Monthly Archives: June 2012

My Brewing Library

I find that to really know a subject, you have to absorb many viewpoints on it.  With something as personal as homebrewing, that is certainly true.  I have many more on my wish list, but here is my collection so far.  If you have something to recommend, let me know (comment below) so I can add it to my wish list.

  • The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, by Charlie Papazian.  Start here.  This is probably the best getting started guide I have seen.  It starts assuming you know nothing of yeast and continues into advanced topics.
  • Brewing Better Beer, by Gordon Strong. This one took me to the next level of understanding what I was doing and really gave me the edge to think for myself.
  • Designing Great Beers, the Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles, by Ray Daniels.  This is a must for anyone that wants to craft their own recipes.  It really gave me a good understanding of how to set and hit my target beers.
  • Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide, by Dave Miller.  This was recommended to me as a great book to help me diagnose and discern specific flavors in the beer.
  • A History of Beer and Brewing, by Ian S. Hornsey.  I got this to take a more serious look at history.
  • Wassail! In Masers of Mead, by Robert Gayre.  This one has a great historical approach and some awesome recipes.
  • Strong Waters, by Scott Mansfield.  I bought this specifically to help a friend make an alcoholic ginger beer.  It has some wine recipes I still want to try.
  • A Sip Through Time, by Cindy Renfrow.  This is a well-respected and just plain awesome guide to historical beverages and how to make them.
  • Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers, by Stephen Harrod Buhner.  Medicinal herbs go way back and everyone knows that beer is good for you, right?
  • German Wheat Beer, by Eric Warner. I got this for some further research on brewing with wheat.
  • Brewing with Wheat, by Stan Hieronymus.
  • The Joy of Home Winemaking, by Terry Garey.  I got this to learn more about the differences between making beer and wine.  It was helpful.
  • The Complete Meadmaker, by Ken Schramm.  This is a good guide if you really just want to focus on the making of mead, which I did for quite some time.
  • Cider, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider, by Annie Proulx & Lew Nichols.   There is certainly a lot to learn about apples.  I’ll consult this book again when I start pressing my own.
  • Craft Cider Making, by Andrew Lea. This inexpensive guide to cider has some additional insights.
  • Cooking and Dining in Medieval England, by Peter Brears.  This had some great insight as to how brewing fit into the medieval life.
  • Homemade Root Beer Soda & Pop, by Stephen Cresswell.  I used this to experiment with some Ginger Ale and Root Beers.
  • Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, by Richard W. Unger.  I purchased this one to look for more clues in the designing of recipes that give historical nods.
  • Early American Beverages, by John Hull Brown.  This one was given to me by a friend and has some great recipes to try.

Posted by on June 10, 2012 in How-To Brew


Position and Purpose

I started homebrewing about a year before starting this blog and quickly became what a friend of mine calls an enthusiastic amateur.  I think it summed up my position pretty well.  For a while it seemed like I was either making or bottling beer every week and reading everything I could get my hands on – several times.  I quickly found that I really got the most out of the hobby when I crafted my own recipes.  I have now set out to build a collection of recipes inspired by geek culture.  I hope that what I mean will be apparent to you as the blog unfolds.  If I can manage to build enough value, I’ll publish in a more traditional way.

Of course, I can always build a collection of recipes in a notebook or a document on my hard drive, so that doesn’t entirely explain my reason for writing a blog.  I hope it will keep me motivated, but more importantly it seems to me like a good way to contribute to the communities I belong to.  Like anyone else, I also love to share.  My friends the in Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) value the craft, its historical ties, and the other geeky things.  My friends in the gaming community certainly value anything geek and many of them at least love good beer.  I hope the brewing community will find something new and inspiring from my unique take on the art.

I also hope the blog will give me more of a personal connection to those who previously have only known me through my many years of podcasting and a number of credits in various web series.  Topics were adhered to pretty tightly.  While the focus for the time being will mostly be focused around beer, I do not expect to stick strictly to the topic.  I hope to have some fun from time to time and recognize that other interests will crop up that I want to share with you.

So, bear with me as long as you can.  I hope you find it to be a good ride.


Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Random Ramblings