Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book review: The Homebrewer's Garden

I haven't mentioned that I've gotten into home brewing. It's the sort of thing that needs pictures and they're all on the wrong cameras. This weekend Yummy and I were picking up the supplies for our third batch. In the book section at Maryland Homebrew Yummy found The Homebrewer's Garden. Yummy is a gardener and I'm a home brewer so this book is just up our alley.

The first section talks about hops, how to grow it, and when to harvest it. I've got hops growing up the front of my house. This summer will be it's third year. I'm gonna try moving it to somewhere it gets less barbecued and hopefully it'll yield fruit this year. Now I have a better idea what to look for.

The next section is the one that really interested us. Its a list of herbs and spices and other plants that you might be able grow or forage and shove in a brew. Many of which can be used to replace hops completely. More than just listing plants and telling you what areas they grow well, this book also gives you some useful notes as to how much to use and when to use it for what effect. Lots of things can be added in secondary fermentation to add a certain odor. Many things are more effective when dry than fresh. Other things never dry well. Some things we'd been considering because we'd never seen it done before and we got a recommended dosage. And in the descriptions we got ideas for some other brews.

So Yummy is going to start a bunch of things this spring and see what we can use as we level up and start making some more original recipes. I'll see about posting results of our first brews and whatever we plant in the spring.

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