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Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition Paperback – November 17, 2004
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Experienced brewers will discover plenty of information in this book, especially ideas that go against the common convictions about brewing. What about fermenting at high temperatures? Mixing yeasts? Red wine type yeasts? Warm storage? Markowski takes the view that brewing is a process of experimentation, rather than following set recipes. Obviously this book is not for a beginning home brewer.
Markowski argues that though the classification of beer styles is useful, the classifications should not be used to inhibit the brewer from coming up with something much different. I agree with this. What is the use of always imitating commercial beers? Our fascination with brewing is to discover a new taste through experimentation.
This book covers the past and present styles of Biere de Garde and Saison (including an informative essay by Yvan De Baets on how Saison evolved), and provides a list of the breweries producing the styles, detailing grains, hops, temperatures and other brewing details, along with tasting notes on the beers they produce.
In sections on brewing the styles, the sample recipes are just guidelines (in the spirit of experimentation) rather than set formulas.Read more ›
Discussion of historical and geographic influences on saison and biere de garde are interesting and kept to a minumum. Of particular interest is the text devoted to paragons of both styles- describing their evolutions, specific malts and hops used, abv and attenuation, yeasts, gravities, fermentation temperatures, aging, water profiles, and so on... everything one would need to reverse-engineer a clone beer, if one chose to do so.
It is not, however, a collection of clone recipes. The samples recipes for variations of both styles are intended as guidelines, easily adaptable to individual brewhouse procedures and efficiencies. Also, the parameters are so diverse that it is difficult, if not impossible, to define style guidelines, a fact that the author acknowledges. This loose end can be frustrating to the reader.
Overall, a useful book; solid information, and nothing irrelevant or overtechnical.
Here’s some more information straight from the back cover of the book:
Readers interested in the cuisine and beers of Belgium will enjoy discovering Farmhouse Ales, The text delves into Wallonian saison and French biere de garde, as well as related specialties such as grisette, biere de Mars and biere de Noel. By exploring both ingredients and process, veteran brewer Phil Markowski shows what distinguishes these flavorful ales and why they hold a special place in the world of beer.
About the Author:
A professional brewer since 1989, Phil Markoswski is recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on the flavor and brewing of Belgium beer styles and especially farmhouse ales. As brewmaster at the Southhampton Publick House, he has collected numerous awards for his Belgian ales and other tasty brews. In 2003, the Association of Brewers honored him with the Russell Schehrer award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.
Publisher: Brewers Publication – A division of the Brewers Association, Boulder, CO
Published in 2004.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book had easy instructions to follow. Recipes where inspiring. I am really glad I purchased this book.Published 7 months ago by Just Your Average Jane
easy to read, short but with a lot of good information about Saison and Bier de Garde. It's a must if you are a homebrewer and looking for inspiration to make this styles of beer,... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Eslem Torres
This book was a great read, covering both biere de garde and saison. The author does a wonderful establishing the history behind the styles and changes that have occurred over the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Robert Goetz
The man literally wrote the book on the styles. Seek out his beers when you can.Published 19 months ago by SteinerRecliner
Very informational about style history but isn't very practical for the home brewer. Very GeneralPublished 22 months ago by Ryan Methmann