Best book for Rookies??

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Best book for Rookies??

I am days away from brewing my very first batch of beer! I have all the necessary equipment (and instructions), but am curious as to what brewing book is the most straight-forward and easy to follow for the first timer.



choice depends on you...

The choice depends on you, but the most common "beginner" book is The Joy of Home Brewing (papazian).

The second recommendation is How to Brew (Palmer).

The first title (JOHB) is a thicker book, but it contains less technical information, and more entertaining style and recipes.

How To Brew is more down to business. It is still easy to read, but does go into more technical details about advanced topics such as all grain brewing.

If you are a scientific type at all you may want to start with Palmer's How To Brew. Otherwise, JoHB is a good bet. We have both in our store if you'd like to actually look through them.


Thanks for your help aj! My first batch is presently fermenting and is pretty darn active. I have the carboy wrapped in a towel in the corner of my office. On another note, I read that one should put either water, sanitizer, or vodka in the airlock. I chose sanitizer and now it is bubbling out of the top of the airlock. I'm assuming this is normal (?). I'll just keep wiping it off over the next two weeks I guess...... Maybe next time I'll use water or vodka.


Vodka in the airlock!

I ALWAYS use vodka in my airlocks - If you have 'suckback' for some reason (believe me, it can happen!), you will end up with sanitizer in your beer/cider/wine, I'd much rather have vodka in mine, tanjuberrymud!
Water is not a good idea either, you can put distilled water in your airlock and it will become contaminated by bacteria, etc. in the air ..... alcohol will kill those bacteria, yeasts, etc. in the air before they can reach your brew. Cheap vodka is a cheap security measure!

Drink the vodka, don't waste it!

I've never heard of anyone ever putting vodka or sanitizer in the air lock. Thats just nonsense man, water is all you need. Your fermentation is bubbling up through the air lock because the yeast is working like mad and creating more CO2 than the airlock can handle. You might want to try leaving just a little more room at the top of your carboy to allow for that activity, or start your batch in a primary fermenter so it can let off some steam before you rack it to a carboy.
I would also highly reccomend reading "Sacred and herbal healing beers: The secrets of anciet fermentation" by Stephen Buhner. This book is a must read for any experienced brewer or wanna be brewer. It will give you a historical understanding of fermenting, ingredients used, myths surrounding processes of brewing, and many basic example recipes for beers, gruits, and meads that you can experiment with. Cheers, hope this helps.

Books, books, books

Keep an eye out in the thrift stores for old brewing books, I found an early one of Dave Miller, I've been able to collect 2 of Terry Foster's books (Pale Ale and Porter) from GoodWilly's, and have just bought his newest one on Stout online. Look in the baking/cooking sections - seems most of these people don't know that brewing isn't the same as baking even if it says 'Recipies' on the front or back, that's a good thing tho .... they are cheaper if they're mixed up in the pie recipes and cookies books ;)!

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