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Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) Paperback – October 7, 2013
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About the Author
Colin Kaminski’s brewing career started as the product designer at Beer, Beer and More Beer, designing more than 180 products including the Peltier cooled conical fermentor. Colin has written on a variety of topics including lutherie, holography, solar astronomy and beer. He has been the Master Brewer at Downtown Joe’s Brewery since 2003. Colin resides in California
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, there is a treasure trove of good information here if you can slog your way through to it. Perhaps the uber technical stuff should be included as an appendix and referenced as needed in the text for those interested.
Maybe I don't know what it is I need to know, but what I wanted to know was:
1. What are the ideal ranges of water ph and mineral profiles for various beer styles. NOT the water profile of the town that the style was originally brewed.
2. How to understand the properties of the water I am using.
3. The importance of the mash ph and how water alkalinity and grain bill help to approach the target (RA). Then how to adjust the ph if it is out of the acceptable range. Not in moles, mill-equivalents or furlongs per fortnight but grams/ml per gallon mash.
4. The affect of mineral levels and ratios on beer flavor, head retention, hop utilization, etc. Then how to adjust my water to achieve these levels.
While most of this information is included it is a hard read getting there. The additional uber technical info just seemed to complicate (obfuscate) the necessary information. Just one guys thoughts.
While the book does not shy away from the technical details, it remains fairly readable, even to someone like me who has not thought about chemistry since high school. While many chemical equations are included, they are largely unnecessary (albeit helpful) to understanding the bulk of the material. Where one absolutely must think about techincal details, the authors do a good job of simplifying the computations as they apply to actually making beer.
One highlight of the book is that it heavily incorporates the (recent) research of noted homebrewers such as Brungard, deLange, and Troester. I personally have been going mostly off of the writings of these three (on various websites and forums) for my knowledge of brewing water up until now; I am excited to have this information synthesized in one place.
The book also includes several examples of how to take a target water profile and modify it to brew a particular style of beer. Along with the general guidelines presented, the reader should be able to then apply these principles to their own water and beer styles they are brewing. Like the "Yeast" book, I see this becoming one of the brewing books I pull off the shelf most frequently.
First of all a criticism - the authors, reviewers and forward note editor imply that there has never been a (single) book of its kind covering the vast topic of water chemistry for brewers - at least not in recent times, in English or with the requisite technical depth for professional brewers. Well they all missed a big fish here (I add the same levity they do in using water terms in a humorous way to open up their topics). I refer to the title: Water in Brewing in the European Brewery Convention Manual of Good Practice Series. 2001 Fachverlag Hans Carl ISBN 3-418-00778-3. With no mention of this book in Palmer and Kaminski's work it's a huge oversight on their part. (Furthermore there are other treatises on brewing water treatment as published conference proceedings out there also not referenced by Palmer and Kaminski. So they missed a lot of crucial literature along the way). That being said and, while there is a lot of overlap in coverage of topics in the two volumes discussed here, the new work has brought together a stellar amount of material and reduced it to a level that will - after some effort (it ain't that easy folks to understand this topic - muddy waters always for all of us here) be amenable to novice chemists and will help more brewers understand the calculations that may help them make better beer.
The book covers the usual waves of information - how to read a water report and the importance of the presence or absence of each mineral ion and many organic components (the latter well covered in the EBC manual also).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not much to say except that it's a masterpiece of brewing literature. John Palmer takes the science of brewing water way over the heads of the average man and then drops it back... Read morePublished 13 days ago by brian b.
Way too technical for me. However, like another reviewer said if you can sift through the all the technical jargon there is good info. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Scott New
Excellent book, one of my favorites. Explores how important this basic ingredient is to brewingPublished 20 days ago by Wesley Horton
THE reference. All you will ever need or want to know about H2O. I would also recommend you google "Bru'n water" and grab the free spreadsheet. Read morePublished 27 days ago by kcwcc
Highly detailed, covers many aspects from many angles. Don't let the chemistry scare you because understanding the chemistry of water helps to the biochemistry of water and the end... Read morePublished 3 months ago by T. Huffman
Chemistry was never my strong suit, so I found this a bit of a technical challenge and it took me longer than usual to read and understand. Read morePublished 4 months ago by C Shane Lambert