The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian
"Relax. Don't Worry. Have a home-brew." It's the mantra of home-brewing, a phrase that nods to the technical aspects of brewing only as it dismisses all stress with a sip and a smile. Home-brewing is fun, after all. Charlie Papazian didn't just coin the term, he virtually spearheaded the home-brewing revival in America. Figurehead for the American Homebrewers Association and its membership magazine, Zymurgy, Papazian is one of the founding fathers of the modern home-brewing scene. Often touted as the home-brewer's bible, The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing charts a beginning brewer's course, keeping the focus on enjoying the process as well as the results of home-brewing. An easy-to-use table of ingredients helps the newly initiated design their own recipes, although many home-brewers happily spend years sampling those Papazian provides. Dozens of recipes for all levels of experience are here, christened with the most improbable (and irresistible?) names in home-brewing literature ("Toad Spit Stout," "Cheeks to the Wind Mild," and "Goat Scrotum Ale" among them). While Papazian's classic does cover a broad sweep of home-brewing techniques (including more advanced procedures like grain mashing and yeast culturing), it's more than just a home-brewer's guidebook. Papazian's personal take on the history of American brewing is an entertaining read for any beer enthusiast, and his laid-back, humor-driven style engages readers whether or not they've ever boiled up a brew. This book makes home-brewers almost as often as it helps them. If enthusiastic friends haven't convinced you to start home-brewing, The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing undoubtedly will.