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Wild Brews: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  168 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Explores the world of Lambics, Flanders red and Flanders brown beers as well as the many new American beers produced in the similar style.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 25th 2005 by Brewers Publications
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Community Reviews

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Andrew Bell
Mar 13, 2011 Andrew Bell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homebrewing
The bible on sour beer making and a must for anyone attempting to brew the styles. Goes from the most basic to the most detailed intricacies of sour producing (cooperage to acid and ester production, fruit additions, etc). Absolutely essential. It also pays great attention to the history of sours and not just the technique.

Its very much belgian centric. In almost completely ignores sour beers from Germany (berliner weisses, gose, etc), and doesn't touch into American sours in great detail (
Jan 13, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing
This may be the best book on brewing I've read. It captures the magical essence of wild beers, sour flavors, and Belgian tradition. It's not book of basics, but is fundamental.
Josh Osborne
Jun 30, 2013 Josh Osborne rated it really liked it
Shelves: beer
When it comes to brewing wild/sour/funky beer, it turns out there aren't many resources out there. Unlike homebrewing in general, where you'll find more "how to brew" books than you could possibly know what to do this, the relatively esoteric niche of brewing both traditional Belgian sours and their newly Americanized brethren are sadly represented both in print and online. Online, you'll find some great blogs like The Mad Fermentationist, Bear Flavored Ales, and brewing sub-forums like Homebrew ...more
Oct 13, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
This book was incredibly informative about wild brewing, specifically lambics and Flemish red brewing. I really was interested in the history of wild brewing. The information about the brewing process was very detailed. I did think parts could have been better organized, and sometimes the jumping between styles got a little hard to remember some of the specific details and how it related to one style vs the other.
Bill Thorp
Nov 22, 2007 Bill Thorp rated it really liked it
I thought this book was fascinating. It contains a great history, a "tour" of Belgian sours, history as it relates to brewing technique, an decent review of involved germies, recipes, etc.. It contains enough real how-to on sours & esters to make you comfortable with experimenting on your own.
Alex Turner
Aug 20, 2014 Alex Turner rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, brewing
Really good book covering the history, some of the current state of play in Belgium and a comprehensive over view of practices and processes. A great starting point for anyone wanting to try their hand at doing some brewing in this style.
Very informative. At times not written as clearly or as well as it could have been, but at the same time I don't ask writers to brew excellent beer. Overall delightful and informative.
May 07, 2012 Sean rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most informative and interesting beer books I've read.
David Hartung
May 20, 2013 David Hartung rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very informative on the souring process and associated bacteria.
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“Lambic is flat, since all carbon dioxide produced during lambic fermentation escapes from the barrel. Packaged young, lambic develops carbonation in a manner similar to a cask or bottle of real ale. Real ale is casked or bottled at the end of fermentation with just enough fermentable sugar left in solution to provide a gentle carbonation. The microorganisms responsible for lambic fermentation can consume virtually any type of sugar; therefore, the brewer never bottles young lambic. The fermentation of the remaining sugar in young lambic would produce enough carbon dioxide to shatter the bottle.” 0 likes
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