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How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer
How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer

This fully revised and updated book is the definitive guide to making quality beers at home. Whether you want simple, surefire instructions for making your first beer, or you’re a seasoned homebrewer working with all-grain batches, this book has something for you.

Item No. 69350
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This completely revised and updated edition includes:

More emphasis on the “top five priorities”:

1. Sanitation. Good sanitation is the most important factor for brewing great beer. Brewing is all about preparing and fermenting a wort to your specification. Good sanitation ensures that your chosen yeast is the only microorganism in the brew.

2. Fermentation temperature control. After good sanitation, a healthy fermentation is the most important factor for brewing great beer, and good temperature control is key. Yeast are living organisms and their activity is controlled by temperature.

3. Proper yeast management. Good beer needs well-managed yeast. After temperature, the most important factor for managing the fermentation is pitching the proper quality and quantity of yeast. These topics are discussed in chapters 6 and 7.

4. The boil. The ingredients are cooked during the boil. If the wort is not cooked right, the beer will not taste right. Yes, you can undercook or overcook your beer. This will be discussed more in chapter 4.

5. The recipe. The definition of a good recipe is that it has the right proportions of ingredients to provide both complexity and balance of the flavors. A typical recipe will consist of a majority of a pale “base” malt, with additional specialty malts for signature flavors or accents, and enough hops to provide a balance of bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer. It is important to realize that a great recipe will not overcome poor brewing techniques and a good recipe does not need to be complicated.

Five new chapters covering malting and brewing, strong beers, fruit beers, sour beers, and adjusting water for style.

All other chapters revised and expanded:

  • Expanded and updated charts, graphs, equations, and visuals.
  • Expanded information on using beer kits.

Thorough revision of mashing and lautering chapters:

  • Expanded tables of recommended times and temperatures for single-infusion, multiple-step, and decoction mashing.
  • Complete discussion of first wort gravity as a function of water to grist ratio.
  • Complete revision of infusion and decoction equations.

Revised and updated information on managing your fermentation:

  • Yeast pitching and starters.
  • Yeast starter growth factors.
  • Yeast and the maturation cycle.

And much more!

How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time, Fourth Edition

Preface to the Fourth Edition

Section I Brewing Beer Kits

Chapter 1 – Brewing Your First Batch of Beer

What Do I Do?
Before We Get Started: The Top Five Priorities for Brewing Great Beer
Brew Day
Equipment Needed to Brew Today
Preparation (30 Minutes)
Making Wort (1 Hour)
Fermentation Week(s)
Bottling Day
Serving Your Beer
But Wait! There’s More!

Chapter 2 – Cleaning and Sanitizing

Be Organized, Be Prepared
Brewing Priority Number 1—Good Sanitation
Cleaning Products
Automatic Dishwashers
Oven Cleaner
Cleaning Suggestions
Cleaning Plastic
Cleaning Glass
Cleaning Copper
Cleaning Brass
Cleaning Stainless Steel and Aluminum
Beerstone Removal
Sanitizing Products
Chemical Sanitizers
Acidic Anionic Surfactants
Peracetic (Peroxyacetic) Acid
Chlorine Dioxide
Heat Sanitizing
Heat Sterilizing
Autoclaves and Pressure Cookers
Final Thoughts on Cleaning and Sanitizing

Chapter 3 – Malt and Malt Extract

A Brief Discussion of Barley and Malting
Malt Extract Production

Chapter 4 – Brewing with Beer Kits and Extracts

Choosing a Good Kit
Shopping for Extract
How Much Extract to Use
Mass Gravity Volume Equation
Converting All-Grain (Mashing) Recipes to Extract
Gravity versus Fermentability
Steeping Specialty Grains
Typical Steeping Yield
Steeping Temperature
Full Boil versus Partial Boil

Chapter 5 – Hops

What Are They?
Hop Bitterness
Hop Aroma and Flavor
Hop Variety Categories
Using Hops
Mash Hopping
First Wort Hopping
Finishing, Hop Bursting, and Hop Steeping
Dry Hopping
Hop Forms—Pellets, Plugs, and Whole Hops
How to Measure Hops
Hop Utilization and (International) Bittering Units
Calculating Hop Bittering Units
Hop Utilization Equation Details
Bittering Units Nomograph for Hop Additions

Chapter 6 – Yeast and Fermentation

How Yeast Work
Defining Fermentation
Adaptation (Lag) Phase
High-Growth Phase
Maturation Phase
Cold Conditioning (Lagering)
Building a Better Fermentation
Oxygen and Aeration
Free Amino Nitrogen
Essential Minerals
Nutritional Supplements
Open versus Closed Fermentation
Basic Procedure for a Closed Fermentation
Basic Procedure for Open Fermentation

Chapter 7 – Yeast Management

Yeast Types
Characteristic Yeast Strains
Ale Yeasts
Lager Yeasts
Hybrid Yeasts
What Is the Pitching Rate and Why Does It Matter?
Pitching Rates and Beer Styles
Preparing Yeast and Yeast Starters
Rehydrating Dry Yeast
Propagating Yeast with a Starter
Making a Yeast Starter
When Is My Yeast Starter Ready to Pitch?
Using Yeast from Commercial Beers
Support Your Local Craft Brewery
Simple Yeast Ranching

Chapter 8 – Water for Extract Brewing

Understanding Your Source Water
Brewing Water Dechlorination Treatments
Brewing Water and the Water Quality Report
Adding Brewing Salts to Season Your Beer
IPA Example for Adding Salts
Oktoberfest Example for Adding Salts

Chapter 9 – Brewing with a Full-Volume Boil

The Recipe
Equipment Needed
Brew Day
The Hot Break
Hop Additions
Kettle Finings
Hop Steeping (a.k.a. Whirlpool) Addition
Chilling the Wort
Transferring from Kettle to Fermentor
Aerate the Chilled Wort and Pitch the Yeast
Conducting Your Fermentation—Quick Review

Chapter 10 – Priming, Bottling, and Kegging

When to Bottle
Bottle Cleaning
Residual CO2, Temperature, and Pressure
Making the Priming Solution
Bottling Your Beer
Bottle Filling
Drinking Your First Homebrew
Kegging Your Beer
Reconditioning a Used Keg
Keg Carbonation
Serving from the Keg
Counter-Pressure Filling
Kegging versus Cask and Bottle Conditioning
Final Thoughts

Chapter 11 – How to Brew Lager Beer

Lager Fermentation
Lower Temperatures Mean Longer Times
Pitching and Fermenting with Lager Yeast
Controlling the Fermentation Temperature
Priming and Bottling Lager
Fermentation Off-Flavors in Lager
Diacetyl and 2,3-Pentanedione
Dimethyl Sulfide
Fusel Alcohols
Minimizing Off-Flavors in Lager
Brewing American Lager

Chapter 12 – Brewing Strong Beers

Creating Higher Gravity
Pitching Rates for High-Gravity Brewing
Yeast Selection
Scaling Your Recipes
Wort Aeration
Wort Additions

Chapter 13 – Brewing with Fruits, Vegetables, and Spices

Brewing with Fruit
Estimating Quantities and Gravity Contributions
Tips for Brewing Fruit Beers
Brewing with Vegetables
Brewing with Spices

Chapter 14 – Brewing Sour Beers

A Note on Equipment
The Bugs (Los Bichos)
Microorganisms from Other Sources
Making a Wild Inoculation Wort
Culturing Lactobacilli from Malt
Brewing Sour Beers
Kettle Souring

Section II All-Grain Brewing

Chapter 15 – Understanding Malted Barley and Adjuncts

What is Barley and Why Do We Malt It?
Malt Flavor Development
Common Malt Types and Usages
Base Malts
Kilned Base Malts
Stewed Malts
Roasted Malts
Other Grains and Adjuncts
How to Read a Malt Analysis Sheet
Percent Extract–Fine Grind, Dry Basis
Percent Extract–Coarse Grind, As-Is and Dry Basis
Fine/Coarse Difference
Hot Water Extract
Soluble-to-Total Protein Ratio
Diastatic Power

Chapter 16 – How the Mash Works

Mashing in a Nutshell
An Allegory of a Mash
Defining the Mash
Acid Rest
Beta-Glucanase Rest
Protein Rest and Modification
Starch Conversion, or Saccharification, Rest
Diastatic Enzymes
Enzyme Thermostability in the Mash
Other Factors Affecting Starch Conversion
Mash pH
Degree of Crush
Water-to-Grist Ratio
Mash Time

Chapter 17 – The Methods of Mashing

Overview of the Grain Brewing Process
Single Temperature Infusion
Multi-Rest Mashing
Heating the Mash
Choosing a Multi-Rest Mash Schedule
Infusion Calculations
Dry Grain Infusion Calculations
Single Infusion Example
Wet Grain Infusion Calculations
Multiple Rest Infusion Example
Decoction Mashing
Decoction Calculations
Adjunct Mashing Procedure
Conducting a Cereal Mash

Chapter 18 – Extraction and Yield: Or What to Expect from Your Mash

Malt Analysis Sheet—a Review
Percent Extract–Fine Grind, As-Is and Dry Basis
Converting Percent Extract to PPG or PKL
Hot Water Extract
Crush and Extract Efficiency
Yields between Different Crushes
Water-to-Grist Ratio and Initial Wort Gravity
Extract Efficiency and Typical Yield
Planning Malt Quantities for a Recipe
Using PPG to Calculate Malt Quantities
Using HWE or PKL to Calculate Malt Quantities
Using Degrees Plato to Calculate Malt Quantities

Chapter 19 – Getting the Wort Out (Lautering)

The Lautering Process
First Runnings
Sparging for the Second Runnings
Methods of Sparging
Continuous Sparging
Batch Sparging
Rinsing versus Draining
Efficiencies of Sparging Methods
Continuous Sparging Efficiency
Batch Sparging Efficiency
No-Sparge Efficiency
Brew-in-a-Bag Efficiency

Chapter 20 – Brewing Your First All-Grain Batch

Mash and Lauter Tun or Brew-in-a-Bag?
Additional Equipment Needed
Suggested Recipe
The MLT Method
Starting the Mash
Monitoring the Mash
Conducting the Lauter
The BIAB Method
Starting the Mash
Monitoring the Mash

Chapter 21 – Residual Alkalinity, Malt Acidity, and Mash pH: Or, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Mash pH but Were Afraid to Ask

Beer and Brewing is Food and Cooking
Know Your Water Source—a Review
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3
Water pH
Residual Alkalinity is the Cornerstone of Mash pH
What Does the Mash pH Do?
Optimum Mash pH
Controlling Mash pH
Adjusting Residual Alkalinity
Adjusting Residual Alkalinity with Salt Additions
Reducing Alkalinity with Acid
Pre-Boiling to Reduce Alkalinity
Mash pH is Water Chemistry plus Malt Chemistry
Sparge Water Adjustment
The Mash pH sets up the Beer pH
Beer pH Controls Beer Flavor

Chapter 22 – Adjusting Water for Style: Famous Brewing Waters and Their Beers

The Dogma of Virgin Water
Using Minerals to Accentuate Flavor
Sulfate-to-Chloride Ratio
Total Dissolved Solids
The Brew Cube
Adjusting Water for Style
Brewing Yourtown Pale Ale
Brewing Yourtown Stout
Brewing Yourtown Pilsener

Section III Recipes, Experimenting, and Troubleshooting

Chapter 23 – Some of My Favorite Beer Styles and Recipes

A Description of Style
Notes on Recipes
Batch Size and Boil Gravity
Hop Schedules
Extract and Steeping Grain Version
All-Grain Version
Mash Schedule
Recommended Water Profile
Yeast Strain and Pitching Rate
Wheat Beer
Pale Ale
Blonde Ale
Amber Ale
India Pale Ale (IPA)
American Strong Ale
Brown Ale
Munich Helles
Dortmunder Export (Helles Exportbier)
Classic American Pilsner

Chapter 24 – Developing Your Own Recipes

Recipe Basics
SMASH and the Single Beer
Increasing the Body
Changing Flavors
Sugars Used in Brewing
Pure Glucose
High-Maltose Syrups and Solids
Sucrose-Type Sugars
Maple Syrup
Toasting Your Own Malt
Discretion Is the Better Part of Flavor

Chapter 25 – Is My Beer Ruined?

Common Problems with Fermentation
Problem: I added the yeast two days ago and nothing is happening
Problem: I added the yeast yesterday and it bubbled all day, but it’s slowing down or has stopped today
Problem: The last batch (did that) but this batch is (doing this)
Problem: The airlock is clogged with gunk
Problem: White/brown/green stuff is floating/growing/moving
Problem: It smells like vinegar
Problem: It smells like extra-butter microwave popcorn
Problem: It smells funky, like cloves or a barnyard
Problem: It smells rotten, or like rotten eggs
Problem: It’s been one or two weeks and it’s still bubbling
Problem: The fermentation seems to have stopped but the hydrometer reads high
Common Problems After Fermentation
Problem: It won’t carbonate
Problem: The bottles are overcarbonated
Problem: The (finished) beer is hazy or cloudy
Common Off-Flavors and Aromas
Dimethyl Sulfide / Cooked Vegetable Flavors
Estery / Fruity
Husky / Grainy
Sweaty / Goaty

Section IV Appendices

Appendix A: Using Hydrometers and Refractometers

Using Hydrometers
Using Refractometers

Appendix B: Beer Color

The Basis of Color Rating
Other Factors Determining Color
Estimating Beer Color

Appendix C: Beer Clarity

What Is Beer Haze?
Why Do We Care about Beer Haze?
Fixing Haze in the Recipe
Fixing Haze with Clarifiers
Irish Moss
Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone / Polyclar®
Silica Gel
Proline-Specific Enzymes

Appendix D: Building Wort Chillers

Immersion Chillers
Counterflow Chillers
Assembling the Chiller
Plate Chillers

Appendix E: Lauter Tun Design for Draining

Choosing A Cooler
Rinsing versus Draining—a Recap
Siphon or Bulkhead Fitting?
False Bottom, Pipe Manifold, or Screen?
False Bottoms
Stainless Steel Screens and Braids
Building a Copper Pipe Manifold
Building a Stainless Steel Braided Ring
Design Examples
Design Option 1—Cylindrical Cooler with False Bottom
Design Option 2—Cylindrical Cooler with Manifold
Design Option 3—Rectangular Cooler with Manifold
Design Option 4—Cylindrical Cooler with Braided Ring
Design Option 5—Rectangular Cooler with Single Braid Tube
Design Option 6—Cylindrical Cooler with a T-Screen

Appendix F: Lauter Tun Design for Continuous Sparging

Fluid Mechanics
Lauter Efficiency
Lauter Uniformity
Factors Affecting Flow
Inter-Pipe Spacing
Wall Spacing
Grain Bed Depth
Designing Pipe Manifolds for Continuous Sparging
Designing Ring Manifolds for Continuous Sparging

Appendix G: Brewing Metallurgy

General Information and Cleaning
Carbon Steel
Stainless Steel
Galvanic Corrosion
Soldering, Brazing, and Welding
Toxicity of Metals

Appendix H: Metric Conversions

Conversion Tables

Appendix I: The Trouble with Producing Gluten-Free Beer

Gluten in Beer
Prolamins and Beer Haze
Enzyme Clarifiers



Publish Date: 2017
Format: 7" x 10" softcover
Pages: 582
Publication Weight: 3 lbs

By John J. Palmer

How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time, Fourth Edition

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