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Radical Brewing (Book Review)

Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher

The full title of this book is Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales & World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy Mosher. That’s quite a mouthful of both title and subject if you’re looking for some reasonably heavy reading on the subject of your favourite pastime – making and consuming beer. This book starts on a very basic level discussing the nature of beer and it’s history, but rapidly progresses into and beyond where you might be comfortable as a brewer. The short review of this one would be that you should buy it, put it on your office shelf and refer to it often. It’s full of good information about … beer.

Think of this one as a lifetime worth of brewing tips from Mosher’s vast experience brewing, teaching, authoring, speaking and consulting about brewing beer. This book also has 90 recipes that range from the most basic brews right into the realms of what made you even think of making that? If you can think of a spice, fruit, adjunct sugar or grain, then it’s pretty well going to be covered in one of the recipes Mosher throws into these pages. And if it isn’t in the book, you can certainly take radical brewing ideas and see if you can make that new exciting idea a reality.

Recipe design, ingredients, brewing process, fermentation conditions (yeast choice, temperature, PH, hop additions and tinctures), flavour balance and conflict. The simple reality of making all grain beer is that it’s an ongoing chemistry experiment. Anybody can make beer, but making great beer is extremely challenging.

Three or four of those recipes will hopefully make it into my fermenters over the next twelve months, too. And what I’ve mostly taken away from Mosher’s work is to not be afraid of the unknown. Do it, taste it… repeat and improve as necessary. There really are no rules in making beer. Well, beyond the basics of any chemistry experiment that can go well or fail. Because once you do have your processes as a brewer nailed then you can venture along a broad path of making things that can be quite unusual. Beers you could never buy commercially.

This is one of those books that pull at your brain in a million little ways when you try to get to sleep at night. I probably read this over a couple of months in digestible pieces. It’s not a big fat weekend meal, so much as a great coffee table book for brewers to read and re-read along our own journeys.

I’m not going to pseudo-babble my way around the art and creativity of brewing beer… but this one is probably my favourite brewing book, to date. And, no, there are no rules in brewing. Follow your tongue.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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