Saturday, February 5, 2011
Book Review - The Complete Joy of Home Brewing - by Charlie Papazian
If you're interested in getting into home brewing, or taking your home brew skills to the next level, I strongly recommend reading The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian. I've read a number of books on the subject and have found many to be lacking in some way. Some are filled mostly with recipes, others are overly technical or too simplistic. This book however, often referred to as "the homebrewer's bible," strikes just the right balance.
Charlie Papazian is seen by many as the father of American home brewing. He founded the Great American Beer Festival and the Association of Brewers, and has been its president, as well as president of the Brewer's Association since 1979. In The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, his comprehensive knowledge of the subject from more than thirty years of experience, is evident. He covers every topic from beer styles and history, to buying and building your own home brewing equipment, to breakdowns of beer's four main ingredients: malt, hops, water and yeast. The Complete Joy takes you from beginner through to advanced home brewing with recipes for every level along the way. He provides great beer geek information for interested parties (such as myself) but never loses his firm basis in the practical application of home brewing. The only criticism I can offer is that this book contains somewhat limited information for the advanced home brewer, but Papazian has written another book, The Home Brewer's Companion, specifically with the experienced brewer in mind. If you have any interest in taking up the brewer's spoon or advancing your home brew skills then this is definitely the book for you.