3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2003
This is a fairly technical discussion of the subject of brewing chemistry. It's probably more than your typical home-brewer will want to get into, but if you've got some biochem background, or have read Dr. Lee Janson's Brew Chem 101 book and are looking to read on from there, (or you're a very masochistic home-brewer :-)) this would be the next step to take. It does require a greater knowledge of biochemistry and some math (not too surprising, since Dr. Fix had a Ph.D. in math from Harvard). I note the problems with the citations another reviewer here mentioned, who said Dr. Fix refers to his own work and his other book too often, but I didn't mind that too much. Dr. Fix was certainly a competent professional in both math and brewing chemistry, and he did much important work on his own. The important thing is that this book helps to bridge the gap between the professional manuals of industrial microbiology and brewing chemistry and the professional literature. After completing this book, if you want more information, you'll have to go there, such as:
1. Beer and Wine Production: Analysis, Characterization, and Technological Advances (ACS Symposium, No. 536)
2. Biotechnology of Malting and Brewing by James S. Hough
3. Malting and Brewing Science: Hopped Wort and Beer (Volume 2) by D. E. Briggs, et al
4. Brewing Microbiology by Iain Campbell
5. Methods of Analysis of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, by the American Society Of Brewing Chemists
6. Malting and Brewing Science : Volume 1 (#Y0343)
by Dennis Edward Briggs, James S. Hough
7. Brewing Yeast and Fermentation by Chris Boulton, David Quain
Except for the Brewing Microbiology book by Campbell, all of the above are big, expensive professional volumes, but they represent some of the best technical titles out there.
The book also has a nice introduction summarizing some of the important developments of the last 20 years that have made great improvements in beer, such as the use of modern double pre-evacuation bottle filters to cut down on cold-side oxygenation, the awareness of the staling effects of unsaturated long-chain aldehydes, the realization that hot-side aeration could contribute to this, and the importance of malting and non-enzymatic browning also in this process. These were all important developments that led to the modern low-oxygen brewhouse.
So overall, a very fine discussion of all these issues, and I'd actually give the book 4.5 stars if I could.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2001
Principles of Brewing Science deals with the biology and chemistry of beer. With my background in biochemistry, I was able to enjoy a detailed analysis on the subject. My only negative criticism is George Fix's excessive and sometimes exhaustive references to his own literature. Fix referred to himself about 40 times in this 173 page book. That is almost 1 reference per 4 pages, not to mention the fact that roughly one third of the book is charts and diagrams. What is most disturbing is that his other book, An Analysis of Brewing Techniques, makes numerous references to this book. The reader ends up getting caught in a futile cycle of references between these two books where some of the referred items are redundant. This round-about circle of references boarders on academic dishonesty. Another eyebrow raising issue is a reference Fix attributes to Rabin and Forget, 1998 on page 152. The reference section, however, has no list of Rabin or Forget. In all fairness, this book is the best compilation of the science behind the beer process and is quite informative. But I think it would be better suited as an appendix for his other book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2003
I do not know who this book was written for but it was not the homebrewer. It reads like it was written for the head chemist at Budweiser or a graduate school chemistry course. If you didn't major in chemistry or have been out of school a few years, it reads like a textbook. There is some interesting information in the book but you have to dig it out. Unless you really want to get very technical about the chemical changes during the brewing process, this book has little use for the average brewer.