusted as we learn more about the science (read a few threads on autolysis if you want to learn what I'm talking about). What this means is that not EVERYTHING in Palmer's book is always going to be applicable, but it will provide a great overview of techniques and the reason behind them.
I'm not too familiar with any books that focus solely on porters and stouts . . . but that doesn't mean there aren't good books out there. Still, my FIRST resource for looking up specific styles is usually the BJCP style guide. It will tell you what the common basis is for these styles . . . and the flavor notes you'll be looking for. After that, I like to come here and search the recipe's section . . . or talk to the owner of my LHBS and pick his brain.
Finally, I'm a member of my local AHA brew club . . . and they have a great number of people I've found to be vastly helpful in getting me to where I want to be.