American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

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American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby Jimmy321 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:57

This book is Authored by the blogger The Mad Fermentationist

A must read for anyone serious about making or venturing in to the world of sour beers, this book assumes that you are already experienced in all grain brewing and you should have at least a basic understanding of yeast and step mashing to get through it without further research. Having read Yeast, Brewing with Wheat and Brew like a Monk made this book understandable for me and I will be using it for reference for many many years. Metric measurements are in brackets next to the imperial ones for this side of the pond also SG, FG are also given in °P.

Rather than making a beer that takes days weeks and months sours take weeks months and years so it is suggested that you get one on right away! However I would read at least part of this book and have a look at the recipes before getting a brew on (my first is still in the primary since July last year!)

The author has taken a selection of brewery's in the USA who make sour beer as part or all of their production, he has interviewed the brewers responsible for the sour beers and highlights their processes which vary vastly. Although the book title is American Sour Beers in which many yeast strains are sourced from yeast labs it also covers spontaneous fermentation (beer left to pick up wild yeast strains with no pitching of yeast cultures) from the likes of Anchorage Brewing Company and the 'traditional' process by the Belgian brewers which some brewery's in the USA have adopted.

The book also covers barrel aging and blending which is a good read but not much use to us home brewers with limited space however it does go in to adding oak blocks/chips and oxidization or lack of for your home brewed sour beer and if you have more that one on the go (which it suggests you should have) it will come in to use if one of your beers is lacking or has too much sourness or other character. There's a section covering the addition of fruit and vegetables and suggested amounts to use of each.

Apart from making truly 'sour beer' I will be making a 'Strong English Stock Ale' with the intention of using it as a blend for Brown Ale, Stout or Porter to see if I can get a taste of traditional beer before Brett was eradicated from our shores. Lastly if you are having trouble culturing the dregs from Old Rosie for your turbo cider then you could use some wheat beer yeast and some yeast slurry from your sour beer, that might work!
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Re: American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby KungFuRamone » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:38

I've just placed an order for this book, based on your glowing review on Amazon :) I've just listened to the Brewsmith podcast case featuring Michael, a really interesting listen so I'm looking forward to getting my mitts on the book.
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Re: American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby Jimmy321 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 14:56

If you are going to make some sour beers I'm sure you will find it invaluable.
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Re: American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby KungFuRamone » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:21

I've just started getting stuck into this, looks like it's going to be a decent read. I was slightly surprised by the amount of content in it, it's a pretty meaty book! I think once I upgrade my kit I'd use my older kit for some sour experiments.
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Re: American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby serum » Fri Sep 12, 2014 15:16

I might have to pick this one up too. I've read quite a bit of the mad fermentationist blog and will definitely get into some of these sour beers once I've got a bit more proficient at basic brewing.

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Re: American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby rlemkin » Fri Dec 25, 2015 22:59

Bought this for myself this year and it's fantastic. I wish all brewing books were this useful.
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Re: American Sour Beers - Michael Tonsmeire

Postby rats_eyes » Sat Dec 26, 2015 01:09

Great book. This made me really want to try Russian River's beers, but have never found any in the UK. Shame.
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