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Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great-Tasting Beer Paperback – January 10, 1995

4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

While authors of entry-level brewing books do well to alleviate the fears of anxious new brewers, advanced writers benefit from a pointedly informative approach. Dave Miller's dry, technically versed style has earned him widespread respect through his own publications as well as his work with Brewing Techniques, the first-rate magazine for small-scale brewers. Really an update to his classic Complete Handbook of Home Brewing, Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide is clear enough to introduce advanced techniques to the average home-brewer, yet thorough enough to provide a permanent reference for the expert.

Miller manages to improve upon his earlier book--itself one of the finest advanced brewing books available--by updating and better organizing the information. While the Homebrewing Guide does provide a cursory introduction to basic brewing techniques and a sampling of supplementary topics (kegging, filtration), its real value is in the thoroughness and clarity with which all-grain brewing is described. Grain mashing, for instance, is discussed in three different chapters: a summary of various mashing techniques, a description of the underlying biochemistry, and a step-by-step description of the mashing process. By compartmentalizing the information into short chapters and carefully organizing their sequence, Miller creates a guide that can be read straight through as an initiation to advanced brewing or easily referenced for specific information on brew day. --Todd Gehman

From Publishers Weekly

In A Taste for Beer, coming from Storey in October, Stephen Beaumont provides a concise, entertaining overview of the world of beer: styles, flavors, food combinations, recipes?as he puts it: "the many ways in which beer may contribute to the quality of your life." ($14.95 paper, 192p ISBN 0-88266-907-9) After you're familiar with all the options, you may want to consider making your own: in Home Brew, coming in October from Lyons & Burford, Philip Ward introduces the various beers and provides simple instructions for brewing your own: equipment and supplies needed, how to set up your own brewery, recipes, resource lists and more. ($12.95 paper 160p, ISBN 1-55821-315-5) Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great-Tasting Beer, also from Storey in October is a comprehensive reference to the entire brewing process, with charts, tables and illustrations. Miller, an experienced brewmaster, devotes each chapter to covering a topic in depth, with full detail on the latest techniques. ($14.95 paper, 368p ISBN 0-88266-905-2)
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882669052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882669052
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I liked this book very much and learned a lot from it, but I think it could use some editing and revision. The book seems to hop from one thing to the next with no clear structure and even repeats itself a few times. It also lacks all of the great illustrations that good brew books are usually filled with. Granted, this is not really a beginners brew book, but nonetheless, I wish it had been edited more clearly. However, I will not criticize the information that dave offers the homebrewer. He is certainly an expert and gives the reader much detail in each aspect of brewing. This is a great book for the partial mash or extract brewer out there who wants to move into all grain brewing... or if you're the kind of guy that needs to add another brew book to your shelves, go ahead and get this one. You'll learn a thing or two no matter how long you've been brewing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a lot of good info, which I've found to be both interesting and useful as I get back into brewing after a break of a few years. I have Papazian also, and of the two books, I pick this one up more often, and find what I'm looking for more easily.
Despite the comments of some other reviewers, one doesn't need to be an all-grain brewer to find this book useful. I'm creating my own recipes using extracts and specialty grains, and find this book to be very helpful.
However, Miller is pretty repetitive. It is only a slight exaggeration that there are 3 chapters on each topic: on each on theory, equipment and method. I find that there is a moderate degree of repetition of material across these chapters. A consolidation of each topic into 1 chapter could well result in a 1/3 reduction in pages for the book.
I'll echo another reviewer, who commented negatively on the recipes towards the back. They are really just lists of ingredients, without discussion on method (eg. mash temperatures) or variables.
Having made these mild complaints, I'll go on picking this book up every day or so as I think about what to do for my next brew.
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Format: Paperback
This book is for the homebrewer that doesn't just accept that brewing works because it does. David Miller gets into some pretty heavy theory in this book and if you can keep up him you'll learn a hell of a lot.
There are many pages dedicated to the organic chemistry surrounding the brewing process. There are plenty of other pages that explain things a bit simpler.
Good book overall.
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Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I got the feeling that Dave was aiming to please the intermediate to advanced all grain brewing crowd. This is definitely not a book for the beginner to novice extract brewers.
I tried to read this book from the prospective of a non-all grain brewer and felt that if I hadn't been familiar with the process already (through Papazian, local home brew club, personal experience, etc.), then I may not have been able to follow this book very well. There are very few pictures to reference and some very important areas are vague and could use more detail, such as yeast propagation and culturing.
I think Papazian, although sometimes recommending bad habits to beginners, does the best job of explaining the process of brewing to a beginning home brewer. Papazian will later correct some of the bad habits he suggested in earlier chapters in his book, but at least he'll get a beginner going. I also think Papazian is much more entertaining to read and also includes a lot more detail in various areas, along with pictures to help you understand what he's talking about a little more.
At any rate, I would recommend this book to anyone that's an intermediate to advanced brewer who is either looking into or already brewing all-grain beer. Dave is a pretty dry writer, but his views sometimes provide a different way of looking at the brewing process. I also like the fact that Dave preaches sanitation the way he does (although, again, not really going into much detail on the many types of sanitizers that can be used), as this is the most important aspect in brewing, in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback
I am buying this book for the second time... I lost my old one and HAVE to replace it in my book collection..
There is allot of great information in this book. This was one of my first books that I got whe I started homebrewing. If the information seems heavy. Have faith and go back to it periodically as you become more familiar with brewing it self. I still find myself reading sections over and finally "getting them" (especially the chemistry part).
But, the homebrewing practices are solid and many of the reference sheets I use all of the time. My only beef are the recipes in the back... They are accurate if you use the percentages/ratios of ingridients but, are not accurate if you use them for 5 or 10 gallon recipes.... Other than that no complaints.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this books starts with the basics for beginners, it also covers advanced topics, and in my opinion the best all-around homebrew guide.

Miller's explinations of the mashing process is one of the best I've seen, and even non-chemist readers will understand what's happening in the mash tun. He also clearly explains what happens during the fermentation process, as well as covering the types of yeasts and how they work. Most homebrewers don't need to understand brewing science to mix yeast with wort, but Miller makes it easy to understand the big picture, helping turn recipe mixers into homebrewers.

On that note, this book is NOT filled with hundreds of pages of monkey see monkey do recipes. Miller teaches readers how to brew, and then gives recipe guidelines for popular styles (giving parameters, but leaving the brewing up to the homebrewer).

I think this book is best read from beginning to end, but it's also an excellent reference with charts and tables.

Regarding brew books in general, all homebrewers should have one of Charlie Papazian's books, since he's the pioneer that started it all. However, I find Dave Miller's book the best up-to-date guide on homebrewing.
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