Thursday, October 24, 2013

Learn to Homebrew

Next Saturday, November 2, is Learn to Homebrew Day. If you've ever had the itch to brew your own, GCPL can help you get started with any of the great books for both aspiring and experienced homebrewers in our collection.

If you're an absolute beginner, Basic Homebrewing: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started is a great resource, with color photos to guide you through the entire process step by step. George Hummel's Complete Homebrew Beer Book is more thorough and detailed. It's not flashy but has loads of practical advice and 200 very good, contemporary recipes. And Sam Calagione's Extreme Brewing is surprisingly helpful for beginners. Calagione is the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, and his well-illustrated book is packed with easy-to-follow recipes for some of the best of Dogfish Head's famously big, hoppy and exotic brews.

After you've got a batch or two under your belt, Zainasheff and Palmer's Brewing Classic Styles will help you improve your technique to achieve cleaner, more consistent results. Though geared toward beginning-to-intermediate homebrewers, it's also an invaluable guide for anyone looking to bring home some ribbons from a competition.  The Craft of Stone Brewing is another great book for experienced brewers. It recounts the history of San Diego's Stone Brewing from upstart startup to international success and includes dozens of recipes for Stone's famously in-your-face brews.

Eventually it will be time to turn to Dave Miller's Brew Like a Pro, which is anything but a beginner's guide. Miller favors by-the-book German-style brewing, and he's unwavering in his belief that the only beer worth brewing is made from fresh malt (not from powder or syrup extracts) and served on draft (not from bottles). Even if you're not looking to go over to the lager side, Miller's advice on how to put together a compact, low-cost all-grain home brewery is not to be missed by anyone considering making the leap to all-grain brewing.

There's still plenty of time to pick up a how-to book, purchase some supplies and be brewing by next weekend. Drop by your local branch today to get started. Cheers!

To request these books click the titles or cover above.

Review by Don Beistle

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