Brewing Classic Styles book

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GeeL, Mar 9, 2012.

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  1. GeeL

    GeeL Initiate (169) Aug 27, 2008 Massachusetts

    I'm thinking about getting the Brewing Classic Styles book, but wondering about your thoughts. I brewed a Dunkelweizen out if it a bit ago, it was good. I think I thought it odd they darkened the beer with Special B, would there be more authentic ways to do that?

    Anyway, the beer's good, so hoping to hear that all/most the recipes are pretty solid before I buy it. I brew AG, I think I read somewhere that the conversions from extract to AG in the book are off. Comments?

    Let me know if any of you have other recommendations for a similar type book.

    Oh, similar question for the 200 Clone Beers book.

  2. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    I own both, although I've only brewed one recipe from each book..

    If you're into brewing commercial clones, the 200 Clone Beers from BYO(?) is probably a good buy. I bought it when I was just starting out, and brewed my first and only intentional clone, Alesmith IPA, using the recipe from the book, and it turned out great. The recipes in Brewing Classic styles have been used to make great, award winning beer, and at the very least will allow you to produce a solid beer, assuming your brewing practices are sound.

    While I'm not into brewing clones of anyones beer, I do, personally, think the Clone book and Brewing Classic styles are great resources that can be used as a sounding board, when creating beers on your own. You can make up your recipe on your own, and check the book to see if your recipe has any commonalities with beers of a similar style in both books. Granted, there are many different ingredients and methods you can use to brew great beer, so the book isn't going to be omniscient, but its a nice starting/jumping off point for developing recipes on your own.
  3. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey

    I've never brewed a recipe straight out of Brewing Classic Styles, but I reference it all the time as I'm coming up with my own recipes.
    Donerik and nozferatu46 like this.
  4. EdH

    EdH Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2005 Utah

    Wow -- Pretty much exactly what I was going to say.
  5. dfess1

    dfess1 Initiate (0) May 20, 2003 Pennsylvania

    BCS is a good book. Its one of many in our "brewering" library. Currently working through Gordon Strongs' "Brewing Better Beer". That book is really good, and has alot of recipes in it too.
  6. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey

    I just finished that one, found it pretty interesting. There were a couple topics I meant to bring up in this forum for discussion.
  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,378) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The recipes are solid and all have been award winners in competitions. Better for recipe formulation for a given style than a random recipe on the internet.

    As far as the all grain recipes being off, you need to read the section about the recipe formulation. The batch size is for making 6 gallons of beer so that with losses in the process you end up with 5 gallons of finished beer. The efficiency is also 65%, so adjust to your system.

    I have Clone Brews the previous book from the 200 Clone Brews, and I will just leave it at the statement that it had some OK, recipes for the day, which was 10 years ago. Yeasts used for some of the beers are not the right choices.

    Brewing Better Beer is a book with some great recipes and it covers much more than just recipes. It is for the more advanced brewer, the recipes are for all grain only, and there is also a good section on brewing for competitions and getting your beer to competitions if that interests you.
  8. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    BCS as mentioned above uses many award winning and tried and true recipes. I think they are good examples of brews that fit in well with the BJCP style and do make a good starting point. The only beer I have brewed directly out of it was the Dubbel which turned out great. I think it is a great book to have in your library.
  9. GeeL

    GeeL Initiate (169) Aug 27, 2008 Massachusetts

    Thanks all, have the book now. And got Beersmith, which is now presenting other issues...
  10. dfess1

    dfess1 Initiate (0) May 20, 2003 Pennsylvania

    Beersmith can be a bit of a bear in the beginning. Once you get the hang of it, you'll like it.
  11. nozferatu46

    nozferatu46 Initiate (104) Mar 24, 2008 Indiana

    Exactly what he said.

    Its a great reference. Gives you a recipe, and tells you why you use certain ingredients... my favorite book I've bought... and I've never done a recipe straight out of it. Just used it as a base point.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have used Ray Daniels book Designing Great Beers heavily as a resource for my beer recipe formulations. Unfortunately Ray does not cover Belgian Style beers in his book but what he does cover has invaluable information.


    P.S. I have the Brewing Classic Styles book but I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t read it yet.:grimacing:
  13. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    I have looked for this book the last three times I have been in a bookstore, but it has been out every time. I could order it online, but I feel like it should be available in stores.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It has been a while since I bought a book at a ‘brick and mortar’ book store.

    Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles by Ray Daniels (Paperback - Jan 26, 1998)

    Buy new: $24.95 $13.23

    38 new from $13.23 16 used from $15.00

    Get it by Monday, Mar 12 if you order in the next 4 hours and choose one-day shipping.

  15. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    On it, F the bookstore.
    Except, we go often, my daughter loves the bookstore.
  16. meatballj626j

    meatballj626j Initiate (0) May 7, 2009 Georgia

    Yea I thought that was weird too. Lots of information too. Definately glad I picked it up.
  17. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey

    I tend to use some amalgamation of Brewing Classic Styles, Designing Great Beers, Brew Like A Monk, and Brewing With Wheat to research before I build a recipe, depending on what style I'm looking to brew.
  18. MLucky

    MLucky Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2010 California

    BCS is great. I've brewed at least a dozen recipes from that book and all were very solid. Very often when I take a first stab at a given style, I'll brew a Jamil recipe, knowing that it'll come out fine, and then the next time 'round I'll tweak it to my tastes--or not. A lot of these recipes are real winners on their own. A great resource.

    I'm not as high on clone books. Very often, the recipes don't match info that's readily available from the brewer, which makes ya wonder.

    Gordon Strong is excellent, but a different sort of book altogether. It's kind of a semi-random meditation on brewing that touches on all sorts of techniques and recipes, not to be confused with your usual brewing reference or recipe book.

    Oh, and need I say ? You gotta have Palmer.
  19. MrOH

    MrOH Champion (810) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Designing Great Beers was originally published almost 15 years ago, well before Belgian beer took hold in the USA, so I cut it some slack on that front. Also, check amazon for price, then check that rack of book at your LHBS. If the cost difference doesn't make up for what you're willing to pump into the local economy, go for it.
  20. xraided81

    xraided81 Aspirant (233) Jan 9, 2008 California

    Brewed Old Draft Dodger for those of you reading Gordon strong , finished at 1048, but tasting great I need to give it another shot
  21. chiefydawg

    chiefydawg Initiate (0) Dec 22, 2007 Ohio

  22. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,738) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    This book has excellent recipes to get you in the ballpark for the BJCP styles covered. You can brew the recipes as is and then methodically tweak and fine tune to make your perfext version, or you can just jump in with both feet and start tweaking as you go.

    There are a few recipes that don't seem authentic for minor reasons, like a Belgian Special B malt in a German style, but remember that there are usually many ways to get to the target beer and a homebrewer uses different resources than a commercial brewer (different equipment, different ingredients available); the way of the commercial brewer may not be the best way for the homebrewer. In the case of Special B, for one of the bock recipes Jamil uses a dark German crystal malt called Rostmalz or something like that. It's possible that a touch of this would work as a sub for Special B, though I cannot say for sure. Or maybe use the darkest caramunich you can get and add some color with a bit of carafa special.
  23. kenatbeerswap

    kenatbeerswap Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I have BCS and have used it a lot. Brewed close to a dozen recipes that I try to brew as written and there have been several that I have brewed again. I usually tweek the recipe a little but I'm trying to brew a beer in each style. I also am currently reading Gordon Strong's book and have found some good stuff in it.
  24. EdH

    EdH Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2005 Utah

    CaraAroma from Weyermann is going to be really close to Special B in color. Reallly, though -- I can't imagine that six ounces of a similar product made in Belgium is going to make anyone say "You know... this just doesn't have that authentic German flavor".
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