Which books would be best to supplement BTP?

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Which books would be best to supplement BTP?

Postby billvelek » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:46 pm

I realize BeerTools.com has loads of recipes. I haven't used any because it seems tedious to search for one and then never really know if it will truly be a really good recipe rather than just something thrown together by an average homebrewer -- like what I do. I have considered getting one or more books, and have some interest in the 'cloning' books, but have read that they are actually not very accurate, and that they very often use grain bills, hops, and mash schedules that are at odds with what is known (or commonly believed) to be the actual ingredients/schedule for the target brews. I am therefore wondering about 'Designing Great Beers'. Is anyone here familiar with that book, and would it be a good way to supplement BTP software? I know the easy answer is no doubt "Yes", but in what way? What I'm looking for is something along the lines that will tell me that for "this" beer or beer-style, I should use "this" type of hops, and "that" yeast, etc. Any info that will help be better appreciate "why" certain ingredients are used for a particular style would be great, too. If there are any other book recommendations, that will be appreciated, too.

Thanks for any help.

Cheers.

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books

Postby slothrob » Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:48 pm

I have the first cloning book and I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone that's graduated to making their own recipes. A lot of the recipes seem like they're made with substantial guesswork, appropriate malts and hops to fit the style, and malt selections designed to hit color, more than anything else. For someone that has no clue how to generate a recipe and wants to try to make some beers like those they already know they like, it has it's place.

Designing Great Beers is starting to get a bit dated, but it's great for learning what ingredients can make a recipe that will fit within a style. I use it as a launching pad for those times when I think I'd like to make, say, a Maibock, but don't know where to start. It's not a recipe book, but a guide to what ingredients have been used in award winning beers of each style. This seems to be what you're looking for. You'll get information like "60% of winning beers in style X use 10-15% Y malt and A, B, or C hops for bittering and aroma additions only."

I haven't seem Jamil Z and J Palmer's new Style-Specific recipe book, but Jamil's recipes are generally good examples of a specific style (see Beerdujour.com). I often use his recipes as a starting point for my first attempt at a new style.
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Thanks.

Postby billvelek » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:01 pm

Thanks, slothrob. That is a big help, and I especially appreciate the link to Jamil's recipes. SUPER!!! I was already pretty much leaning towards the "Designing Great Beers", so if there is no books more recently published along those lines, then I guess that's what I'll get.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Designing great beers

Postby slothrob » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:52 pm

I think I've read that there's supposed to be a new edition of Designing Great Beers in the works, but I don't know how accurate that is or when to expect it.

In a lot of ways, the book is like an expanded version of the BJCP guidelines, but with more specifics about style specific hop and malt choices popular with commercial and home brewers.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:48 pm

You can preorder Jamils book at the brewing network website. I'd also recommend Designing great beers.
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Postby Push Eject » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:52 pm

I agree with everyone. Additionally, it's kind of obvious, but no brewer should be without "How to Brew" by Palmer IMHO

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