Brewing beer is both an art and a science. It takes knowledge of yeast, chemical reactions, and plant biology to produce a good batch of beer but there is also a certain artisanal component to brewing that cannot be ignored. These many facets of brewing are described in this book, Beer Brewing for Everyone, a book about commercial and home brewing written by Michael Hlatky.
What Goes into Beer?
Beer Brewing for Everyone is an educational book that begins with some history of brewing and then introduces the reader to the different ingredients found in all beer: Water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. This may sound simple enough, but there are actually many different types of malted grains, yeast strains, hop varieties, and more that greatly influence the flavor of the final product. The water quality and hardness level are also crucial influencers in the taste of beer. The book describes these different ingredients in some detail, explaining the way they are used in brewing, the different flavors they impart, etc.
The Commercial Side
Once the reader is educated on the ingredients, the book then talks about commercial brewing. This is the type of brewing with which most of us are familiar. From the boiling of the wort to filtering to packaging, the book takes the reader inside a brewing operation and explains the processes and sweat necessary to bring a large batch of beer to the masses.
Brew Your Own
If brewing beer at home is of interest, then this is the part of Beer Brewing for Everyone you will enjoy best. This section of the book is longer than the one on commercial brewing and it includes more detailed information. The author walks you through sanitizing and hygiene first before launching into the brewing process. In no time at all, the budding home brewer will know all about crushing, mashing, lautering, boiling, filtering, cooling, fermenting, and more. The book even covers ways to correct common brewing mistakes and includes a section of recipes, legal provisions of brewing, and a glossary.
Beer Brewing for Everyone is a good educational read on the process of brewing. The book effectively describes the ingredients and the steps required to brew a batch of beer fit for consumption.
This book talks more about home brewing than commercial brewing and it’s a good resource for home brewers who want to learn a little more about the craft of making beer and find some tips on ways to improve. The recipe section is handy and I like how it organizes the recipes/styles by nation of origin with some background information on the brewing tradition in each country. There are plenty of pictures, too, so that readers can see what products, people, and processes are like on a visual level, for a better beer education.
Brewing beer is far from simple. The beer you take for granted is the result of meticulous care and a single mishap, however small, can completely destroy a batch of beer and deem it worthless for consumption. The more you read about beer and how it is made, the more you respect the dedicated people, the fascinating chemistry, the precise process, and the delicate nature of the beverage we all know and love. With only about 160 pages, this book is a little brief and more advanced brewers might find it too basic. But for everyone else, Better Brewing for Everyone is a useful book and deserving of a read.