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Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers Paperback – May 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937381985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937381984
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

If you are a home brewer doing all grain batches and looking for a great book - I highly recommend this book!
Ronald Burke
I feel that the book itself has both inspired me to brew more beer and given me ideas on how to improve my current setup to make better beer.
Joshua
If you want a book to tell you how to decide for yourself what to do, and how to think about brewing, buy this one.
Drew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By David Huber on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many active homebrewers, I own a decent number of books on homebrewing and I have read them all cover-to-cover. These include all the well-known ones from Papazian (several), Palmer, Noonan, Daniels, etc. I am a scientist by trade, so I particularly enjoy digging into the technical chapters so that I can do all the brewing calculations myself using a pencil, paper, and my trusty HP calculator. I'm also a long-time listener to a number of homebrewing podcasts, and I eagerly anticipate the arrival of my Zymurgy and BYO magazines. There is very little you can teach me with regards to brewing processes or techniques that I have not heard about before. Although I would love to experiment more and learn for myself the pros and cons of various techniques, I brew infrequent enough that I have settled into a system that works for me. All that being said, this is a book I enjoyed reading and one I highly recommend for the wealth of information inside.

I purchased this book for exactly the reasons Gordon Strong lays out in the introduction: it tells you how and why Gordon Strong brews the way that he does. His credentials show that he has mastered homebrewing, so I was very interested to see if there were tips or procedures I could pick up that would improve my brew day and/or to improve my beer. He covers just about every angle from recipe formulation all the way through to packaging and shipping the beer off for competition. Every chapter either taught me something, reinforced an idea, or gave me something to think about.

The book is divided into three main sections: Philosophy, Mastering Your Craft, and Applying Your Knowledge.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for everyone. Read the first 10 or so pages and you should have a good idea if it's for you or not. This book feels more like Gordon is sitting down with you and having a conversation than helping you with your brewing. Are there books that do a better job explaining the basics of brewing? Yes. Are there books out there that do a better job at explaining the science of brewing? Yes. There are definitely better books for homebrewing out there. I own some. But Gordon's book really helped me to look at my brewing and make some changes, to figure out where I want to take my brewing, and to set goals for myself. This is not a beginner's book. This is not a book for a beer geek. This is a book for someone that has been brewing for a while and is looking at competition brewing or to better their brewing by seeing what someone does and thinks. I really enjoyed this book.
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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful By K. Patton on June 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the reviews and was torn about ordering the book based on several of the rants against it. After reading about half the book, and browsing the rest to get an idea of all that it had to offer, I am glad I bought it. I have already incorporated some of the tips given in the book into my brewing.

I've been brewing for about 20 years, 7 of it all grain. I brew on average twice a month, sometimes more. I have single tier three vessel system. I am a scientist by training, but to be honest, I never thought of my brewing from a "process" viewpoint, until I read the book. I am at that stage in my brewing where I am focusing more on improving my beer, rather than seeking out new methods or techniques. The book offers those kind of insights. The author gets you thinking about beer and your brewing from a different perspective. He emphasizes that no two brewers make beer the same way, which is very true and is amply demonstrated if you belong to a brewclub. Homebrewers can all make great beer on their variety of systems: the book helps you think in a way to maximize your system to make the most of what you have and the processes that you have adopted. It offers alternatives, and shows the up and down sides of them all, so the brewer can decide if he has made the right choice for him.

It is a shame that I almost missed out on this book due to a few petty reviews, that in hindsight seem more like bulletin board rants, by know it alls with brewpot envy. Guys, please go get yourself a 15 gallon Blichman and get rid of the little 5 gallon enameled pot, then maybe you won't be so sour on life and can move on.

The book was never meant to be a book on beer design, or a how to book which is what the harshest critiques are comparing it to.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Drew on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I think the negative reviews on this book completely miss the point. This book is not an insight into some hidden technique that will magically help you brew better beer. It is more an acknowledgement that there are many ways to brew excellent beer; the author lays out what he does (not so important), but more importantly, discusses why and how he made the choices he made. Most books are focused on techniques or ideas that will affect a given batch of beer; this is more about how to think about your brewing as a whole, across many batches. It reads like a conversation between you and Gordon in his garage while he is brewing (and who wouldn't want to have a conversation with a Ninkasi winner and Grand Master BJCP judge?).

If you want a book to tell you what to do, go pick up How to Brew. If you want a book to tell you how to decide for yourself what to do, and how to think about brewing, buy this one.
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