Interested in beer fermentation? Grab this guide and get started.
Yeast. A book that raises eyebrows when reading in public, until the kicker, “The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation” is uncovered. While some could enjoy this book at the beach or as a nightcap, it is first and foremost a guide to those who wish to use their yeast more personally and effectively.
The book, by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff, starts with an important warning: “We decided that this would not be a yeast biology book. It is not a book on the basics of brewing either. You should already know how to brew, and if you do not, get yourself a copy of How to Brew by John Palmer and come back to this book later.”
However, with those prerequisites in mind, this book is extremely thorough. In 300 pages, Yeast covers everything from the history of fermentation to “your own yeast lab made easy” with numerous guides, graphs, and statistics. It is truthfully, fairly daunting, especially for those who are coming into the book with little knowledge on the subject.
The authors explain that a prior knowledge of brewing is necessary before using this book, but probably should also point out readers should have a strong interest in chemistry. Although the guide is made for brewers of all levels, some may not know exactly what they’re diving into. What begins as a fluid and fairly easy read quickly requires Post-its and highlighters to retain the information.
Less seasoned brewers no doubt would find this book interesting, but without a specific wish to harvest their own yeast, may end up more confused than enlightened. For the brewer who has moved on from buying pre-packed yeast variants, this book will open doors to the amount of yeast cultures that they can call their own.