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Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew Paperback – October 25, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
John Palmer is the author of "How to Brew," now in its third edition. This is my favorite homebrewing book. My brew kettle will be struck by lightning for saying this: How to Brew is better even than Charlie Papazian's The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing. John has a knack for writing clear explanations of advanced brewing topics. John is a frequent speaker at the National Homebrewing Conference and he writes the "Advanced Brewing" column for "Brew Your Own" magazine.
Jamil Zainasheff has not previously written any homebrewing books, but I think that's only because he was too busy brewing. He has won a multitude of awards in major homebrewing competitions including two Ninkasi Awards for the highest overall score at the National Homebrew Competition. Jamil is heavily involved with the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and he writes the "Style Profile" column for "Brew Your Own" magazine.
"Brewing Classic Styles" capitalizes on the fact that Jamil has an award-winning recipe for every beer style in the BJCP style guidelines. He has fine-tuned these recipes by brewing batch after batch for competitions over many years. Interestingly, he had already shared most of these recipes on the Internet before "Brewing Classic Styles" was written.Read more ›
Though there are tons of fantastic recipes in Brewing Classic Styles, it came as a bit of a disappointment -- there is very little depth beyond the basic recipes themselves. Much of the content is repeatedly duplicated, which, while understandable, feels lazy or rushed. Fermentation information, which Jamil stresses often as being the most important aspect of a recipe, is nearly always reduced to a boilerplate 3 sentence paragraph.
Jamil and Palmer state that the book started out as a "how to brew with extract" guide, and it shows: each recipe is delivered as extract based, with all grain options given in a final paragraph. Though this is not really a big deal, I do wish that the all grain recipes had been presented in the same easy to read format as the extract, instead of having to go back and plug in substitutions.
The most enjoyable part of reading the book itself are Jamil's stories regarding certain recipes; I will admit that I find myself wishing for more of these!
In conclusion, "Brewing Classic Styles" is a great collection of recipes that lacks some depth; it does, however, make a fantastic accompaniment to Daniels' "Designing Great Beers," which has all of the depth but no actual recipes.
Although, there are other recipe books available and recipes are all over the web, there is really no uniformly trusted source for spot on recipes for so many styles. Too many times I have grabbed a recipe even from a decent source and only later with more experience been able to isolate its flaws.
This book should help people start brewing their favorite styles or venture into unfamiliar styles with a real home brew pro as their guide. I have already brewed a couple of the recipes and can't wait to try more. Super resource.
There are also plenty of hints for how to tweak and modify the recipes for different outcomes, so the book should be a good companion to Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels for intermediate and experienced brewers as well, and doesn't confine you to one specific way of brewing or to a particular end result. As such, it encourages further creativity, even though the recipes should be (and are, at least to the extent I have tried them) excellent as they are.
Brewing Classic Styles isn't an essential book for the home brewer. You can easily get by without it. Some of the ingredients can be hard to find, especially outside the U.S. It is, however, a very good introduction to the styles, and provides you with clear examples of how to brew each. Of its kind, it's probably the best there is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best homebrewing recipe book on the market. Buy it and brew each classic style. There's not much more to say, recipes are award winning and solid. Keep it clean!Published 26 days ago by Matthew Szkodny
Soooo good! These look delicious and I cannot wait to try a few!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I recommend this book to every new homebrewer I meet. It's been a lot of fun going through all the styles over the past few years.Published 2 months ago by Dustin L. Striplin
Great book full of great recipes. I've loved all of the recipes that I have tried in this book and it has helped me become better at crafting my own recipes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by michael
great book, lots of good recipes and lots of good info for the beginner to long time brewer. arrived quickly and in good shapePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great starter recipes to learn about the different styles and get your process down. Highly recommended for newer all-grain brewers. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Minnesotan Hockey Man