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The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing Paperback – October 1, 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by Frank Caiafa
"The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book" by Frank Caiafa
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Relax. Don't Worry. Have a home-brew." It's the mantra of home-brewing, a phrase that nods to the technical aspects of brewing only as it dismisses all stress with a sip and a smile. Home-brewing is fun, after all. Charlie Papazian didn't just coin the term, he virtually spearheaded the home-brewing revival in America. Figurehead for the American Homebrewers Association and its membership magazine, Zymurgy, Papazian is one of the founding fathers of the modern home-brewing scene.

Often touted as the home-brewer's bible, The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing charts a beginning brewer's course, keeping the focus on enjoying the process as well as the results of home-brewing. An easy-to-use table of ingredients helps the newly initiated design their own recipes, although many home-brewers happily spend years sampling those Papazian provides. Dozens of recipes for all levels of experience are here, christened with the most improbable (and irresistible?) names in home-brewing literature ("Toad Spit Stout," "Cheeks to the Wind Mild," and "Goat Scrotum Ale" among them).

While Papazian's classic does cover a broad sweep of home-brewing techniques (including more advanced procedures like grain mashing and yeast culturing), it's more than just a home-brewer's guidebook. Papazian's personal take on the history of American brewing is an entertaining read for any beer enthusiast, and his laid-back, humor-driven style engages readers whether or not they've ever boiled up a brew. This book makes home-brewers almost as often as it helps them. If enthusiastic friends haven't convinced you to start home-brewing, The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing undoubtedly will. --Todd Gehman


"Beer lore, organics advocacy, popular scientific explanation, andhow-to advice. . .Best of all is the simple chart forbrewing everything imaginable." -- Village Voice Literary Supplement

"Indispensable" -- -- Penthouse

"Indispensable" -- Penthouse

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; 2nd edition (October 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380763664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380763665
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased this book when I first began homebrewing about 7 years ago. I found it was very easy to read and Charlie's "Don't worry, have a homebrew!" attitude towards beer brewing took the fear out of brewing my first few batches of beer. His carefree approach is a "180" from Dave Miller's approach. I would actually suggest to a novice, if the cash is available, that you purchase and read both Papazian and Miller's books thoroughly before staring your first batch of beer. All the information may not sink in at first, but it only takes a few batches of beer and everything will make sense. They both contain good points on brewing your first beer.
I would like to point out one step in Papazian's book that should be avoided at all levels of brewing, and that is, the aeration of the wort when it's hot. Please keep this in mind as you read this book. It will make sense after you read the first section for beginners. Papazian suggests, for simplicity sake, that you pour the 3 gallons of hot wort from your brew pot into a container that already contains 2 gallons of cold water. This is not a good practice at any level of brewing. Aeration of the wort is a two way street. Although necessary for the proper yeast life cycle necessary for the conversion of the sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide, If you aerate the wort when it's too hot, or after the beer has began fermenting (which Charlie does warn you about), you could ruin your finished product. If you read the later chapters in the book, you'll find reference to wort chillers and chilling the wort quickly.
Most books written to date suggest that you cool the beer to below 80 degrees F before aerating. This is what I practice, as do most of the other homebrewers that I keep in touch with.
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Format: Paperback
When you first feel the desire to brew beer, and start looking into the process, it can seem pretty formidable. Walking into the homebrew store or visiting its website, and seeing all the ingredients and equipment, can be intimidating for the newcomer. Turning to the web, magazines and books for enlightenment, the first-timer can be intimidated by the sheer volume of brewing information floating around. Rather than throwing your hands up in confusion and walking away, buy this book.
Papazian's motto is "Relax, don't worry--have a homebrew!" Rather than getting bogged down in the details of making perfect, contest-winning beers, Papazian focuses on the basic steps a homebrewer has to follow to make good beer. You can make something tasty and enjoyable with minimal equipment, malt extract and part of a weekend afternoon, and Papazian holds the brewer's hand through the entire process. Once you've nailed the basics--and it's not hard--the last part of the book teaches you how to advance to intermediate brewing without much additional hassle.
Experienced brewers may find this book too basic for their needs. Beginning and intermediate brewers will find it invaluable.
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Format: Paperback
I have a whopping 2.5 gals of surprisingly good brew in my logbook (that makes me a rank beginner, folks!). I bought this book because I wanted to improve my techniques and make better (but not necessarily more complex) beers. This book never let me down - it has everything and seems best suited for the beginner to novice brewers (because 99% of intermediate to advanced brewers have already read it!). This book is divided into 3 sections - beginner (all extract), intermediate (extract plus specialty grains), and advnced (all-grain). However, this doesn't completely describe the layout of the book. For instance, Papazian talks about brewing techniques and components of beer (and how they interact) in EACH section, but he delves deeper and deeper with each progressive section. Thus, he unravels the mysteries of beer at a comfortable pace and only to the degree to which the reader cares to explore. But perhaps the thing that makes Papazian's books so beloved by homebrewers is the perfect balance between technique and fun! Even when describing the most technical subject, Papazian never disguises his enthusiasm for and love of homebrewing. He never forgets to remind his readers to ENJOY what they're doing - no matter how technical it may be (oh, and Papazian is exceptionally knowledgeable about homebrewing). Papazian's enthusiasm has rubbed off on me and has ignited my curiosity. I recommend this book to ALL homebrewers who have not already read it. To those who are curious about homebrewing, look no further - BUY THIS BOOK! It's worth it. This is nearly unanimously THE best general treatise on the FUN of homebrewing! Try some of the recipes he includes - I did!
Relax... Don't Worry... Have a Homebrew!
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Format: Paperback
After getting the desire to homebrew, and spending countless hours in the library reading various different books on homebrewing, I was becoming frustrated with the lack of information available . . .
Then I stumbled across this book in a homebrew shop. It was EXACTLY what I needed as a first time homebrewer. I had no one to show me how to do it, but this book proved to be an excellent guide. It is a fun book to read, helps you to understand all the basics, and gives you more in-depth information later on if you want it.
This book provided me with everything I needed in a simple-to-understand format, and answered all my questions. I've been brewing for 10 years now, and never needed to buy another homebrew instruction book. It even contains a good number of recipes from many different styles, and I've never found one I didn't like.
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