Best Brewing Books

Our Top Pick

If you are considering brewing beer at home, you have come to the right place. There is so much to explore and it is wonderful hobby which you can easily get started. To help you on this journey, here is a list of some of the most popular tried and tested books to help you better understand the brewing process.

So whether you are simply curious as to how beer is brewed or are looking to give brewing a shot or even if you already have a few successful brews under your belt, below are some of the most popular books to get you started, improve your craft. If you are just about getting started we would recommend How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time by John Palmer – a step by step guide to help you along the way.

For the flavor enthusiast, a book about “Brewing Classic Styles” by Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer to help you with classic recipes and recreate classic favors. For those looking to better their craft, however, pick a copy of Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers which provides in-depth knowledge on how you transit from being an amateur to an intermediate brewer.

Product DescriptionUsers ScoreOverall Score
Best Books for Brewing Beer at Home

Best Books for Brewing Beer at Home

Ready to get started on brewing your own beer? These books have helped us and many other beer enthusiasts and hobbyists ...

User Rating: 3.6 (1 votes)
2 Brewing Classic Styles – Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer

Brewing Classic Styles – Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer

  Author(s): Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer Paperback: 317 pages Publisher: Brewers Publications ...

User Rating: 4.85 (1 votes)
3 Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation  by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff

Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff

A must read for brewers of all experience levels, this book goes to cover all that you need to know on yeast and ...

User Rating: 4.55 (1 votes)
4 Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers

Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers

Paperback: 336 pages Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 16, 2011) This book is for those brewers that ...

User Rating: 2.75 (1 votes)
5 Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher

Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher

Paperback: 350 pages Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 6, 2004) Put together by veteran brewer Randy ...

User Rating: 2.85 (1 votes)

So, what is the composition of beer

There are different sub-varieties and styles found in various parts of the world as tastes vary from country to country. In the broadest sense, however, beer essentially comprises of a drink made out of fermented grain and the type of grain that is commonly used is malted barley (malt).

Sugar is extracted from the malt which is then boiled in water along with butter hops to create a balanced flavour. This mixture is called ‘wort’. The wort is then fermented with yeast.

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What are my home brewing options?

When researching how to brew beer, you may come across terms such as “all grain”, “beer kit” or “extract brewing” that throw you for a loop. Well, no more. Read on to learn the difference.

Many beer brewing hobbyists would have started out with a beer kit as they are comparatively easy to use and require very little equipment. No doubt it is great way to get started and it does produce good beer but the results aren’t very satisfying.

This is where beer brewing can be taken to the next stage – grain brewing. Also an easy process, there is much better control on every aspect using this technique. The possibilities here are also endless as you can create a glass of beer that is an exclusively made by you right from the recipe to the final flavour.

So, how do you get started? Well, we strongly recommend that you read something of the brewing process through these popular and insightful books. Gaining a better understanding of the processes, styles, flavours, combinations, etc. will certainly put you in a better position when you get started on home brewing some beer for yourself.

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Process cycle for brewing beer at home

Although these steps are not set in stone as they can be reduced or even added to depending on the type of beer being brewed, there is a typical process that is followed:

Getting Prepared: There is plenty of planning involved to ensure that you don’t forget any vital ingredients or fall short of anything on “brew day”. It is also critical that all your equipment is in place and cleaned which will help you stay better organized.

Brewing Day:  This is the most vital stage of entire process. Depending on the methods and ingredients you opt for, each process or method does have its variations although generally speaking, all brewing methods are very similar to each other –  After the wort is boiled and flavor is added with hops, the brew is cooled rapidly and then transferred to the fermenter for the yeast to be added.

Process of Fermenting: Fermenting is the process that converts the sugar in the wort mixture to alcohol and CO2 which is primary in the fermenting process. The secondary fermenting process begins three or four days later and it involves cleaning the by-product from the yeast.  Sugars that are yet to be fermented are also processed which then creates a liquid that settles at the bottom of the fermenter. This takes approximately two weeks.

Enhancing Flavours: In many processes, this stage is optional as it involves further adding elements to the brew – typically three to four days after the brewing process. Delicate ingredients are added days after the primary fermentation to avoid any damage to the subtle flavor from the vigorous action that takes place during the primary fermentation process.  A few of the ingredients commonly used at this stage are dry hopping, Pale Ale recipes or even adding honey to enhance the flavour profile.

Bottling: On completion of the secondary fermentation process, the beer is now ready for bottling. In a process known as priming, more sugar is added to make the beer fizzy. The yeast further ferments it inside the bottle converting it into alcohol and CO2 as before.

Conditioning: Beer does provide better results when allowed to sit for a week or two. If consumed in a short period, though it would taste like beer, it would have the texture as well as the appearance of simple fruit juice. So the longer you leave beer in the fermenter (preferably for a period of upto four to five weeks) before bottling it, the better it will taste.


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Best Books for Brewing Beer at Home

Ready to get started on brewing your own beer? These books have helped us and many other beer enthusiasts and hobbyists gain insight on the brewing process. So pick one.. or more, and let’s get started.

How to Brew Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right the First TimeHow to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right the First Time

Author(s): John Palmer

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Brewers Publications

Edition: Third, May 17, 2006

Type: How to brew from beginning to the end

Level: For the Beginner to Advanced

Recipes: Included in detail in a separate chapter, extract and all-grain

“How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time” is a definitive guide for beginners and has everything one needs to know about the brewing process.

For the benefit of first timers, the book explains everything you need to know to make good beer in an easy to follow step by step guide. Besides the brewing process, the book also covers other vital aspects such as the types of ingredients, methods, recipes and also the type of equipment options available.

The author John Palmer rolled out the first edition of How to Brew in 1995 followed by a second edition in 2000 and another in May 2006. The book goes on to clearly outline what you need and is perfect for those just starting out while at the same time also diving into fair detail on the nuances of the brewing process as well.  

We found that the book highlights more on the practicalities of the process rather than stressing on the scientific explanation of it all. Although we found that the book could be a bit more illustrative in terms of diagrams rather than just spoken text, we did find that it rates high among readers on Amazon with most offering it a 5 starred rating.


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Brewing Classic Styles – Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer

Brewing Classic Styles – Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer

  • Author(s): Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer
  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications
  • Edition: October 25, 2007
  • Type: Recipe Formulation/Skill Improvement
  • Level: Moderate
  • Recipes: Yes, extract and all-grain

Also by John Palmer although this one is co-authored by Jamil Zainasheff (well known in brewing circles for having over 500 brewing awards in all major style categories including the National Homebrew Competition), “Brewing Classic Styles” with its award winning recipes in multiple  styles covering major categories makes for a great read.

So whether you are looking to enter a homebrew competition or are a simple enthusiast that is looking to reproduce classic beer styles for enjoyment this book provides a guided approach to brewers that mainly consists of extract based techniques.

The styles included in the book are light lager, pilsner, European Amber Lager, dark lager, bock, light hybrid beer, amber hybrid beer, English pale ales and more. Each of the recipes is well detailed and easy to follow.

Jamil Zainasheff is an experienced brewer himself going back to as early as 1999 during the course of which he has won several homebrew competitions. What makes him stand out from the rest is that he is known to have brewed beers in every style that is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program and also won medals in the prestigious National Homebrew Competition since 2002!


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Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher

Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 6, 2004)

Put together by veteran brewer Randy Mosher, Radical Brewing is a compilation of the history of beer and its culture delivered in a very entertaining manner. The book goes on to showcase in depth the innovative art of brewing which it combines with a mix of science and practicality.  

Radical Brewing is well presented in a two color layout combined with a whole lot of graphics. With a combination of humour and home brewing, the book describes the many ingredients of brewing, and the different methods and styles.  

Recommended for those looking to further improve their home brewing skills, this book is a fun way to learn everything you need to know. Mosher certainly knows his subject well and intermediate and advanced beer brewers can easily relate to the ingredient combinations and approaches described by him.

If you are a beginner, this book may not serve as a guide on how to start the brewing process. However, it will enlighten you on how large corporate cannot use some of the ingredients described in the recipes to mass produce while teaching you how to do it yourself.


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Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers

  • Brewing Better Beer Master Lessons for Advanced HomebrewersPaperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 16, 2011)

This book is for those brewers that already have a few successful brews under their belts as it will help separate you from making good beer to making great beer.

After looking at several books that walk you through the learning process of brewing, the Brewing Better Beer Master Lessons for Advance Homebrewers is extremely helpful in taking your craft to the next level.

It is definitely not a book for beginners and leans more towards a brewer that is looking to further refine how he currently brews his beer or even for those that are looking to compete in brewing competitions.

The book focuses on bettering your technique rather than demonstrating new ones. It also provides an interesting perspective on how no two brewers can produce the same taste. If you are looking at how to get the best of the processes you have adopted, this is the book for you as it contains chapters on mastering techniques and refining your process along the way.

It also goes on to describe every step of the brewing process from learning how to boil the wort, to chilling and separating it to evaluating your styles and adjusting balance.


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Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation  by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff

Yeast The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White and Jamil ZainasheffA must read for brewers of all experience levels, this book goes to cover all that you need to know on yeast and how it impacts the fermentation process.

Learn how to select yeast, the varieties of yeast available, how to store and handle the yeast along with the art of rinsing and washing yeast. It explains how yeast labs can be set up detailing several procedures and the equipment needed and also includes a troubleshooting guide.