HOMEBREW Digest #102 Thu 16 March 1989

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Book Review (long!) (Darryl Richman)
  Re: Geordie (Rich Simpson)
  Honey, Ginger Et Al (rogerl)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 13 Mar 89 07:35:36 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: Book Review (long!) Book Review: The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing "The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing," by Dave Miller, ISBN 0-88266-517-0. Storey Communications, Inc, 1988. $9.95. A book with this title is what homebrewers have been waiting a long time for: a single reference source that gives "how to"s and "why for"s in one location, in a clear, lucid style. Sadly, brewers will have to wait a while longer for the book that goes with the title. For this book is not Complete; even Miller himself doesn't believe the title. In the introduction, he states that "...I have not hesitated to judge the worth of certain findings in the light of my own experience." What this means is that he occasionally gets different results with his equipment than those reported elsewhere, and in those cases he has given us what he got. This is not necessarily bad, if indicated as such, but this hardly makes for a Complete Handbook. And it is not. As a small example, consider lautering systems: Miller uses a grain bag in a bucket with a tap at the bottom, a common enough lautering system. So he spends a page describing it, accompanying it with 3 very nice drawings. What of the popular picnic cooler/copper manifold? It gets a paragraph and is referred to as a mash tun and a lauter tun; in reality, there need be no such restriction. It is never fully described, and the reader is referred to unnamed articles on its construction and use. Left unanswered are questions about why someone might choose such a system, what its advantages and disadvantages are, and so on. Even this would not be so terrible if he told us that he is only reporting on his methodology. Without such caveats, it is hard to know when he is speaking of accepted practice and when we are getting what he does in his own kitchen. It is this lack of focus that really keeps this from being a seminal work such as "Brewing Lager Beer". There, Noonan also reports on his own activity, but his passion for decoction and denunciation of infusion make it easy for the reader to separate them from the important information carried with it. Now that I have told you some awful things about the book, let me recommend it as a terrific book for beginners who may feel that they will want to advance past extracts eventually, and a companion to "Brewing Lager Beer" for all grain brewers. As a companion, brewers can compare and contrast the information given and make a more informed choice about procedures and techniques (e.g., "should I use/avoid the iodine test for starch conversion?"). Where they agree, you will be on solid footing. In general, Miller gives a more practical approach. As a beginner's book, it has the right emphasis. There are 3 chapters on brewing from extract and an appendix that lists basic recipes for many styles, which you can easily customize to your own taste. When you want to understand more about your beer, there are 8 chapters on all grain brewing, 9 chapters on the raw materials, and 4 on storing, serving, and appreciating your beer. Each is full of detail, yet they maintain easy readability. The recipes are wonderful. Miller first describes the style he is trying to achieve, discusses how he goes about achieving it, and then gives a clear, basic recipe. If he feels that you may not be able to make such a beer with standard ingredients or yeast, he lets you know that you are headed for rocky shores, and how to chart around them. His writing style is coherent and straightforward, if just a bit dry. There are no cloying jokes or distracting "funny" beer names; Miller is more interested in the work at hand than entertainment, and his book grants you the respect of believing that you will be, too. This is an earnest book that you should definitely consider in the landscape of the 1980's homebrewer. Following Miller's guidelines you will not go far wrong. For advanced brewing, however, you must still look to other sources to see the whole picture. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 89 09:54:13 est From: Rich Simpson <paramax!simpson at multimax.encore.com> Subject: Re: Geordie Regarding Ye Olde Battes request for sources for Geordie products in New England. I finally remembered to check my catalogs when I got home. Beer and Wine Hobby has some Geordie products listed in their catalog. I have ordered from them a couple of times (never Geordie) and been very pleased with their promptness. Their address is: Beer & Wine Hobby PO Box 3104 Wakefield, MA 01880 Rich Simpson Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 89 11:23:20 EST From: rogerl at Think.COM Subject: Honey, Ginger Et Al >Date: Mon, 13 Mar 89 14:28:29 -0800 >From:topramen at ernie.Berkeley.EDU (Oliver Grillmeyer) >... >It seems that 6oz. is an adequate amount of ginger to get a nice balanced >flavor -I'll give an update in a couple months when its ready to >taste. I haven't done much with honey in beer yet, that's near the top of the list. But I have gotten some experience with ginger. I tried making a batch of Ginger'ed' Ale and the results were less than expected. I used 4 ozs. of peeled, thinly sliced ginger and boiled that with the extracts et al for about an hour. The result was a very interesting base flavor that unless you knew it was ginger, this base flavor was not recognizable. So the experiment wasn't a failure. This base flavor will be a great underpinning for a much more pronounced ginger palete. I will do the recipe again but add yet another batch (3-5 ozs.) of ginger the last 10 minutes or so of the boil to gain more of a ginger flavor in the final product. Since you didn't boil the ginger I'd be interested in finding out how the ginger flavor holds up after that long of a simmer. >I grated the ginger using my food processor's grating blade. It worked >fairly well but had to struggle as the ginger tends to break up into >strands and get stuck in the grater blades. I suspect if you just use the slicer knives for the food processor you'd be fine. I understand about the strings and the break-up that's why I slice mine as thin as I can get with our food processor. >I did not peel the ginger either. I've heard this isn't such a good idea. I can't remember why at this juncture but maybe someone on the net can either support this thinking or shoot it down. Roger Locniskar Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 06/29/00, by HBD2HTML version 1.2 by K.F.L.
webmaster at hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96