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> Brewing Classic Styles, 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew, Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer
What do you think?
What do you think?
10 -- Outstanding, everyone must read [ 7 ] ** [50.00%]
9 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
8 [ 7 ] ** [50.00%]
7 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
6 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
5 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
4 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
3 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
2 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
1 -- Not worth the paper its printed on [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Total Votes: 14
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post Dec 1 2007, 05:51 PM
Post #1


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Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew
by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer
27 chapters, 4 appendixes, glossary and index; 317 pages
2007, Brewers Publications; $19.95 list

Brewing Classic Styles is essentially a recipe book, but it goes beyond most recipe books I've seen. The book starts out with four chapters (40+ pages) from John Palmer, which tell you how to brew. For very beginning brewers, the information here won't be enough to do more than whet their appetites; those with a few batches in the fermenter already will find it to be a nice concise review; and more experienced brewers will find themselves skimming through, maybe finding a gem here or there, but reading mostly for the entertainment value. John is a good writer, so the text flows smoothly and is interesting overall.

The real focus of this book starts in Chapter 5. Jamil goes through each of the BJCP styles, describing the beers (often with a short history) and then giving one of his (and occasionally a friend's) award-winning recipes for each substyle. All of the recipes in the book have won a metal for Jamil or other brewers. The recipes are set up primarily for extract brewers (I know I'm going to get crap for saying that, but that's what I feel after reading through the book), with options for all-grain brewers. Some recipes also have additional options, and occasionally a style will have two recipes given. I found myself drooling over many of the recipes as I read through them, and my copy of the book is already dog-eared and underlined and highlighted in many places after only a week.

This book is what it is -- a book of award-winning recipes. That's how it's marketed, and for that it does a great job. Most homebrewers love recipes -- they want someone to tell them how to make a good beer. Compared to any other recipe-based book I've read, Brewing Classic Styles is the best. Clone Brews, More Clone Brews, Son of Clone Brews, even the recipe sections in the popular homebrew books (Papazian's, How to Brew, Radical Brewing, etc) -- none of them come close to what Jamil has done in this book. John Palmer's section on how to brew is a condensed version of his How to Brew book -- good and no doubt valuable for someone on the beginning side of homebrewing, but somewhat weak. The recipe sections are great, but by the end, tend to get repetitive and somewhat boring to read. For all-grain brewers, the grain bill percentages are not given, and that makes it more difficult to scale a recipe or adapt it for your specific system or change it for different mashing efficiencies -- that's my biggest complaint with the book. But, as a reference for anyone who wants to make a certain style of beer (or even use it as a starting point for making an out-of-style beer), it's a valuable addition to any homebrewer's library.
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