Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent resource for intermediate brewer
on January 24, 2004
This book is a fantastic help for a homebrewer who wants to create his own recipes. It isn't going to tell you how to clone Newcastle or Sam Adams, but it helps you create your own unique recipe within the framework of a classic beer style, whether a Northern English Brown Ale, an Oktoberfestbier or Sweet Stout. The detail is astounding, ranging from historical references, commercial and homebrewed examples. With a wealth of well-presented information, the two chapters on hops I've reread several times, along with many of my favorite style chapters. Practical advise is given for creating a successful recipe, drawing on the author's own experiences in National Homebrew Competition. One example I think of is from the Brown Ale chapter: he gives the suggestion of choosing just a couple specialty malts to compliment your chosen yeast, rather than the often-employed little-bit-of-everything approach to the malt bill. This book could be valuable to someone who's made a handful of extract brews and wants to create something within a style framework; likewise, it would be of value to someone who's been brewing several years. I'm still doing extract brewing, so I know I'll be going back over a lot of the material pertaining to mashing someday. Not to mention some of the style chapters that I don't have the ability to do yet, like Pilsner or Kolsch. By the way, the author himself recommends Noonan's Scotch Ale (Classic Beer Style Series: 8), and I would too.