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The Best Books for Home Brewing Sour and Wild Ales

2 Dec

the bruery oude tart barrels

So you’ve gotten through the invaluable essentials such as The Joy of Home Brewing and have Designing Great Beers as your well-worn reference and you’re asking, “Gee, beer is really delicious, fun to make too!  I wonder how I can expand my expertise in the craft.”  What better way than by trying your hand at brewing a new and increasingly popular style?  Simply consult the list below for everything you need to get started harnessing wild yeast and to brew your very own sour ales.

Brew it old school

Before the human race knew of the existence of yeast, people believed fermentation was a gracious act of God, bestowed upon beer and wine as a small gift to help us forget how awful things have been since Eve at that apple.  Brewers would leave their fermentation tanks open which would allow whatever wild yeast was floating around to enter the wort.  This would yield inconsistent results from beer to beer, but what the hell, it’s alcohol right?  Well nowadays, brewers are again allowing wild yeast into their beer with the intention of creating something similar to what our ancestors enjoyed thousands of years ago.  If you’re considering experimenting with wild yeasts to create your own sour beers, these reads will teach you how to infect your beer with only the bacteria you want.

Brew Like a Monk

monk1

 

“Make a distinctive beer that is expressive rather than imitative, and dedicate yourself to it as if there is nothing else in life.”

Not for the beginning homebrewer, Brew Like a Monk describes just what exactly those solitary brewers of God were up to in their monasteries, explaining the processes used by monks in Europe for hundreds of years.  The book also compares traditional Belgian brew traditions with their modern American replicas.

 

 

 

 

 

American Sour Beers

American Sour Beers

 

American Sour Ales goes through the techniques and processes used by the most prominent American Sour brewers style by style.  It documents the techniques that have brought success to many commercial sour brewers and is the truly comprehensive guide to home brewing sours, there’s even a chapter on cooking and pairing food with sour ales.  Pucker up.

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Brews

wild-brews

 

Wild Brews features a lot of information regarding the history of wild fermentation, namely in Belgium by sequestered monks.  There are 10 recipes contained within but due to the unpredictability of wild yeasts, a home brewer is likely to find it very difficult to duplicate a specific beer.  Still, this book is a good option for someone interested in learning how to harness the delicious power of wild yeast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonkers Pale Ale

4 Nov

Bonkers Pale Ale

Brewed for an indian summer’s afternoon, Bonkers is an easy drinking pale ale with a handful of Northwest hops added late in the boil that gives plenty of hop character without the bitterness.  Smooth and drinkable, it’s a pale ale that can be enjoyed by everyone.  The label features our 3 month old kitten Bonkers who joined our family while the beer was fermenting and is thusly immortalized as a homebrew mascot.

The Top 10 Books about Beer and Brewing

18 Jan

Here’s a much more definitive top-10 list of the best books about beer and brewing.

1. How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time 

 how to brew beer best books

 A quintessential book that should be in the library of any homebrewer from novice to expert.  How to Brew is as easy to read as it is informative and will no doubt leave you with everything you need to know to brew any style of beer in any way.

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The Brewshed

21 Jul

jr brewing brewshed

Homebrewers all share a common DIY attitude when it comes to their hobby, whether it’s converting an old turkey fryer to a boiler or rigging a jockey box out of a cooler.  But there are some who take it all to another level.  The Brewshed is a home project by J.R. Brewing (2 friends who homebrew together) that is ambitious as it is awesome.  The friends constructed a brewing shed from the ground up in their backyard complete with a 4-tap kegerator, brewing counter and sink, and a dart board.  Follow the link to see the impressive build step-by-step.

http://www.jrbrewing.com/brewshed/

Brewing and Beer’s Own

8 Feb

 stuck firm label

We here at Brewing and Beer just bottled up our first beer, Stuck Firm Vanilla Stout, a smooth and light bodied stout with vanilla present through and through.  The brewing team consisted of the beautiful Allison, her assistant (me), along with the film crew, Hugo and Donn.  We’ve been experiencing some delays getting our first brewing video out, but it will not be our last.  We plan on making original video content a major part of Brewing and Beer and we’d like your help in creating something that you’d like to see.

If you have any suggestions, comments, questions or anything please email us at brewingandbeer@gmail.com.  We are also looking for help with article writing and video production.

Most importantly, thank you for visiting our site. Prost!

Travis Neufeld

The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.

6 Jan

The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance written by Stone founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner with Randy Clemens offers the beer lover an in depth, behind the scenes, look at how Stone Brewing got their start and the attitude it takes to become a powerhouse in the craft beer world.  This image heavy tome is beautifully laid out and includes the history of the brewery, the beers, Stone’s famous World Bistro and Gardens, and the craft beer scene in America and Europe. Recipes from the bistro and scaled homebrew recipes of some of Stone’s most famous beers make this book more than a one time read.

Learn more about Stone and their book here: http://www.stonebrew.com/book/

Pick up the book at your favorite online bookstore or click here.

Documentary: Beer People

5 Jan

Beer People from Alan Torres on Vimeo.

An interesting look at the culture of beer in Michigan, showcasing the people who created and continue to shape it.  Beer People is available in full-length from Vimeo and is definitely worth the 20 minute runtime.  The video clearly shows why the craft beer industry is growing and why that’s a good thing through interviews with brewmasters, homebrewers, hop farmers, and bar owners.  Only available for a limited time.

BRODIE Home Brew Sediment Catchers

21 Dec

Sed-Ex Sediment caps

As anyone who home brews will tell you, if you bottle condition, you’re going to have yeast sediment in your beer.  The only way to avoid the build up is to force carbonate the brew, which typically means kegging, rendering your delicious creation immobile…until now.

BRODIE Home Brew Sediment Catchers ($38/15 caps) are a clever new product that promises to keep yeast sediment out of your bottles without having to force carb.

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The Right Glass for your Next Home Brew

15 Dec

beer glasses

The right glass can add quality to any beer

It’s true, most people reading this would drink a craft beer or homebrew out of a paper cup and be perfectly satisfied.  But beer has been around a long time, and over that time brew masters, scientists, and engineers have designed, tested, tweaked, and redesigned glasses that are made to perfectly complement a particular beer style.  For example, snifters allow barleywines to be swirled and oxygenated while wheat beer glasses have a wide base to trap yeast; so it would be a shame to allow years of research and fine tuning to go to waste, plus having the right glass for your homebrew could add some quality, not to mention it will look like you know what you’re doing.  Check out the list below to educate yourself on which glasses go with which beers.

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Deschutes Brewery Clone Recipes

15 Dec

If you’re familiar with the ever expanding, high quality beer from one of the Northwest’s largest craft breweries, Deschutes Brewery, then you may be as thrilled as we were to discover the homebrew page on their website.  Deschutes is famous for its Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Inversion IPA.  They have won many Great American Beer Festival (GABF) awards for their high quality and unique brews.  Venture over to the Deschutes website and delight in the fact that you can find the recipes for almost all of their offerings.  Deschutes won’t tell you the brewing schedules or volumes, but experimentation is part of the fun of homebrewing.  As they say: “Temps, times and weights are the challenge. Happy Brewing!”  We agree. Brew On!