- Paperback: 317 pages
- Publisher: Brewers Publications (October 25, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0937381926
- ISBN-13: 978-0937381922
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew Paperback – October 25, 2007
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About the Author
Jamil Zainasheff started brewing in 1999 and soon started winning awards in homebrew competitions. He has brewed beers in every style recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program, taken medals in the finals of the National Homebrew Competition every year since 2002 and amassed more than 20 Best-of-Show awards. He contributes articles to Zymurgy and is the Style Profile columnist for Brew Your Own. Author of the homebrewing bestseller How To Brew, John J. Palmer shares his years of hands-on experience to help homebrewers consistently make great beers while expanding their knowledge and experience with the hobby.
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Top customer reviews
--These recipes are award-winners, which means that the judges chose them over others. That means they got the judge's attention, which means they tend to push the boundaries of the style to get that attention. You will want to look to the BJCP style guidelines if you are trying to hit somewhere more in the middle of the style.
--The recipes focus on extract, with substitutions for all-grain brewers. I brew with grain, not extract, and so it is extra thinking to substitute grain for extract. But I know that 80% of those who brew use extract, so I don't blame the authors for focusing on that.
--As with almost every brewing book, the reader may not pay attention when the authors say "Ferment at 50 degrees" or something like that. But the secret is to do exactly what it says: control your fermentation and hold it precisely where it tells you to. One sentence can't convey the importance of that.
All that doesn't take away from the value of this book. It will make a great addition to any home brewer's library.
Second, you have to know the style guidelines if you want to enter competitions. It is also useful to modify the recipes for your own personal enjoyment. I do not compete in competitions. I have used this book and modify different recipes to fit my taste. Several of his recipes are just awesome. People always comment that my kegerator has better beer then most bars. :) Thanks Jamil!!!!
Third, He also describes the flavors and hints on brewing with the recipe. He talks about do's and don'ts when brewing to a certain style. He is sharing his brewing knowledge and it is full of wisdom.
One con is that it is for extract with a side mention of all grain. To remedy this problem. Use an online tool or Beersmith program to make sure the base malts measure up to the extract. Its a minor con because any experience brewer knows that efficiency of mashing varies widely on the all-grain brewing setup of the brewer.
As a recipe book goes, its 4 stars. Given the rarity of good beer brewing recipe books, it has to be 5 stars ( or 6 stars, hehehe).
As for the recipes, they are broken into chapters by beer style. Each chapter provides a brief introduction to the style, and 2-3 recipes. These recipes provide fairly detailed instructions and ingredients list, however some of the terminology might confuse the novice brewer. The recipes are good by themselves, but I personally find them as useful references when developing my on recipes. Its a great starting point to brew the beer as introduced in the book, then fine tune to your personal taste. Its important for up and coming brewers to learn creativity though, so I would advise new brewers to not be afraid to try something that maybe doesn't seem "right" or match up with a specific style or recipe, because that is how you learn about flavors (and the beer will probably still turn out well).
Overall, I would say this is the quintessential recipe & style guide for homebrewers. It offers a good amount of recipes covering a breadth of styles. It is a handy reference when brewing and is most useful, in my opinion, for developing your own recipes.
I was recommended this book, and am really pleased with it. Palmer provides the technical details for things like amount of priming sugar to add to achieve a certain level of carbonation, and how large of a yeast starter to make, and Zainasheff provides information about what to keep in mind when brewing a certain type of beer, as well as at least one recipe for each type. Each recipe has both an extract and all-grain method, as well as information about mashing, the type and amount of yeast to use, and fermentation temperature and duration.
I'm impressed by the range of recipes in this book. You might not find a recipe for the "Jalapeno-coffee stout" you really want to make, but there will be enough information and instruction in this book for you to figure it out and produce something decent. For instance, I really wanted to make a blueberry blonde ale. This book didn't have that recipe, but it did have a blonde, and it had instructions in the fruit beer section on how to make a fruit beer. I used the blonde recipe, followed the fruit instructions, and made an amazingly good beer. I'm really impressed with it.
Other recipes from this book I've tried without modification, and all have ended up stellar. My favorite so far is the Special/Premium Bitter. Fantastic beer.
If you're looking for a recipe book, I'd recommend this one. If you're looking for something on the mechanics of brewing, I recommend "How to Brew" by Palmer.