Brewing Resources

October 5, 2011 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Every home brewer needs resources to make better beers. Here are some of my favorites from among many great ones.


How to Brew, by John Palmer

Some consider this book the bible of home brewing. It is an indispensable resource for beginners and advanced brewers. There is also an online version available. Hurray, Internet!

Extreme Brewing, by Sam Calagione

If you’re ready to branch out beyond clone recipes, take a look at some new ideas from the renegade at Dogfish Head Brewing. Molasses Marzen and Blood Orange Hefeweizen are two of my favorites from this collection of high gravity, high flavor beers. Be sure to use a blow-off tube. You have been warned.

Designing Great Beers, by Ray Daniels

Get this book when you are ready to create your own classics. This is an invaluable resource for learning about ingredients and beer styles. Combine this with the Recipator (see below) and you’ll start cranking out recipes in no time.

Brew Like a Monk, by Stan Hieronymus

I found this one when I wanted to make a Belgian ale. Read this book to learn all about the Belgian style and the history of Trappist breweries. There is also an online version available.

Online Resources

The Recipator

This site has been an indispensable resource for designing beer recipes. When you are ready to create your own beers, go here and start playing. I’ve blown many an afternoon at work on this site. (Ya know, while my code was compiling, or something…)

Brew Calcs

Within this single page you can run all manner of important calculations on your brew. From simple gravity/temperature adjustments to determining how many yeast cells you need for x amount of wort. It does have a tool for converting your refractometer reading (Brix) into when measuring starting gravity. But don’t use it for any readings after that (see below).

refractbeer.xls(This link goes directly to a spreadsheet file.)

This is an Excel spreadsheet served from that can be used to adjust refractometer readings after fermentation has begun. Because the presence of alcohol can affect the refractometer’s ability to accurately measure sugars, some calculating has to be done to account for that. This spreadsheet is a vital tool for accurately interpreting refractometer readings on fermented wort.

After pulling my hair out trying to understand why my hydrometer and refractometer showed different results during fermentation, I found this spreadsheet. Then I set down the hydrometer and haven’t touched it since.

Ok, I’ve touched it but only to move it aside to get to other things.


You might have a full library of brewing books and a web bookmark list a mile long. But to me nothing is more valuable than a good friend and brewing partner. You need someone to taste your beers, give you objective opinions and advice; someone who has more brewing experience than you and is willing to impart their wisdom. You need a Beer Yoda.

I have a Beer Yoda and he, along with another good friend, make some of the best home brews I’ve ever tasted.

A good place to begin finding people who brew are local brewing clubs. Homebrewers Association has a directory you can use to search for clubs. Or, better yet – hang out in the best brewpubs in your area. You’re bound to find some home brewers in there who will gladly talk the day away while enjoying a tasty pint.

What Else is Out There?

If you have a good resource for home brewing let me know! I am building a great library of information about my favorite topic.

Entry filed under: Brewing. Tags: .

Meowie Waui Coconut Porter The Crying Game

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