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Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home Paperback – November 1, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'DzThe Italian word for chutzpah is audacia, but it might as well be 'DzSam A. Calagione.'Dy 'Dl Forbes

The Italian word for chutzpah is audacia, but it might as well be Sam A. Calagione. Forbes

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"The Italian word for chutzpah is audacia, but it might as well be 'Sam A. Calagione'." Forbes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592532934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592532933
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just received this book yesterday and was disappointed by the content. Sam recruited some of the biggest and hottest names in craft brewing to contribute. Garrett Oliver, Michael Jackson, Vinnie from Russian River, and many more either contirbute a recipe or essay. However, most of these contributions are minimal and not as in depth as their personal publications. Issues such as brewing with spices and wood aging are discussed but in too little detail to really learn much.

The beginning of the book covers brewing for the very beginner. Other books cover this much better. I think a beginning non-technical brewer would do better with the Joy of Homebrewing while more studious brewers should get John Palmer's book. Food and beer pairing is covered but Garrett Oliver's book is better.

As for the extreme brewing aspects I would rather spend my money on Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. It allows for your independent experiments and is much more educational.

The book is also set up to sell homebrew kits designed to parallel the book. Look elsewhere for your brewing education. I was left with the thought of "Where's the Beef?" with this one.
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Format: Paperback
Firstly, let me say that I respect Sam's achievements in brewing and applaud his creativity. I'm looking forward to more "extreme" offerings from Dogfish Head in the future. Unfortunately, my regard for this book does not match that of the author. It's really a bit of a mess. In trying to appeal to beginner and experienced brewer alike, I think it fails to satisfy either. The title would lead the consumer to believe that this is a guide for brewers (enthusiasts) to kick their brewing knowledge and techniques up a notch. However, the first sections of the book are an uninspired description of the extract brewing process, barely detailed enough for a beginning brewer. The book then describes how and when to use extreme brewing ingredients (non-traditional sugars, spices, herbs, etc). This is by far the most interesting part of the book, but is more applicable to an experienced brewer. The book then concludes with an extract/partial mash recipe section leaving us all-grain brewers hanging out in the breeze. Next time Sam, pick an audience and stick to it throughout the book.
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Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying I like Sam's beers and he seemed like a good guy when I met him a while back.

When I heard about the book I was quite interested as I had recently read Radical Brewing (which is a fairly in depth examination of ingredients and techniques).

Extreme Brewing is a great book for a novice brewer who want some basic extract / partial mash recipes for what are currently viewed as some "extreme" craft brewes from Dogfish Head, Avery, Russian River, etc. The brewers and beers in the book are some of the best but there is no real depth of information for anyone who has been brewing for any length of time. I'm not an expert, but this book really had nothing new to offer in terms of brewing ingredients / techniques.

If you want some recipes for extract versions of some big beers, go for it. If you want to really explore brewing on a creative level - pass.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off I will qualify myself as a librarian and avid home brewer. Though I love brewing at home, I have not as yet made the jump to "all grain" brewing. What I was looking for was a book that had some more advanced recipes aimed at the "weekend warrior" home brewing types that still use malt extract in their beers. This book fit the bill perfectly! With contributions from some of the biggest and most respected names in the craft brewing world, this book is both instructional as well as inspirational. Not everyone pops out of the womb as a superstar brewer, and I think Mr. Calagione should be commended for writing a book aimed at the beginner and intermediate home brewers. I found this a well written, attractive, and informative read. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I should probably rate this as 4 stars. The books has some typo errors. I find the current brewing fashion to be massive hops, high alcohol and calling your creation extreme or radical. Basically he proposes a lot of extract brewing and little all grain brewing. This would be a good book for a person who has made a few batches of homebrew. The typos include instructions to add both liquid and dry extract when the bill of materials does not differentiate to use either dry or liquid. In another case it instructs to add two doses of priming sugar, one with late hops and then plain. Better editing would have helped.
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Format: Paperback
Santa brought me Sam Calagione's "Extreme Brewing" for Christmas. As a veteran homebrewer and beer enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I do not believe it will replace cornerstone texts like "The Joy of Homebrewing", "How to Brew", or "Designing Great Beer" as a reference or instructional guide. It is, nonetheless, an extremely interesting and informative book, a tasty sidedish to the other books' meat and potatoes. "Extreme Brewing" provides a useful, if somewhat abbreviated, "how to" description of the homebrewing process. The rest of the book focuses on ingredients, recipes, and brewing techniques. As other reviewers have mentioned, the recipes presented in the book are written for extract brewing. Unlike other reviewers, however, I do not believe this relegates the book to the "novice brewer" category. Each recipe includes a description of the techniques used to produce the beer, and the "extreme ingredients" used to give the beer its special qualities. I found several of the techniques (e.g., continual hopping, multiple primary fermentations, etc.) very interesting. I also appreciated the discussion of "extreme ingredients" (what they are, how to use them, how much to use, etc.). The use of these techniques and ingredients is far from basic. I count several of the Dogfish Head Brewery offerings among my favorite beers (even though I have to drive to the next state to get them). Now I have new insights into how they achieve some of their results. I do not think I could have simply figured it out on my own. Finally, the book is well made and looks good, with glossy pages and high quality photos. It is a beer book you would not be embarrassed to have out on your coffee table. I recommend it.
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