on April 30, 1999
I disliked this book because it contained several errors and misquotes, and seemed to be an advertisement for Zahm and Nagle (though I doubt the authors have any afilliation).
Fix and Fix attribute several statements which I found surprising to author and Master Brewer Eric Warner in his excellent book, German Wheat Beers. I read Warner's book before this one, was surprised, went back to Warner, and could not locate, after several re-readings, the statements which Fix and Fix had attributed to him in that book.
There are numerous references, however, to the companion volume, also by George Fix. Unfortunately, this is overdone, and appears quite condescending. As an example, Fix's own Principles of Brewing Science is cited as the authority that esters are compounds which may be formed from an alcohol molecule and a molecule of a carboxylic acid by dehydration synthesis. Inasmuch as this is covered in virtually every book on elementary Organic Chemistry, it is questionable whether it needs citation or not. In any case, it appears that Fix himself is claiming this as his own discovery.
The illustrations, which are usually quite nicely prepared, are often on a different page from the accompaning text. While this is at times unavoidable, it was the rule rather than the exception, and usually occured for no apparent reason. The same observation applies to numerous tables.
One feature of the book which I found inspiring appeared in several of the photographs: many ribbons, trophies, etc., are visible, which the authors presumably won in Homebrew competitions.
on March 4, 2007
I liked this book. The chemistry and physical reactions involved in all aspects of brewing are daunting to someone who hasn't had coursework in organic chemistry. I learned a lot from this book and from the other Fix books.
I can forgive the arrogance of an author ... everyone wants to appear the expert! It's just marketing, but trying to tear an author down to make one's self look smarter - I have trouble with.
This book, along with the other Fix books have significant merit to both serious beginners to advanced brewers. We're all trying to improve our craft - this material can go far in helping you do that.
on June 7, 2000
This is an interesting book, filled with lots of experimental data. I was expecting a comparative analysis of various brewing techniques used in industry. Unfortunately, this book seemed to be more of a comparative analysis of the Fix's various home brewing techniques, most of which only translate loosly into professional brewing techniques or even practical home brewing techniques.
There are some good insights and information in this book and these save the book from being completely useless.