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For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements) Paperback – December 16, 2012


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For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements) + Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements) + Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (Brewing Elements)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stan Hieronymus is one of America's leading writers on beer and brewing. He has authored or contributed to over ten books. His work appears regularly in many periodicals, including All About Beer magazine, DRAFT and Imbibe. Hieronymus is the editor of RealBeer.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Brewing Elements
  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (December 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938469011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938469015
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's been 21 years since my wife, Daria Labinsky, and I left our previous jobs as newspaper editors to see the country and some of the world beyond. Writing about beer was not part of the plan. Neither was writing books, but I've been lucky to co-author four of them with her, write three on my own and contribute to many others.

The three most popular - "For the Love of Hops," "Brewing with Wheat" and "Brew Like a Monk" - are about beer and brewing, but I don't pretend to be a brewing expert.

I'm a journalist. I visit places (mostly breweries, but for the most recent books hop farms and research facilities) I collect stories, I ask people what they do and why they do it, I sort through various histories, and I try to make sense of what brewing scientists have to say.

Not everything I learn makes it way into books, so as well as writing for a variety of magazines I comment on the importance of the "where in beer" at www.appellationbeer.com.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By B. Einhorn on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is well written and well researched. There is some interesting material on historical hops growing and research. But as a home brewer looking to improve my beer making I didn't get that much out of the book. A lot of the material I've read elsewhere. Maybe that's the problem, I've read a lot, so there wasn't that much new material here that is useful to a brewer - though there is some. Not a bad book, just not what I was looking for.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By mckracken on May 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many of the other reviewers/ brewers, I bought this because I really enjoyed the YEAST book by Brewing Elements Series. I agree with one of the other reviewers that also gave it three stars, so I probably don't need to re-hash that review since it was well written.

A few reasons why I couldn't pour over in the review: My main complaint is that I also found the material to be lacking in practical brewing information (compared to the yeast book which has all kinds of hands-on yeast lab set-up and technique, yeast handling and storage on a nano and macro level, temperature and oxygenation test results and graphs, etc...). The HOPS book is very well researched, but except for the clone recipes near the end of the book and the hop reference guide in the middle section, I just didn't find it useful in my day to day brewing.

The first half of the book is basically the history of hops, who grew them, and the genetic lineage of the different strains of hop plants (Cascade, Chinook, etc). Personally, I thought that while the writing is conversational, it jumps around a lot. It's hard to specify without referencing multiple paragraphs and pages, but after a while I felt like all I was reading was "Japan...1952...Germany....USDA.....1910......Illinois...... Oregon State... ...1988.....1985.....Chinook.....1966....Sierra Nevada. ....2004.......1955.....1970).

You should already know that everyone tastes and smells and likes different beers/ hops for whatever reasons (environmental, genetic, conditioning, seasonal). I feel like this book really just re-emphasises that nobody can really put their finger on (or at least come to a consensus on) what exactly certain hops smell like, how exactly to get any particular flavor into your beer, or why exactly it happens.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By TopHatJesse on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you're into Stan Hieronymus' style of journalistic, interview based writing, than this book may not be as disappointing to you. I also picked this book up as I finished "Yeast" in the same series, with hopes of gaining the same type of practical information on hops as I did on yeast. Just as he did in "Brew Like a Monk," the author interviews tons of people and tries to express his point with short quotes or stories from the interviewee. It has tons of informational history on hops. But it seriously lacks any practical, hands on information on actual brewing (especially the home brewer).

Take the chapter "Dry Hopping" as an example. In this chapter, the author talks about tons of machines that various breweries use to dry hop their beers. Being a lowly home brewer, I was hoping for a simple one or two pages about dry hopping in a carboy, maybe with different tips, tricks, or techniques.

You could also make the same argument for the chapter called "Growing Hops." Tons of interviews of hop growers telling anecdotal stories. Information for a home cultivator (which I am) in this chapter is non existent. I got more information from the Hop Farm I bought the rhizomes at.

Bottom Line: This is not a Practical Guide for anything. If you love everything hops, this is probably a good read for you. If you are expecting tons of cool stuff to help you brew better beer, take a pass.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By motorneuron on March 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of the book (probably not chosen by the author!) says that it's a "Practical Guide," among other things. But I didn't find it to be practical.

My biggest issue with the book is that I thought it would be more practical. Compared to "Yeast," also in the Brewing Elements series, this book has very little authoritative advice about how to actually USE hops in brewing. Don't get me wrong; the author does interview people who tell you (something) about different techniques they use for things like dry hopping. But at the end of the day, the author doesn't say "and here's the best way to do it, for the following reason." In that regard, I did not find it very useful in everyday brewing.

Don't get me wrong--I found this book somewhat enjoyable to read. But that doesn't mean it would be a great book except for my misunderstanding of what it was going to be. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, even for brewers. It reads like decent journalism, since it's based overwhelmingly on interviews. Some of the interviewees have a lot of experience and insight, but some do not. I personally was less interested in abstract history--I like knowing the history, but I like it best as it relates to practice for today.

So certainly one problem is with the Brewing Elements series, which needs better overall editorial focus: Is it practical, or is it not? That's probably the biggest problem. I would recommend it for real hop lovers who also want to know a lot about history and hops as they are grown and as a commodity today. But I don't think it is such a useful guide for brewing.
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