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Showing 1-10 of 189 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 237 reviews
on January 5, 2014
First, Jamil Zainasheff shared his award winning recipes. His recipes fits the style of the beer. Not really what he imagines the beer should taste like, but what the guidelines state what the beer style should taste like.

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).
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on April 24, 2012
My wife bought me this book for my birthday, and it has proved to be a solid addition to my homebrewing library. The book provides a basic introduction to some of the science behind brewing. This is great for novice brewers, as it is always nice to understand exactly how stuff is working behind the brewing process. Personally, I already was aware of most of this information from reading How to Brew by John Palmer, and several other books/articles, but its nice that the information is in there.

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.

Happy Brewing!
Dave
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on January 11, 2014
There are some great recipes in this book. Look around online and you'll see Jamil's name mentioned quite often. He knows his stuff. I will say that although there is a bit of info on the approach to brewing, it would help greatly to have an understanding of the brewing process before diving into these recipes. There isn't a ton of info on the procedures to follow within each recipe or even the part of the book leading into the recipes. A fantastic starting place would be John Palmer's "How to Brew". After reading that though, this was a great book for taking me from kit extract brewing to the next step. Is suspect I'll still get some good use out of the recipes as I continue on to all-grain brewing, as well.

Oh, one other note. Many of the recipes, which I would love to try, are for lagers (probably half the book), which makes perfect sense for a book like this, but unfortunately, you need a second refrigerator or other approach to be able to maintain cold fermentation temperatures over long periods. Many people may have that setup already, but if not, just know that you'll be limited to how many of the recipes will currently apply to you.
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on June 8, 2017
My brother has taken up beer-making, so he was very happy to receive this book for his birthday! It turned out to be the exact book he had been wanting. This is a nice book, full of tips and recipes.
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on November 4, 2011
Considering the celebrity status of both authors, the homebrewing community knew that this book was going to be big long before it hit bookstore shelves. As expected, Jamil and John delivered up a treasure trove of information that should be in every homebrewer's library. It is not, however, intended for the novice brewer. The authors assume that you have knowledge of basic extract brewing techniques, and it would be best to have a working knowledge of all grain brewing as well before you attempt your own versions of these award-winning recipes. I do feel that the book's title is a bit misleading: it would have been better to call it "Brewing and Appreciating Classic Styles." Anyone wanting to be a beer judge or at the very least a proper beer snob should read this book. The style notes that precede each recipe are invaluable in helping the reader to understand the nuances of all the BJCP style categories.

Even if you take away the entire collection of award winning recipes alluded to in the book's title, I would still feel like I got my money's worth out of it. The first four chapters cover some brewing basics, and do an outstanding job of it. Many of the pitfalls of making merely good beer are exposed, leaving the reader with a better understanding of how to make great beer. As if all that valuable information was not worth your money, they threw in four appendices and a glossary. All of this is written in a very accessible style with a minimum of technical jargon. Appendix A, "Pitching Yeast Rates and Starters" is one of the best treatments of the topic that I have ever seen for those of us that did not major in microbiology.

Then we get down to the meat of the book, the recipes. Each recipe is carefully crafted to result in a beer that is both of excellent quality and fits the BJCP style guidelines for the style it represents. The authors do not leave you with just a grain bill and a list of hops and boil times. The process for each recipe is carefully covered, and the subtle nuances of brewing each style are covered in sufficient detail to result in easy duplication. Another unique aspect of these recipes is that they are extract based, with all grain options given as well. No matter how unsophisticated your brewery, you can brew excellent examples of every style.

Just to show that Jamil and John did not pay me to write what would otherwise be a gushing review, I must find some fault. My only complaint is that each recipe is designed for a seven-gallon boil. This is standard stuff for all grain brewers, but beyond the limit of many extract brewers who use an old 5-gallon enamel canning kettle for brewing. The author's do, however, consider the plight of the volumetrically challenged brewer by giving easy to follow instructions on how to downscale the recipes for a 3-gallon boil that you can do on the kitchen stove with grandma's canning kettle.

Simply put, this is probably the most important homebrewing book to come out since John's How to Brew. So if you do not own a copy of How to Brew, get that first and learn your basic brewing skills. Once you have the fundamentals down, it is time to get a copy of Brewing Classic Styles and expand your brewing horizons.

Doc@thezymurgyguide.com
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on August 26, 2017
Great book for beginners and even advanced brewers! Very informative. Recipes are easy to repeat. Jamil is my homebrew hero!
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on July 10, 2017
If I was marooned on an island with an infinite supply of brewing ingredients, but could only take one book, this would be it. Even if I don't brew every recipe exactly, I always reference Brewing Classic Styles when brewing a style for the first time, or if I just want to see if my recipe is on the right track.
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on May 31, 2015
This is an essential tool for any brewer. It has helped me a tremendous amount, from manufacturing a suggested recipe in the book to crafting my own recipes. Jamil includes tips on how to best utilize different grains, which has been paramount to my personal recipes' success. Whether you're an experienced brewer or just starting, this is the perfect book to have in your brewhouse. It has also helped me to judge and understand the beers I try at different breweries, brewpubs, and bars. I have this on my Kindle app on my Android phone, and I can pull it up anytime I want to know something about a specific style I'm drinking. I love this book.
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on March 23, 2017
This book should be in every home brewers library. Period. I have brewed 3 beers from it so far and everyone of them came out great! He does a great job briefly explaining each style before going into the recipes.
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on June 8, 2012
I plan to use it as a reference guide for making beers that I want to follow a particular BJCP style. It is very good at describing the BJCP style and how to create a recipe that should follow that style. If you don't want to create a recipe it's got good sample recipes to use.
The only complaint I have is that I think the index should be laid out more like a reference book and less like a novel. If I go to the index with a particular style that I want to find it doesn't clearly point you to a page where it's located. I'll end up creating my own index on the inside front cover and it won't be a problem anymore.
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