Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 6, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #23,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #28 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Beer #41 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Homebrewing, Distilling & Wine Making
I have a new favorite brewing book - Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. I must admit that I was put off by the title at first. "Radical Brewing? I don't want to brew weird stuff, I want to brew good stuff..." But after I had a chance to browse thru a copy, I realized there was nothing weird about it. It is radical like Copernicus was radical. It is full of really interesting information that I had not known or barely heard of before. This is a spectrum of brewing, brews, and brewers.How to describe it??Broadly, it is like Designing Great Beers in that it presents the ingredients of brewing, the methods for using them and how various beer styles were developed by using those ingredients.The difference could be described in this way though: If DGB were described as a university course in the main lecture hall on brewing, then Radical Brewing is sitting down with the Prof one-on-one, while he regales with his experiences and pours you samples as he talks. And, if you know Randy, then this description of his book is self-explanatory. It really is a book that you will pick up and read for the fun of it. There are lots of interesting recipes, and his discussion makes you want to try them.A great book to further your homebrewing education.John Palmerauthor of "How To Brew"[...]
Wow. Radical, indeed. The etymology is apropos; radical comes from the Latin radix, meaning root. Mosher gets to the root of all sorts of subjects with his witty style and erudition. This guy knows his stuff. If there is any grain or sugar or spice or herb in this world that has ended up in a brewpot, Mosher has probably written about it.At the risk of turning this review section into a lovefest, I agree with the other reviewers. If you've never brewed before, get a good basic text; you can't do better than Palmer's How to Brew, and he's generous enough to put the entire text on line for free perusal--although you'll probably want to go ahead and get a hard copy just for convenience. Others will have their own preferences for a basic brewing book. I started out a couple of decades ago with Papazian's book, and it's fine--but I think Palmer's is a tad better.One theme Mosher stresses is how the homebrewer can afford to use the best ingredients for his brew, something a corporate brewer can't. So what if using Maris Otter malt and lots of noble hops might make that batch cost a few cents more? You can afford it, and can make a brew that no big corporation would ever make.If I were just starting out today, I'd probably spring for Palmer's book and this one by Mosher. Between those two you'd be able to brew virtually any style you want to. Plus, after reading Radical Brewing you'd have more esoteric beer knowledge than any sane person needs. But who ever said that homebrewers were sane?
Funny thing is, I have read How to Brew and Designing Great Beers, written by two of the other "raters" of Radical Brewing.If your a beginner looking to get into this hobby, BUY HOW TO BREW TODAY! It is amazing.If you are a hardcore masher that has been doing everything "right" but still aren't winning those medals that you want, BUY DESIGNING GREAT BEERS TODAY!Somewhere in no way inbetween these books is Radical Brewing. An informative text about beers of old as well as beers that have yet to even find a style guideline. I'm a BJCP judge and trust me, they ain't there. He completely shakes the platform that much of the American craft brewing scene has stood on, calling for the judicious use of adjuncts in many instances, including many exotic sugars that I had never even heard of.The book also delves into the history of each style and how they have been produced throughout the years. Early on, he moves through the Belgian abbey ales. Later he tackles the challenges of Belgium with sections on sour browns, Flemish Reds, Lambics, Wit beers, and Saisons (though he doesn't do the best job of explaining proper fermentation of the saisons). He even does a synopsis of the Gose beer of Germany. I've only seen these beers once!Randy is obviously someone who has taken homebrewing as seriously as anyone could, for about as long as anyone could. His book is entertaining and is a wealth of knowledge (even if I don't agree with EVERYTHING he says) for brewers at all levels. It is not a book that the novice should shy away from, yet it is also one that every advanced homebrewer should already own. And the historical quotes and poems on beer are just awesome. I used a good many of them on the beer menu for my wedding reception. HEHE!Cheers!
Randy Mosher writes engagingly; but frankly,if you've read books by Korzonas, Palmer, and yeah, Papazian- you have the brewing techniques discussed in Radical Brewing. Where Mr. Mosher excels is his descriptions of ingredients, and quantities. I am delighted by the recipes and can't wait 'til the weekend to brew up one or two (black pepper in beer! Yes!). Overall, I'd say this is a great book for any brewer's library; not a "My First Brew Book", but certainly should be on your shelf with Mosher's other book. And Palmer, and Korzonas...okay, okay, and Papazian.
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