As a home brewer of beer for several years now, I have had my share of success, failure and mediocre 5 gallon batches. And what happens when you are not happy with your creation? You are stuck between drain pouring and feeling obligated to drink 5 gallons of a beverage you’re not really happy with.
Amber Shehan’s “Artisanal Small-Batch Brewing: Easy Homemade Wines, Beers, Meads and Ciders” was released on June 4, 2019 and provides several beer recipes scaled for 1 gallon batches. Admittedly, I first scanned the index of the chapter entitled, “Grains and Gruits and Hops, Oh My!” The simple yet intriguing recipes in this chapter – including “Lemon-Pepper IPA” and “Blueberry Porter” – immediately caught my interest and had me thinking, “If I used a 1 gallon carboy, I’d be more excited for brewing experimentation!”
After reviewing the rest of the index, I jumped into the book at page 1. While generally a recipe book, Amber’s passion for her craft seeps through the words and had me excited to try her mead, wine and cider recipes. Compared to beer brewing, the other beverages are less labor and time intense, but allow for just as much creativity as beer.
Several of the recipes shared by Amber made this homebrewer sit up in my chair and think, “I’m going to try this tomorrow!” “Vanilla Bean and Chamomile Mead,” “Scarborough Fair Wine”, and “Dry-hopped Cider” are now on my short list of experiments in 2019. In addition to recipes, the book also includes chapters on basic brewing techniques and non-alcohol recipes for spent grains, simple sugars, and vinegars. The superb photography of each beverage provides an encouraging invitation to the eye – “Come on, try to make this and you can drink it too!”
I would highly recommend this book to both new brewers as well as experienced homebrewers who are looking for recipe inspiration. Available on Amazon on Kindle (around $10) and paperback formats (around $20), this will be a great addition to your brewing library.
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