J. Pedro Ribeiro

Book Notes #3 - Beer School: A Crash Course in Craft Beer

December 01, 2019

Written by the folks from very entertaining YouTube channel The Craft Beer Channel, the book functions both as an introduction to beer and for the novice on the subject as well as a further education for someone who already got their basis sorted.

The book is filled with illustrations that help guide you through the more complex topics and beautiful photos that set the scene and ambiance of the journey. All wrapped in a writing that is informal and fun, like a chat with friends at your local pub. This is, yet, another 5-star rating on my GoodReads.

Here are my highlights:

  1. Two-row (barley) is best because the proteins and starch are more evenly distributed, making it a more predictable grain to malt and brew with. (p.25)
  2. Pilsner mal is bready, sweet and slightly honey. (p.29)
  3. (Crystal malt) is commonly used in American IPAs to balance all the hop bitterness. (p.30)
  4. Wheat is used to give beers more body and a subtle sweetness. (p.34)
  5. Once water has been heated up in a brewery, it is no longer known as water. It becomes liquor. (p.48)
  6. The hardness of the water refers to the concentration of calcium and magnesium. (p.49)
  7. (On Citrah hops) is one of the most sought-after and expensive varieties in the world. (p.61)
  8. The earlier you add a hop, the more bitterness it will impact. The opposite is true for aroma. (p.68)
  9. (On bitterness) much like spice […] we slowly build resistance to it. (p.75)
  10. (On yeast) it gives off three key biproducts: alcohol, carbon dioxide and esters. (p.78)
  11. The colder something is the less your palate can break down the flavours, so drinking a beer slightly warmer will open it up and let the aromas and flavours really shine. By the same token, high carbonation can be a little distracting on the palate, so a less carbonated beer is easier to dissect. (p.99)
  12. (On carbonated beer) if you’ve got a hoppy beer screaming tropical fruit, a keg is going to do it more justice. (p.99)
  13. (On serving beer cold) Malt flavours seem bright, the alcohol sweetness is more balanced and the bitterness is less tannic. (p.101)
  14. (On retro-nasa appreciation) Breathing out after drinking can bring all kind of aromas back in sharper focus, as well as create the fullest sense of a beer. (p.136)

Liked this post? Read my other book notes or buy the book from Amazon.

J. Pedro Ribeiro

I’m a Brazilian front-end developer living in London. This website features some of my latest projects and my thoughts on anything web related.
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