The Homebrewer's Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare and Use Your Own Hops, Brewing Herbs, Malts (Anglais) Broché – octobre 1998
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The book is broken up into four main sections. The first teaches you everything you need to know about how to grow your own hops, the differences between the varieties, and how to use them. Included in this section are instructions that will take you from planting your first hops plants to drying and storing your hops with your home-built oast, or hops dryer.
The second section is a comprehensive list of herbs that can be used in brewing. This section includes information on which varieties to use, how to grow them, which parts of the plant to use, when to add them, how much to use, and expected resulting flavors and aromas. Also includes a section on herbs that are poisonous or should otherwise not be used.
The third section covers growing, harvesting, malting, and using your own grains. There's far more than just barley covered in this section! Also covered are amaranth, corn, oat, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, and wheat. Each grain has a breakdown of different varieties and how to grow and use them.
The fourth section is the obligatory recipes section. Many traditional herbal beers are here, as well as some more innovative beverages that I'd never heard of--Gotlandsdrika, anyone? Where applicable, both extract and all-grain recipes are listed.
Even if you never expect to grow your own hops, grains, or herbs, The Homebrewer's Garden will make you a better brewer. Also recommended is the book Clone Brews, which feature recipes adapted from popular beers of different styles from around the world.
Wether you're a complete novice or a veteran brewer there's a lot to learn here from almost forgotten techniques and ingredients to growing and malting your own grains.
I checked this book out from the library because I have been interested in malting my own barley and wheat. Unfortunately, the author's devote six pages to the ENTIRE process of growing, harvesting, sprouting, couching, and drying/kilning the barley. The rest of the section is devoted to other grains such as corn and quinoa, and cover varieties rather than how to process them. I had already done my first batch of barley using a home food dehydrator and the oven set on low, and I found that their information was actually less complete than what I found on-line through a simple search on malting grain. In fact, for building a home kiln, they suggest that you reference the "1985 Special Grain Brewing Issue" of Zymurgy, a popular homebrewing magazine (Volume 8, No. 4, 1985), and provide no information themselves. This is unfortunate, as sprouting grain can be fairly simple and straightforward, while drying it out again is when you encounter problems. Granted, there were about 3 pages of useful information, but I wouldn't call that worth an entire book.
It does have a section on other herbs used in brewing, but I much prefer "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers" by Buhner for the number of recipes and types of plants covered (i.e. nettle beer, dandelion beer using the plant and roots, ginger beer, spruce beer, etc). The hop-growing section does cover how to make a hop-dryer, a "oast."