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Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass Paperback – May 6, 2004
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From the Publisher
History, humor and homebrewing converge when the creative and prolific mind of Randy Mosher explores the expressive side of beer in Radical Brewing.
Mosher sees homebrewingand by extension craft brewingas an antidote to corporate, mass-market beers. Over two decades of brewing and beer research, he has probed the depths of beer history in both his reading and his brewing. Radical Brewing displays the many unique ales and lagers that have resulted from his celebration of beer while serving as a vehicle for discussing a creative, "outside the lines" approach to modern brewing. Through it all, the reader is treated to Moshers irresistible love of beer and brewing as well as some very humorous asides on beer history.
The infectious spirit of homebrewing is hard to resist when one reviews Moshers recipe for "Electric Aunt Jemima Maple Buckwheat Ale," checks out the section on "(Not so Dumb) Blonde Ales" or chuckles through his fanciful description of the birth of beer featuring the ancient Harleh-riding Urs Angels. Best of all, the two-color visually rich content comes in self-contained segments that instantly engage readers no matter what page they turn to.
Typically, modern brewing books focus on the science of how to brewand Mosher has mastered all of that. But in Radical Brewing, he focuses on the creative, expressive opportunities available to those with a brew kettle. Each chapter offers techniques and recipes as well as ideas for independent exploration of new brewing frontiers. The result is a text that both informs and inspires experienced brewers while providing an engaging and intelligent introduction to the hobby for newcomers.
Famed beer writer Michael Jackson once called Mosher "some kind of homebrewing genius" and in the forward to Radical Brewing, he further lionizes this genius, saying "His activities are probably a threat to our morals. Passion, imagination and tenacity are a challenge to the established order." These two masters of beer have collaborated in the past, as Jackson notes when he tells how Mosher accurately recreated the flavor of a now-lost beer style that even Jackson had only once tasted himself. And though Jacksons accolades for Mosher are great, one can only imagine that they will pale as practicing brewers of all stripes begin to digest Moshers treasure-trove of beer ideas and render their own reviews of this delightful book.
From the Inside Flap
The world desperately needs more Moshers. If only we had more Moshers, the Tasmanian tiger might return from extinction. Mike Tyson at his peak would be able to step into the ring with Muhammad Ali. We would be able to see and hear the great performers who pre-dated the recording of sound. I might even now be sipping a pre-Prohibition beer and checking whether Buddy Bolden could be heard across Lake Ponchartrain. Or I might be sampling Harwood's Porter in a London pub, or an India Pale Ale aboard a clipper heading for Calcutta.
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Top Customer Reviews
How to describe it??
Broadly, it is like Designing Great Beers in that it presents the ingredients of brewing, the methods for using them and how various beer styles were developed by using those ingredients.
The difference could be described in this way though: If DGB were described as a university course in the main lecture hall on brewing, then Radical Brewing is sitting down with the Prof one-on-one, while he regales with his experiences and pours you samples as he talks. And, if you know Randy, then this description of his book is self-explanatory. It really is a book that you will pick up and read for the fun of it. There are lots of interesting recipes, and his discussion makes you want to try them.
A great book to further your homebrewing education.
author of "How To Brew"
At the risk of turning this review section into a lovefest, I agree with the other reviewers. If you've never brewed before, get a good basic text; you can't do better than Palmer's How to Brew, and he's generous enough to put the entire text on line for free perusal--although you'll probably want to go ahead and get a hard copy just for convenience. Others will have their own preferences for a basic brewing book. I started out a couple of decades ago with Papazian's book, and it's fine--but I think Palmer's is a tad better.
One theme Mosher stresses is how the homebrewer can afford to use the best ingredients for his brew, something a corporate brewer can't. So what if using Maris Otter malt and lots of noble hops might make that batch cost a few cents more? You can afford it, and can make a brew that no big corporation would ever make.
If I were just starting out today, I'd probably spring for Palmer's book and this one by Mosher. Between those two you'd be able to brew virtually any style you want to. Plus, after reading Radical Brewing you'd have more esoteric beer knowledge than any sane person needs. But who ever said that homebrewers were sane?
If your a beginner looking to get into this hobby, BUY HOW TO BREW TODAY! It is amazing.
If you are a hardcore masher that has been doing everything "right" but still aren't winning those medals that you want, BUY DESIGNING GREAT BEERS TODAY!
Somewhere in no way inbetween these books is Radical Brewing. An informative text about beers of old as well as beers that have yet to even find a style guideline. I'm a BJCP judge and trust me, they ain't there. He completely shakes the platform that much of the American craft brewing scene has stood on, calling for the judicious use of adjuncts in many instances, including many exotic sugars that I had never even heard of.
The book also delves into the history of each style and how they have been produced throughout the years. Early on, he moves through the Belgian abbey ales. Later he tackles the challenges of Belgium with sections on sour browns, Flemish Reds, Lambics, Wit beers, and Saisons (though he doesn't do the best job of explaining proper fermentation of the saisons). He even does a synopsis of the Gose beer of Germany. I've only seen these beers once!
Randy is obviously someone who has taken homebrewing as seriously as anyone could, for about as long as anyone could. His book is entertaining and is a wealth of knowledge (even if I don't agree with EVERYTHING he says) for brewers at all levels. It is not a book that the novice should shy away from, yet it is also one that every advanced homebrewer should already own. And the historical quotes and poems on beer are just awesome. I used a good many of them on the beer menu for my wedding reception. HEHE!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave this as a gift to a friend who is a home brewer and he really loved the book. Unfortunately I can't give an in depth review, but my friends two thumbs up is enough for me.Published 1 month ago by DARREN W HAMRICK
Good read to expand your understanding of the freedom to create when homebrewing. It has help me to be less stressed about hitting my "numbers" exactly when brewing.Published 3 months ago by RHR
Buy the hard copy not the digital version. I have both. The illustrations and charts are a big part of this book and don't come through well on the digital version. Read morePublished 3 months ago by PonderosaMan
Really awesome, informational, radical (huh huh) book on brewing. Highly recommend it for anyone interested in the magnificent, wonderful, magical, awe-inspiring world of brewing!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Randy has a very interesting take on both life and brewing and this text will give you plenty of new stuff to think about - because its genuinely different. Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. Whitebrook