Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise would be hard-pressed to acquire their current level of success without a refined script and outstanding directors.
So it is with homebrewing!
“Why homebrew,” you ask, “when there are thousands of ready-made beers on the market?”
Homebrewers comment, “Pleasure comes from the little things I never even knew about before I began…like the look on a friend’s face the first time they try my latest creation...that's when I know it turned out right.”
“Happiness is waking up early the day after brewing late, and finding your fermenter bubbling happily away! This IS the best hobby!”
Brewing requires the scientific persistence of Louis Pasteur blended with the artistic hand of Michelangelo. (Aaah…Leonardo da Vinci would have been a great homebrewer, wouldn’t he?) It is almost religious in its ceremony. It is no wonder that the Flemish and Belgian monks entered into the practice of brewing for the greater glory of God.
The homebrewer has a wealth of resources available for success in zymurgy. Local brew clubs, The Brewers Association, and books written by experts in the field are all easily accessed and available for anyone who wants to try their hand at this amazingly addictive habit.
Beer Fox Recommendations for Homebrew Books
How to Brew, 2nd Edition by John Palmer
Whether you are entering homebrewing for the first time or have been at it for a while, Palmer’s book is a welcome resource in the brewer’s kitchen. Simple, precise instructions start the newbie “with running shoes on”. As you progress, more detailed information takes you through the refinements of formulae and the intuitive creation of recipes. (Available at your local homebrew shop - or check How To Brew, online for a listing.)
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 3rd Edition by Charlie Papazian
This is the brewer’s bible of homebrewing books. Papazian tailors the book for the novice as well as the seasoned brewer. A glossary in the back of the book is a welcome resource for defining terms as you read. For those who like to have a methodical understanding of the homebrew process, this book gives you the “why” behind the “how,” with details that result in more precise duplication of recipes.
New Brewing Lager Beer by Gregory J. Noonan
As brewers attain higher levels of brewing experience, they need more comprehensive information and greater details for the chemical and technical foundations of brewing. Noonan provides in-depth details on subjects like ingredients, brewing theory and decoction mashing. This is a superb resource for the seasoned brewer.
Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide by Dave Miller
Miller’s homebrew guide is a solid resource for the homebrewer with a few brewing experiences “under his belt" who desires advancement to the next level. Although this book does not read like a gripping novel, it is one filled with comprehensive material that you will use as a reference more often than most.
Radical Brewing : Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy Mosher
Radical Brewing is a fun book, engagingly written, to coax you into the world of creative brewing. Mosher uses a delightful way of “brew-speak” as he explains ingredients, presents recipes, and discusses the nuances of brewing, while holding your interest with anecdotes about his own personal brewing experiences.
Wild Brews: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition by Jeff Sparrow
Sparrow presents the finer details on the production of lambic beers, including the history of its development, the nature of wild microorganisms, specifics on how to control fermentation, lots of photos and ten recipes for your experimentation. This is recommended for the more advanced and adventurous brewer.
Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels
As you become immersed in the brewing process, you need greater insight into the selection of ingredients and how your selection will affect the outcome of the brew. Daniels provides a rock-solid basis for this selection, along with mathematical equations for precise calculations, details on beer styles, and methodology pertaining to their creation and modification.
Brew Like a Monk: Trappist, Abbey, and Strong Belgian Ales and How to Brew Them by Stan Hieronymus
Soon to be released, this is a great reference for those who have a passion for Belgian Ales. Discusses wild fermentation, experimentation, yeast strains, and the fine art of brewing according to monastic tradition.
Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in the European Tradition by Phil Markowski
For the advanced brewer, this volume briefly discusses the styles of the Saison and Biere de Garde styles of beer, then plunges ahead into the specifics, including sample recipes as guidelines to assist you in the creation of your own marvelous brews.
Read a full review Here
The Homebrewers Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare and Use Your own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs by Joe Fisher and Dennis Fisher
A must-read for homebrewers who want the freedom to experiment with their own “green thumb,” the Fisher brothers present great information about herbs, spices, hops, trellis construction, malt, plant diseases, nutrients, and where to get starter plants, along with a discussion of ancient brewing techniques, without getting too technical.
The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm
This book is highly recommended by both prizewinning meadmakers and novices alike. Schramm takes you through the beginning process with adept ease, covering background history, the process of mead brewing, ingredients for making braggot, melomel and metheglin, and basic recipes for your experimentation and alteration.
The Homebrewers’ Recipe Guide by Maura Kate Kilgore, Paul Hertlein, and Patrick Higgins
Intermediate brewers can use this book as a guide for brewing creative beers. Whimsical quotes, brewing tips and 175 recipes for the extract or all-grain brewer fill the pages with a passion for beer and the brewing experience.
Homebrewing Volume I by Al Korzonas
Scores of brewers from the beginner to the intermediate levels applaud Homebrewing Volume I as both a joy to read and a complete source for brewing great beer. Korzonas uses clear and rational steps for leading the brewer through the process in a easy-to-digest style.
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation by Stephen Harrod Buhner
As a seasoned brewer who finds joy in experimentation, you will find this to be an entertaining introduction into the cultures that existed around brewing with herbs, roots, and other unconventional ingredients. Opens the brewing world to another facet of beer that is often missed in the more conservative approach to homebrewing.
Volumes of great brewing await your discovery! Raise a glass to the incredible joy of brewing!