You can find all of the references I use to try and brew better beer. Hopefully they’ll help you as much as they have been helping me.
Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian
The bible of home brewing. This was the first brewing book I ever got and came highly recommended from other home brewers. As such, I continue that tradition myself and anyone interesting in home brewing I end up recommending this book or giving them my copy to borrow. It’s clear, concise, and the motto, “don’t worry have a home brew” is a great reassurance when first diving into the whole process. Even to this day I find helpful tidbits in here and end up rereading sections of this book.
Yeast by Chris White with Jamil Zainasheff
I actually picked this book up from a recommendation from other blogs. It dramatically changed the way I look and think about yeast. This was the most eye opening brewing book I’ve ever read. While it it mostly concerns itself with the clean saccharomyces critters, the information on fermentation, treatment, and even the culturing of yeast make the information invaluable in handling the sour bugs. Good quality beers starts and ends with making sure your yeast is well taken of.
American Sour Beers by Michael Tonsmiere
This was the first book I bought on specifically sour beers and I really enjoyed it. I did a review on American Sour Beers in one of my earlier posts. The most impressive part of the book is all of the information gathered on how todays American brewers are making fantastic sour beer. The techniques found in this book come from some of the greatest brewers.
Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow
A book that I consider the predecessor and Belgium version of “American Sour Beers”, Wild Brews contains in depth information and some great history on where those sours brews we love come from. The details in the book are incredible, I love the history of it, and it certainly makes me want to plan a trip to Belgium.
The Audacity of Hops
It’s a history book on beer. It has the rise and fall of all the different breweries and why we are where we are today in the world of craft beer. It’s really an incredible story that is worth picking up. All of the big players are in this book, the good guys and the bad. It’s a classic tale of good vs evil, big beer vs craft breweries. There isn’t any brewing knowledge in here, but it gives you an appreciation of what the first brewers (and consumers) had to go to “back in the day”.
The author of American Sour Beers, a home brewer, and has done work for San Diego’s Modern Times brewery, his blog is every bit as impressive as his titles. This is one of my favorite beer blogs to read. It has new posts pretty regularly, usually on new recipes and reviews of his home brew. Some of the pages are just a great reference to have regardless, such as his dregg list and his recipe page. He has a pretty active community on there as well with posts getting a good number of comments.
Another one of my favorites, sour beer blog is a combination of amazingly in depth beer articles and commercial beer reviews. The beer articles are the big draw for me, they go into incredible depth on certain topics that are always very enlightening. He’s also appeared a number of times on my favorite podcast, The Sour Hour.
“The Sour Hour” by Jay Goodwin and Scott “Moscow” Moskowitz
A podcast brought to you by the great Brewing Network, this is one of my favorite ways to “enjoy” my commute in the morning. Jay Goodwin drops some serious knowledge about sour brewing and they have a lot of rather impressive guests that come on the show. Since I started listening, they have had Lauren Salazar of New Belgium, Garrett Crowell from Jester King Brewery, Cory King from Side Project and even Jean Van Roy from Cantillon. Every episode is packed full of great information, I’ve had to listen to a few of the episodes twice. If your serious about brewing sour beer, this is a fantastic place to tune in and listen.
“Beersmith Home Brewing” by Brad Smith
This was the first beer podcast I ever listened to and I still enjoy it. It obviously isn’t sour beer specific, it still has some great episodes worth checking out. There are even a few that are wild brew specific that are great. It’s also worth noting that he is the man behind one of the most popular beer softwares out there, BeerSmith. While I haven’t tried it myself, I’ve heard great things and I’ve always had an itching to give it a go.