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Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew Paperback – October 25, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
John Palmer is the author of "How to Brew," now in its third edition. This is my favorite homebrewing book. My brew kettle will be struck by lightning for saying this: How to Brew is better even than Charlie Papazian's The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing. John has a knack for writing clear explanations of advanced brewing topics. John is a frequent speaker at the National Homebrewing Conference and he writes the "Advanced Brewing" column for "Brew Your Own" magazine.
Jamil Zainasheff has not previously written any homebrewing books, but I think that's only because he was too busy brewing. He has won a multitude of awards in major homebrewing competitions including two Ninkasi Awards for the highest overall score at the National Homebrew Competition. Jamil is heavily involved with the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and he writes the "Style Profile" column for "Brew Your Own" magazine.
"Brewing Classic Styles" capitalizes on the fact that Jamil has an award-winning recipe for every beer style in the BJCP style guidelines. He has fine-tuned these recipes by brewing batch after batch for competitions over many years. Interestingly, he had already shared most of these recipes on the Internet before "Brewing Classic Styles" was written.Read more ›
Though there are tons of fantastic recipes in Brewing Classic Styles, it came as a bit of a disappointment -- there is very little depth beyond the basic recipes themselves. Much of the content is repeatedly duplicated, which, while understandable, feels lazy or rushed. Fermentation information, which Jamil stresses often as being the most important aspect of a recipe, is nearly always reduced to a boilerplate 3 sentence paragraph.
Jamil and Palmer state that the book started out as a "how to brew with extract" guide, and it shows: each recipe is delivered as extract based, with all grain options given in a final paragraph. Though this is not really a big deal, I do wish that the all grain recipes had been presented in the same easy to read format as the extract, instead of having to go back and plug in substitutions.
The most enjoyable part of reading the book itself are Jamil's stories regarding certain recipes; I will admit that I find myself wishing for more of these!
In conclusion, "Brewing Classic Styles" is a great collection of recipes that lacks some depth; it does, however, make a fantastic accompaniment to Daniels' "Designing Great Beers," which has all of the depth but no actual recipes.
Although, there are other recipe books available and recipes are all over the web, there is really no uniformly trusted source for spot on recipes for so many styles. Too many times I have grabbed a recipe even from a decent source and only later with more experience been able to isolate its flaws.
This book should help people start brewing their favorite styles or venture into unfamiliar styles with a real home brew pro as their guide. I have already brewed a couple of the recipes and can't wait to try more. Super resource.
There are also plenty of hints for how to tweak and modify the recipes for different outcomes, so the book should be a good companion to Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels for intermediate and experienced brewers as well, and doesn't confine you to one specific way of brewing or to a particular end result. As such, it encourages further creativity, even though the recipes should be (and are, at least to the extent I have tried them) excellent as they are.
Brewing Classic Styles isn't an essential book for the home brewer. You can easily get by without it. Some of the ingredients can be hard to find, especially outside the U.S. It is, however, a very good introduction to the styles, and provides you with clear examples of how to brew each. Of its kind, it's probably the best there is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative and great recipes, really enjoy this book. I highly recommend it!Published 3 days ago by PJane
Great resource material in the beginning and I am currently enjoying the "HOPPINESS IS AN IPA" that I brewed.Published 10 days ago by jswett
Gave the book to a friend who loves to brew his own beer!Published 1 month ago by Aubrey H. Steiner
This book should be in every brewer's library, next to Palmer's "How to Brew". A great reference for classic beer styles. Read morePublished 2 months ago by B. Anderson
Fastastic book. Use it as a reference for many of my own recipes. Every home brewer should own a copy.Published 2 months ago by Rich Garner
As a beginner homebrewer I wanted to make beers such as pina colada strawberry rum stout and raspberry chocolate mint lager it didn't take me long to figure out getting good... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marlin Schrock