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American Sour Beers Paperback – July 7, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (July 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938469119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938469114
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Michael Tonsmeire has created an incredibly comprehensive account of American sour beer making today. As John Palmers How to Brew is to beer making in general, American Sour Beers is the defining work for homebrewers and professional brewers seeking everything from a rudimentary understanding of sour beer to guidance on advanced techniques and philosophy." -- Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Brewery Read this book. It will prove essential in helping you get where you want to get with your sour beers. Making great sours requires patience, conversing with other brewers, tasting, dumping from time to time, doing it again...yet sour beer is not a mystery. Our forefathers have done it for a few thousand years, and with this exploration of contemporary and innovative American souring techniques at your side, you can do it, too. -- Peter Bouckaert, New Belgium Brewing Company

About the Author

Michael Tonsmeire is an award-winning homebrewer, certified beer judge, sour beer blogger and has written articles on sour beers for various beer magazines. He most recently developed the recipes and grew the microbes for the sour beer program at Modern Times brewery in San Diego, CA. Tonsmeire resides in Washington, D.C.

More About the Author

Michael Tonsmeire is an award-winning homebrewer, certified beer judge, beer blogger (TheMadFermentationist.com), and has written articles for various magazines about brewing sour beers. He consults as "Flavor Developer" for Modern Times Beer (San Diego, CA), for which he develops the recipes, process, and microbes to produce sour beers. Tonsmeire resides in Washington, D.C. where he works as an Economist.

Customer Reviews

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Probably the best brewing book I've read.
Eric Portelance
This book is fantastically well researched, and extremely informative in an area of brewing that is short on really quality literature.
B. MacAskill
If you've ever considered making your your own sour beers, this book will give you all the info you need.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By B. MacAskill on June 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is fantastically well researched, and extremely informative in an area of brewing that is short on really quality literature. "Wild Brews" and "Farmhouse Ales" are both very quality books for traditional methods and the history of old world "wild" beers, but if you are interested in brewing or consuming experimental American sour beers, this book is absolutely essential.

The author has an exceptional blog he has maintained for many years titled "The Mad Fermentationist". I have read nearly every article on the blog, and it got me started brewing sour beers in my own home. I have brewed over a dozen sour beers now, and felt like I mostly knew what I was doing. This book goes FAR beyond the content on his blog, and expanded my knowledge far beyond what I expected.

The in-depth information into the methods of elite sour breweries and award winning homebrewers allows you to not only attempt to replicate their methods, but also gives you enough information to create your own methods from their advice. While incredibly well researched and dense with information, the book is extremely accessible due to the excellent writing style of the author.

Overall I can't recommend it enough. If you brew sour beer, or want to brew sour beer, you absolutely must own a copy of this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bob in Mass on June 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will serve as a valuable and enduring resource for adventurous brewers at all levels of expertise. It is well documented yet clear and comprehendible throughout. The author starts with a primer on sour beers then takes the reader step by step through various options at each stage of sour beer production. He explains the different mindset necessary to brew sours and guides the reader through the creative journey with numerous concrete examples and advice from successful brewers. The book wraps up with an array of proven recipes as well as suggestions for further experimentation.

On another note, the author writes an impressive blog at [...] and offers in the introduction of this book to answer specific questions from worried brewers that contact him through his blog.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clayton Ernst on August 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a great book! Excellent, comprehensive treatment of the art and science of brewing modern sour beers. As an experienced homebrewer with a few sours already under my belt, I gained a lot in learning how the prominent commercial breweries approach their sour beer programs, and will be tweaking my practices as a result. The homebrewer-specific knowledge was also very useful, though there is plenty more of that at the MadFermentationist. To top it off, the writing is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read. This is the best brewing book I've purchased since Papazian's classic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Travis on July 20, 2014
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Although you will not find this book as satisfying as brewing beer with Mike in person, his humor and passion for sharing knowledge about beer shine clearly through the pages. His down to earth prose combined with his clear chemist's understanding of brewing make an enjoyable and worthwhile read & reference!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wombat37 on July 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book! Sour beers have been traditionally classed as a Flanders Ale (Red or Brown), some variant of Lambic or as a Berliner Weisse. There are alternatives and that's what this book is all about. This is a recently published book and I see new styles of sour ales are finding their way into the BJCP guidelines. This is an exciting time for homebrewers.

This book is probably the most comprehensive text on sour beers for the home brewer - it's full of useful information. The author has a website (search for the 'Mad Fermentationist') and obviously has a lot of experience on this topic.

Be warned, this is not a book for the beginner. Brewing sour beers is a long complicated process and the results are not assured. The reader must be at least familiar with all grain brewing techniques in order to get most out of the book.

Those of you who have already acquired a taste for sour beers will know that commercial examples are not at cheap and often will cost 10 to 30 dollars for a single bottle. Making them yourself costs no more than for other beers - you just have to wait a few years before they are ready. So start the production line now - this book will help you.

Those of you who haven't acquired a taste, go out and buy some and see what you're missing - then buy this book.

Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven L. Prochaska on June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
I got mine signed by the author at National Homebrew conference last weekend and just finished it. The best part is the extensive bibliography after each chapter. The huge amount or research that went into this book allows for all the nitty gritty details to be founded in verifiable sources. I'm going to spend the rest of my life just getting through half of the catalog.

Good game sir.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James L. Poling on June 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am convinced that the quality of beer brewed in the United States is as good as any wine or cognac available. This book was incredibly well researched and detail is so intriguing as it so descriptive. Sour beers are not for everyone's taste, but most of us started with sweet wines when we first started drinking wine. Sour beers require sipping and many are complimented with good food combinations. You will want to keep this book close by as drink your sour beer and review the process as well. James L. Poling, author of The Waiter's Tips.
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