Brewing and food casts:

Basic Brewing: A great podcast and video cast by James Spencer and friends with basic and advanced brewing topics.  The video cast frequently involves many great dishes and recipes.  While not as technical as some other resources, this is easily the most inspiring resource I have used, and I have listened to and watched every episode.  James and Chris Colby are involved in a new project called Beer and Wine Journal.

Brewing Network: An amazing brewing resource featuring some homebrew celebrities.  I especially enjoy Brew Strong with Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer, but there is also a show on how to brew certain styles or clones (The Jamil Show), how to pair your homebrew with food (Home Brewed Chef), and others.

Brewing TV: This is unfortunately no longer being produced, but all 71 video episodes are available to watch.  Featuring Michael Dawson, Jake Keeler, and Chip Walton, there’s a lot of entertaining information.

Chop and Brew: This is Chip Walton’s new video blog project with the end of Brewing TV.  There are relatively few episodes up so far, but they are growing in number and all great.  There seems to be a bit more emphasis on food related beer projects than before, but you certainly won’t hear me complaining about that.

Chef Steps: This is a pretty cool website focusing mainly on modernist cooking techniques through video instruction.  There are a lot of neat recipes here, but many require some specialist equipment.

Books you should own:

How to Brew (3rd ed.), John Palmer: Seriously, why don’t you have this book?  Its probably the best intro to homebrewing book out there, but it has advanced topics as well.  I can guarantee, no matter what level of brewer you are, there is something in this book you didn’t know- this is a must have for any home brewer.  There should be a 4th ed. coming out soon, and the entire 1st ed. is available in html format online.

Designing Great Beers, Ray Daniels: This isn’t the first book you should own as a brewer (see above), but its a great reference when you start designing your own recipes, especially all grain.  It also has a great history of all of the styles it covers.

Water, Palmer and Kaminski: I am an avid believer in the need to treat brewing water, and this book is everything you never thought you needed to know, for home and commercial brewers alike.  Its not something for beginners to worry about (learn sanitation and fermentation first), but its a valuable resource for anyone looking to take their beer to the next level.

Brew Like a Monk, Stan Hieronymus: This is a fantastic book is you want to learn more about brewing a Belgian-inspired beer.  My only complaint is that the recipe guidelines for various beers are spread out nearly randomly throughout the book.  But, there’s always the index, and this is a minor quibble.

Principles of Brewing Science, Dr. George Fix: This one probably isn’t for everyone, but if you’re interested in the more advanced scientific concepts surrounding brewing, this is a great overview.

Radical Brewing, Randy Mosher: There is a lot of cool stuff in this book to expand your brewing horizons.  If you are a frequent listener to good brewing podcasts (see above), you will probably know about most of what’s in this book, but if you want the spark notes, this is a great place to start.

The Brewer’s Companion, Randy Mosher: This is a pretty neat book.  Its a bit dated and mostly superseded by the books above, but if you’re looking to expand your library, this is a good place to look.  It does happen to be out of print, but there are plenty of copies floating about.

Cooking and Baking:
On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee: This is one of my most highly recommended books for all things science of cooking.

Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter Reinhart: This book has many recipes and full color photos.  More importantly, it also has a good deal of science and techniques for baking.

Morton’s Steak Bible, Klaus Fritsch: If you like to cook fancy things every now and again, this is the book for you.  It includes recipes for cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and dessert, and I’ve never made anything less than amazing from this book.  They are basically the only recipes I follow with practically no alteration.

Artisan Cheese Making at Home, Mary Karlin: Going from basic to advanced, I like this book a bit better than Home Cheese Making (Carroll), the other book commonly associated with the home cheese making movement.

Useful Calculators/ Software:

Bru’n Water: This is a great calculator for water adjustment.  It goes beyond a calculator and is a great reference to explain why you are doing what you are doing.  It can take a little getting used to, but it is a very powerful tool, and it downloads to your computer so you can easily save the results for later.

Brew Target: This is a free software suite that has many of the same features of BeerSmith or ProMash.  I use it for all of my recipes to streamline the process. BrewBlogger hosts a great number of useful calculators, though I primarily use it for strike water temperatures and water amounts.


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