Brew Better Beer: Learn (and Break) The Rules for Making IPAs, Sours, Pilsners, Stouts, Lagers, and More by Emma Christensen

beerI’ve loved craft beer a long time, and as my palette and nose have improved I’ve felt an increasing urge to brew my own beer. I’m not a lone. The hobby (and art) of homebrewing, legal in all states, has increased in popularity wildly over the last few decades, and especially in the last few years. But how does one get started? The cost and knowledge needed can seem daunting and the number of possible ways to screw up one’s precious homebrew seems overwhelming. I confess, these barriers have kept me from making the leap into homebrewing myself.

Relax. Emma Christensen is here to help.

I’ve read a lot of literature on homebrewing, and I have never found another book that demystifies the homebrewing experience like Christensen’s newest from Ten Speed Press. Christensen, a seasoned homebrewer and professional beer reviewer, constructed her information-packed tome to be as unintimidating to the newbie homebrewer as it possibly can be. She knows we’re overwhelmed and just a wee bit terrified, and she holds our hand and takes us through the whole process, step-by-step. Extensively illustrated and packed with well-organized charts and summaries, the book answers every question you can think of without making you feel stupid for asking them.

In addition to guidance on what beer to buy, how to prepare, and how to get through a brew day and beyond, the book also includes dozens of brewing recipes so you’ll have plenty of ideas to practice on. Recipes include simple affairs like a basic amber ale, and scale all the way to barleywines, sours, fruit beers, seasonals, and more. I have long wanted to make my own pumpkin ale, and that’s included too.

I hope to start homebrewing this year. It’s not a cheap hobby, and it certainly takes a lot of time and attention to detail, but I’ve never felt better about my prospects for success than I do after reading Christensen’s book. My wife and I will have it with us as we dive into the process, and you can be sure I’ll share our results as we go. Thanks, Emma!

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