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Beerducation Part 2

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Not to be outdone by Jeff, I have made a few book purchases of my own to add to our ever-growing Beer Knowledge Library (ribbon cutting ceremony this August). First, Fermenting Revolution by Chris O’Brien. I became interested in the book after stumbling upon Chris’s blog, dedicated to “drinking beer and saving the world.” I’m hoping there will be some good stuff on organic brewing and sustainability practices for brewers and breweries.

Second, I’ve purchased Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle after hearing a very interesting 2-part interview with her on Basic Brewing Radio. Said interviews can be found here (see November 30th and December 7th). Essentially she dispels many American myths cherished by craft brewers and homebrewers ? the most controversial of which is, in my opinion, this one:

Myth:

After World War II, brewers lowered production costs by adding corn and rice to their beer.

Reality:

German-American brewers began adding corn and rice to their beer in the early 1870s, and did so not to lower their production costs (in 1878, a bottle of Budweiser cost the equivalent of $17 in today?s money!) but in order to accommodate Americans? demand for a light-bodied beer.

2 thoughts on “Beerducation Part 2

  1. So which of those three would you suggest I purchase? I’m partial to Belgian beer, and the only other homebrew book I have right now is Sam Calagione’s “Extreme Brewing”. Most of my Amazon spending $ has been going to cook books (French Laundry, Les Halles Cookbook, The Professional Pastry Chef) but I need more beerducation than I need foodification right now.

  2. Zak, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re just looking for a basic book on homebrewing, I would have to recommend going with “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” by Papazian or “How to Brew” by John Palmer. The logistics of brewing are the most important thing – you can get ahold of some Belgian recipes pretty easily. If you already have the basics down, then I’ve heard that “Brew Like a Monk” is the gold standard for brewing Belgian styles. But I still haven’t actually read it (small point).

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