Author Topic: Book - Brewing Classic Styles  (Read 11719 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« on: November 27, 2009, 02:33:10 PM »
When I first got this book I was a bit disappointed: some of it just didn't make sense, the recipes are all 7gal boils (so conversions were required), some recommendations didn't make sense (doing mini-mashing etc.)

So I feel this book is not targeted for those new to brewing (as I was) as a plug and go recipe book. Its more for those who are moving to intermediate brewing and certainly for intermediate and advanced brewers. IMHO its just not a book for total noobs.

Once I got around 8 batches under my belt the book made more sense and my BSmith skills had improved so I could confidently adapt the recipes to partial boils etc. I now see it as a great book to get grounded in certain styles and learn some history about each of the styles presented. The recipes are all award winners and many are quite simple - which is a great reminder that the kitchen sink approach is not always the best.

And I can not say enough about Palmer's Mini-Mash process as a fairly easy way to move up from extract focused brewing (in Appendix C ). However - Palmer's writing in chapters 1 - 4 range from great to either confusing or just over my head.

This book is well worth the money if you have the basics down and are looking for direction and inspiration in your brewing.

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Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 01:20:42 PM »
Agreed.  I always check this book for his overall description of the basic style, and read his mash and fermentation guidance to make sure I'm in the ballpark. 

And while I was doing small batches in the kitchen I tended to "kitchen sink" the recipes a bit.  I made good beers that way.  But now that I'm making more conventional-size batches, I can see how "a little of this, a little of that" just gets lost in a larger grain bill.  If you want bready/bisquity, just use a lot of Maris Otter, and forget the small dose of amber or bisquit. 

Offline stevemwazup

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2009, 03:08:01 PM »
    Great recommendation, I recently got this book and like how it's laid out, giving details about ingredients, processes, and differant styles of beer.

I also like the recipes given in the book, thinking of them as tried and true source to turn to.
There are many recipes out there on the internet, but I really only trust a few sources out there to help guide me for making (not just good beer) but making even better beer.
Thanks guys.
stevemwazup 

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 03:08:01 PM »
How To Brew, Radical Brewing, and Brewing Classic Styles. The only books you need. I love Brewing Classic Styles. Every recipe is award winning which really doesn't mean crap unless you are a good brewer. I love it as it opened my eyes to the different styles and gives an award winning example or teo of each. I also really like each recipe is Extract, Mini Mash, and All Grain. I have actually used it a lot while waiting for Beersmith for Mac.

Offline beercheer4me

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 07:27:19 PM »
I have made 3 or 4 from it lagars Octoberfest and a czar imperial stout just thinking about it , they were great beers though,
3 kettle keg 15.5 , 2 pumps, plate chiller, oxygen setup, lager box,4 taps, 8 plus better bottles and glass carboys ,R.O. Water System, PICO screen from adventures home brew, great screen i like it up to 80 percent effiencent
at times , into yeast ranching now
ON tap

Offline RogueNationPatriot

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 08:55:48 AM »
Just starting using the Brewing Classic Styles, about to try my first project influenced by this book tonight.  Hope it's good.  ;D
Be sure to check out my Website and Blog at

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Offline Paindoc

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 04:04:16 PM »
This is a great book for all the reasons mentioned above but for people new to AG brewing I thought I'd mention one problem that I've noticed with the AG versions of the recipes. The author must assume most homebrewers have a very low brewhouse efficiency (batch sparge or no sparge techniques?). Mine is consistently around 70-73% (10gal cooler and fly sparging) and the amount of grain in the AG recipes is always at least 2-3 lbs too much for the projected gravity of the recipe. The first time I made one of the recipes in this book (one of my first AG beers) I followed the recipe exactly and the beer came out with an OG 15 gravity points too high. Now when I use the recipes in this book I run them thru Beersmith and scale them down to fit my system.

Offline Paindoc

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 05:41:52 PM »
Well, excuse me.
If you read my posting carefully, I said that my efficiency as calculated by Beersmith is always around 70% and the grain bill in these recipes is always 2+ pounds too much. I was simply suggesting that new AG brewers trying these recipes should be cognizant of this.

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Book - Brewing Classic Styles
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 09:09:39 AM »
If you read my posting carefully, I said that my efficiency as calculated by Beersmith is always around 70% and the grain bill in these recipes is always 2+ pounds too much. I was simply suggesting that new AG brewers trying these recipes should be cognizant of this.

Estimating gravity is pretty straightforward and we can assume both Brewing Classic Styles and Beersmith 2 are accurate.  I have not entered a BCS recipe and compared the gravities based on the same efficiency settings though.  If you have and are saying that Beersmith 2 is always estimating a higher OG, then it would be of interest to investigate that. 

It should be noted that each of these "tools" base the estimate on the potential extract of a specific grain.  If the grains selected in Beersmith have a higher potential than those used in BCS, 70% efficiency will yield a higher starting gravity. 

For example, a 1.039 OG using a PPG of 34 for 5.5 gallons with 70% efficiency is 9lbs of grain.  Changing just the PPG to 36 needs just 8.5lbs of grain.    A 1.091 OG using 34PPG is 21lbs of grain where 36PPG is 19.8lbs.  We can see a a bit of play in the estimated gravities.

If a brewer wants to use a recipe from Brewing Classic Styles, they should follow the recipe on their system with their process and see how it comes out.  No two systems are the same and no two results are either.  If it is of interest to the brewer, they should take careful notes and readings to determine their own efficiencies and choose to alter the recipe for the next brew.