Most Used Brewing Books

How To Brew by John Palmer

How To Brew by John Palmer

My brewing library has slowly grown over the past few years, and there are several books that I reach for much more often than others. I consider these books part of my brewing toolkit.

The first book I ever bought (even before I had any equipment) was John Palmer’s “How To Brew”. To me this book is the most modern and comprehensive guide for a new brewer. John goes into a lot of detail, but not enough to confuse the beginning homebrewer. He covers all the basics about the various ingredients, as well as providing a step by step process for both extract and all grain brewers. There are several appendices at the end of the book for more advanced brewers where he goes into gory detail about several topics, such as water.

Admittedly, now that I have 27 batches under my belt (at the time of writing) I don’t consult this book as often. However, this book was glued to my hand during my beginning of my homebrewing experience and when I switched to all grain. I highly recommend this book for any new brewer, it’s a must.

Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainashef

Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainashef

I received Jamil Zainashef’s “Brewing Classic Styles” as a gift one year during the holidays, shortly after starting brewing. This book I still use to this day, especially when I want to brew a style that is new to me. Jamil goes into depth about 80 different styles providing a little history, descriptions of the style and tips for brewing the style. In addition to the information he also provides a few recipes for each style giving step by step instructions for extract batches as well as all-grain options.

I’be brewed several recipes directly from the book, and have also used the recipes as a guide for formulating my own recipes.

Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels

Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels

Ray Daniel’s “Designing Great Beers” has been the most helpful book that I’ve found for designing your own recipes. After I took the dive into all-grain brewing and produced a few batches I was itching to learn how to create my own. There is a surprisingly small amount of books which teach how to go about this process, so this is a must have in my opinion.

Ray begins by giving the reader a detailed overview of the different ingredients used to create beer. He then has several chapters breaking out the process used to calculate the numbers for recipe design. In subsequent chapters he goes over several popular styles with the history of the styles and ingredients and percentages used in creating the beers. For each style he does an example with concrete numbers to help the reader understand the process. I often reference this book when starting on a new recipe, and it is the most definitive source I have found. It’s really helped me learn more about recipe creation.