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Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)

Water is arguably the most critical and least understood of the foundation elements in brewing beer. Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers, third in Brewers Publications’ Brewing Elements series, takes the mystery out of water’s role in the brewing process. The book leads brewers through the chemistry and treatment of brewing water, from an overview of water sources, to adjusting water for different beer styles, and different brewery processes, to wastewater treatment. The discussions inc

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3 comments

  1. Gary Spedding "alcbevgary"
    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Water book useful for Brewers, Distillers and Winemakers, September 29, 2013
    By 
    Gary Spedding “alcbevgary” (Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC, Lexington, KY, US) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) (Paperback)

    A much awaited book on water chemistry and treatment for brewers is finally here. Was it worth the wait?

    First of all a criticism – the authors, reviewers and forward note editor imply that there has never been a (single) book of its kind covering the vast topic of water chemistry for brewers – at least not in recent times, in English or with the requisite technical depth for professional brewers. Well they all missed a big fish here (I add the same levity they do in using water terms in a humorous way to open up their topics). I refer to the title: Water in Brewing in the European Brewery Convention Manual of Good Practice Series. 2001 Fachverlag Hans Carl ISBN 3-418-00778-3. With no mention of this book in Palmer and Kaminski’s work it’s a huge oversight on their part. (Furthermore there are other treatises on brewing water treatment as published conference proceedings out there also not referenced by Palmer and Kaminski. So they missed a lot of crucial literature along the way). That being said and, while there is a lot of overlap in coverage of topics in the two volumes discussed here, the new work has brought together a stellar amount of material and reduced it to a level that will – after some effort (it ain’t that easy folks to understand this topic – muddy waters always for all of us here) be amenable to novice chemists and will help more brewers understand the calculations that may help them make better beer.

    The book covers the usual waves of information – how to read a water report and the importance of the presence or absence of each mineral ion and many organic components (the latter well covered in the EBC manual also). Alkalinity calculations (the hardest shell to crack here for most non water chemists and mired in pre-calculator history and semantics) are detailed and related in-depth to mash chemistry. The topic was likely based on the stellar (and scattered) works of A.J. deLange who clearly assisted the authors in their own understanding here; numerous graphs and tables abound – though readers will still need to pour over them if they truly want to be able to get a grip on the topic and put the material to good use.

    Up front the team tell us it is not just about emulating world class brewing style waters which is a bit odd as they then spend a good deal of the book illustrating water chemistry concepts by doing just that. Though again they do provide worked examples (that were seen in the odd journal or magazine article or brewing course here and there and in German treatises) that will be a boon to the reader. And a great basic math and chemistry refresher course for all of us. Towards the end brewery water utilities and processing along with the topic of wastewater are covered (as they are in the EBC Manual!) using some illustrations and examples from current craft breweries which is quite nice.

    The book comes then with a wealth of information in one concise volume. (I still need to review and check through the calculations – water chemistry being is as difficult for me to comprehend and retain as working knowledge as for any other reader of this new volume.) Moreover, it comes at a price well less than the EBC Manuals of good practice, though I recommend anyone really serious about wading through the waters in the Palmer and Kaminski and deLange book to have the EBC Manual also on hand to add the final chapter in understanding the four key ingredients in making good beer. We should welcome the addition of this new book and thank the authors for getting to grips with a very complex subject in an admirable way. Set aside a good few hours to really digest this book’s content. Be patient or it too will sit unused on many shelves as most of the other books on brewing water over the course of history tend to do (even the German language treatises). As mentioned in the header this book will be useful to all beverage manufacturers – soft drinks and alcoholic types – beer, wine and distilled spirits as already noted by one distiller in the review section here at Amazon.

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  2. 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Useful, September 28, 2013
    By 
    Brian F

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) (Paperback)

    Useful is the best way to describe this book. I am using it in reference to commercial distilling and it has already, in the one day I have had it, answered a number of questions I have had for years. I have spent 10x this much on books that didn’t deliver. Very happy.

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  3. J. Johnson "Barleypopmaker"
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Just what I’ve been waiting for!, October 1, 2013
    By 
    J. Johnson “Barleypopmaker” (Wisconsin) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) (Paperback)

    I’m only into Chapter 4 and I have already got my money’s worth from the book in regards to information. While it is a very dry read (pun sort of intended), the information in it is fairly easy to understand. There are obvious topics in here that are geared more towards the professional brewer, with topics about brewery wastewater treatment and high end filtration; but the first seven chapters out of 10 will benefit the homebrewer. Many homebrewers are looking for the “how do I” when it comes to water adjustments, but I come from the camp that wants to know why. Without an understanding of why you are doing something, you don’t really understand the changes you are making. I have found a lot of resources online tell you how to adjust your water to met specific numbers, but don’t really explain the correlation between the changes you are making.

    Be warned though, if you are not really looking for a deeper understanding of water and it’s influence on brewing. You may be disappointed in the book. The actual “how to” is chapter 7, which in my opinion, from flipping through the chapter, would be worth the money for the book alone. But again, I think you are missing out on the point of the book because there is plenty of “how to” information on the web.

    One person on here so far has said this book is not geared towards the homebrewer, and I think that statement is incorrect. This book is just way more than they were probably looking for in regards to information. Only the last 3 chapters are not geared towards the homebrewer. Well, some of chapter 8 may apply but mostly just the first 7 chapters benefit the homebrewer.

    With that said, the whole “Brewing Elements Series” from brewer’s publications has been very technical so I don’t expect anything less.

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