Stan Hieronymus Brewing With Wheat

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mtom1991

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Anyone read this book and recommend?

The reviews on Amazon are either 5 star or 1 star
 

Bramling Cross

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Although I'm at best a mere dabbler in wheat beers, I own it and think it's worth having. I suppose it depends upon what you're wanting to get out of it. If you're looking for a recipe-heavy book or a book that lists "this one easy hack" style tweaks, perhaps you won't rated it as highly.

Hieronymus structures the book around the primary wheat brewing traditions of Belgium, Germany, and the USA. He builds his narrative from an impressive series of interviews with well-regarded wheat beer brewers from each tradition. While there are plenty of detailed descriptions of techniques and methods, I think it's best to think of Hieronymus' goal as being more about the process of going from recipe creation, to grain, to glass, rather than silver bullet techniques that will instantly turn your flabby hefe into a the greatest beer ever made. He also allows the various brewers to demonstrate their differing approaches in terms of techniques and processes. This isn't a manifesto on the one true way to win beer contests. Rather, it's a thoughtful look at how various brewers think about wheat beer, structure their processes, and employ techniques to create world class wheat beers.

Hieronymus is a pleasant, easy to read writer. He builds each of the main sections of the book around the history of each wheat beer brewing tradition. As a Gen-X refugee from Portland, OR, I found the section on Widmer Hefe fascinating and fun. Likewise he does a great job of unpacking the myth, determination, and outright bullshit that was the amazing Mr. Pierre Celis. I've read many versions of that story and I think Hieronymus delivers the clearest and best telling.

All told, it's an easy, enjoyable read that intertwines the history, process, and techniques of wheat brewing. It can be a bit frustrating when you have your brewing software open and you're trying to use it as a technical manual, but it does have an excellent index so it is still useful in this context. I've had the book for several years now and during that time it has made a few return trips to my nightstand. It's a pleasant book to reread.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I will admit that I did not know this book existed and I am tempted to pick it up. I recall hearing in an interview that there was a Wit/Wheat beer book in the works as a companion to "Brew Like a Monk" (which covers Trappist style) and "Farmhouse Ales" (which covers Saison and Bière de Garde).

I have the "German Wheat Beer (Classic Beer Style)" book, but when I pulled it out a while back looking for info on brewing a wheat beer...man it is outdated. It seems to be written for an American in days when ingredients from Germany were not available.
 
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mtom1991

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I have the "German Wheat Beer (Classic Beer Style)" book, but when I pulled it out a while back looking for info on brewing a wheat beer...man it is outdated.
Yeh I was looking at this one also until I realised it was published when I was 1 😅 Shame they’ve not updated that series of books as they look good
 

Bramling Cross

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I agree, that was a great series. Unfortunately, it is sadly showing its age. Fortunately, Terry Foster revisited his contributions to the series and produced an updated version of Pale Ale and updated and combined his stout and porter books into Stout & Porter. I believe Foster thinks of both as being revisions of his original contributions, but in reality they are both massively revised and expanded to the point that they bear little resemblance to the initial publications. Both are excellent reads and I highly recommend them.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I agree, that was a great series.
I agree. There are several older books that could use an update. "Designing Great Beer" would be at the top of my list. The Classic Beer Style series was a pretty solid idea. I expect there is a lot more knowledge about the history of some of the styles known today than when the books were written. Some styles have evolved and brewers have access to a lot more variety of ingredients these days.

Palmer's "How to Brew" is such a great book because he has kept it updated.
 
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mtom1991

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There are several older books that could use an update. "Designing Great Beer" would be at the top of my list
This is another one I’ve had my eye on, but been put off by it’s age.

I bought the Brewing Elements Malt book, hoping it would go into some detail on designing beer in terms of the Mash Bill but it didn’t go much deeper then describing the different grain types.
 
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