Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Review: Brewing with Wheat.

This book is a good companion to Wild Brews. Why? because they talk about a few of the styles which were not the seminal focus of that book. This book also explains the intricacies of the unique ingredient which distinguishes so many continental European styles from their American and British counterparts. While reading this book I couldn't help thinking that these Brewers Publican books should just have been one large book with lots of cross notes. Brewing is so intricate a craft a times even when you are making a Belgian sour ale by the book (that book being Wild Brews) you might not be told exactly what you're gaining from the wheat which is the base of your beer. I recommend this book if your even considering brewing a beer with 5% wheat so you can know all about which variety and why you might want to use it.

(please read more after the break.)

So Wheat. This book like most of these sorts of books fills out a good section of the book with a history of brewing with wheat. It's interesting especially if you are interested in history in general. As sort of a fan of government policy you could sort of see how which cereal grains were used over time had a lot to do with the prevailing crops and government policies. In each of these books it becomes apparent that beer and civilization are intertwined. I can confidently say our modern world is built upon beer. I want to tell you more proving that but I feel as though I'd be plagiarizing the book.

Onto the Beer:
The remainder of this book focused on ingredients/flavors and styles. The styles range from the Berliner Weiss to the Wheat Wine. You get the brewer's testimonials as well as home brew recipes designed for you by professional brewers noted for their wheat beers.

Styles Covered:
Belgian Wit - Jean-Francios Gravel, Dieu de Ciel
Hefeweizen - Bill Amonetti, Home Brewer, Award Winner
Wheat Wine - Steve Pauwels, Boulevard Brewing
Wheat Wine - Todd Ashman, Fifty Fifty brewing
Berliner Weiss - Kristen England, BJCP Grand Master
Gose - Kristen England, BJCP Grand Master
Gratzen - Kristen England, BJCP Grand Master
Litchehaner - Kristen England, BJCP Grand Master

This Book Also Includes:
It has enhanced BJCP style outlies and expectations from real judges on what throws them off. It has basic formulations including malts, hops, and yeast used for dozens of commercial examples including New Glarus Crack'd Wheat, Three Floyds Gumball Head and many more. There are also yeast charts letting you know what you might possibly get from a yeast strand at a given temperature with the right controls.

This book isn't a must buy, but it's a should buy if you plan on brewing traditional wheat styles. The information is well organized and presents itself smartly. You'll learn something from reading it and you'll probably make better beer for it. If you plan to make wheat beers why wouldn't you want to read a book totally devoted to brewing with wheat?

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