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33 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd best brew book ever!
After NEW BREWING LAGER BEER, this has been the most helpful book to get my beer styles just right. It contains hordes of information usually available only in professional works, and doesn't over complicate it. I love this book and always refer to it before I start a new brew. It is the only accurate book that discusses the amount of water retained in your grain, and...
Published on Feb. 7 2004 by theoriginalsubguy

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was disappointed with this book. The "statistics" on second round NHC recipes - which take up much of this book - are of dubious relevance. Knowing that 51% of recipes used Hallertau hops, 40% used Saaz 5% used some Cascade, and 10% used a bit of Munich Malt and the odd one used some wheat, or 30% used Bohemian lager yeast but one used some obscure lager...
Published on Feb. 25 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for those who have brewed at least one beer., Nov. 3 1999
By 
Bill Allen (Killeen, Texas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
This book is excellent in concept, format and layout. This is a great book for anyone who has brewed a beer or two and wants to venture out. It has been extremely valuable in my efforts to clone commercial beers. This is because it clearly explains the differences in the different beer styles and brewing techniques including great chapters on grain, water, color and fermentation. The book is complete and easy to understand. I would say this is THE book to get after you've finished any basic book such as "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing".
The author gives all the formulas (and tables for those who don't like math) that assist the brewer in designing his/her next best beer ever. This book is a must. The only thing I would like to have seen would have been an accompanying disk with an MS Excel workbook with all the formulas laid on it. That way I wouldn't have had to do it myself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I consult this book before every batch, Aug. 12 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
The first section of Ray's book covers the fundamentals of all grain brewing. I seldom refer to it.
However, the second section not only profiles many of the classic beer styles, it analyzes the recipes and techniques used in producing competition winning entries for the styles. While one can argue that strict style guidelines and competitions based on style guidelines are counterproductive in the craft beer industry, it is very interesting to see how accomplished brewers are formulating their recipes. Many of the formulation compilations are surprising. If anything, they show that you CAN deviate from strict recipe guidelines and produce a quality beer.
I have two shelves full of brewing books. This is the one I would hang onto if I was allowed only one brewing reference.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any homebrewer, July 6 1999
By 
Thomas Hezel "thezel66" (Warminster, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
If you're the type of homebrewer who likes to create his/her own recipes from scratch, stop making beer until you get this book. Since I read it over a year ago, all my own recipes have come out great. A true bible. Hey Ray, where's volume 2!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK for intermediate and advanced (home)brewers!, Jan. 4 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
The two part sturcture of the book is perfect. Your brewing knowlege will increase exponentially when you read this book. The history of each style is detailed enough to give you a flavor of how a particular style orgininated and how it is brewed today.
The information provided in section 1 is invaluable. If you enjoy brewing you will definately enjoy this book. A MUST HAVE for all craft and especially homebrewers library!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have..., Oct. 17 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
If you are serious about your brewing, and want to create your own brew rather than copy someone else, this book is for you. The book takes away the mystery of recipe formulation, and guides you on your way to great beer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Highly valuable book for all-grain brewers, July 31 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
What the book lacks in polish and editing, it makes up for in indispensible information for the all-grain, recipie formulator. It does not attempt to cover all beer styles, and therfore leaves the reader a little short. Belgain styles in particular were notably missed. Nonetheless highly valuable, easy to use, and recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Over a dozen great books in one volume., June 23 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
Ray Daniels' book is actually several books in one volume.
In part one aspects of brewing technique are covered with chapters on hitting target gravity, hop selection and utilization, malt profiles, and several other useful technical subjects.
In part two we are treated to 14 mini style books. History, techniques, and commercial examples relating to the styles are presented. Accompanying this information is Ray's unique presentation of the profiles of ingredients used in commercial and winning homebrew recipes. If you've ever asked "What really goes into a _____?" This is the place to look. Chapters also have sidebars that summarize the contents -- like the box at the end of each chapter that lists tips for successful brewing of the beer style.
This is a wonderful book I can't imagine not owning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have book for every intermediate homebrewer, June 18 1998
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
This book starts out with directions on how to pick a grain bill (or extract) to match different tastes and gravities, how to pick your hop varieties and quantities and the right yeasts to use. Then moves on to step-by-step directions for making beers in most standard categories. There are no recipes in this book, but it does give examples of what most commercial brewers use in their recipes. It also lists the ingredients that winners of homebrew contests have put in their beers. With the information in this book you should be able match any style of beer or make variations on common styles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE reference work for brewing from scratch., May 6 1998
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
Some people are content to brew with other people's recipes. For those that are not, this book represents a breakthrough, not only in brewing how-to manuals, but in the whole spectrum of manuals on creating things to ingest. This is not a beer cookbook, id est: pick one of these that looks good, buy these ingredients, mix like so, cook like so... This book takes the process one step farther: what do you want to brew? this is typically how that style is brewed. this is what is typically in that style of beer....and the general instructions necessary to create the recipe for the beer you want, with all sorts of reference information to help the brewer achieve that goal... A reasonable understanding of brewing is a pre-requisite. This book is for creating beers with particular characteristics with regard to the brewer's particular process. If there are any shortcomings, it would be that certain common styles, such as German Dark Lagers, Belgian Trappist Ales, are not addressed. But the design process laid out allows a brewer, even without the benefit of anything more that basic parameters, to make a beer that will approach those parameters. I own or have read several texts on homebrewing, this is the only book to which I refer when I set out to brew a batch of beer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference Book, April 25 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles (Paperback)
This is the one type of comprehensive book that the homebrewing community needs. It is fairly comprehensive and gives the reader information on many styles of beers that is needed to reproduce classic brews. It only represents classics styles, such as pilsener, stout, and neglects newer styles such as Cream Ale, American Lager, and Belgian and Abbey Style ales. It is a valuable reference none the less and should be a part of every homebrewers library.
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