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Part 1 of Designing Great Beers is a complete book in itself, focused solely on home-brewing ingredients and techniques (including three superb chapters on hops alone). Ray Daniels proves himself the "techie" type, infusing his introductory chapters with as much brewing math as brewing lore. Yet, Daniels never hops off the deep end of beer geekdom. Instead, he complements this emphasis on data with the creative use of graphics; where one could get bogged down in the stats, there is usually a clear visual depiction to instantly summarize their meaning.
This focus on facts continues into part 2 of Daniels's guide, where it backs an admirably pragmatic take on beer styles and their importance in home-brewing. Daniels devotes a chapter to each of 14 major style categories, detailing historical origins and modern brewing techniques. He lays a contemporary groundwork by compiling and analyzing the recipes of the National Homebrew Competition's most successful beers. The assumption is that beers deemed representative of particular beer styles in modern competitions serve as ideal models for recipe creation. Among the information provided for each style is a chart showing the percentage of brewers using each type of grain and in what proportions the grains were added. Similar data are supplied for hop varieties, yeast strains, and water treatment. This reverse engineering of award-winning beers naturally benefits experienced brewers seeking to wow judges at the next competition. Yet, even brewers taking their first shy steps into creating their own recipes have much to gain from this kind of practical analysis. Daniels provides the basic tools a brewer of any level can use to formulate recipes with confidence and creativity. --Todd Gehman
Great book for really nailing down the chemistry of your beer. Lots of good information, but it reads like a text book, so its boring as heck to read.Published 14 days ago by Shawn
If you are looking to gain knowledge on the history of a style this is the book for you. I really like that recipe advice is given by examining homebrew competition winners. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Scott Downey
Good book, but buyers should know its more a recipe type book than a book about different elements of beer making.Published 7 months ago by Anik Guay
Excellent book, precise, friendly reading for those who likes the math!Published 13 months ago by Hugo Lachance
Great information to take your brewing to a higher level. Good information on styles and ingredients. Good history on stylesPublished 22 months ago by Eric Bougie
Really well built book. Chapters are presented in a manner the theory becomes really clear.
A bible for every homebrewer! Read more