The Wildcrafting Brewer:
Creating Unique Drinks and Boozy Concoctions from Nature's Ingredients
Los Angeles based writer, naturalist, forager and wild food artist Pascal Baudar combines a passion for wild edibles, ancient food preservation techniques and modern cuisine. He has consulted wih prominent chefs and numerous TV shows. In The Wildcrafting Brewer: Creating Unique Drinks and Boozy Concoctions from Nature's Ingredients Baudar covers sugar beers, herbal meads, odd sodas, and funky wines. He sets the stage with a discussion of brewing practices and techniques and then covers homebrewing essentials. Baudar is very good on capturing, nurturing and using wild yeast and brewing without a yeast starter. Fully taking advantage of Baudar's quest for flavors requires an intimate knowledge of the reader's local environment and its edible plants. His discussion of berriies and how to handle and use them is valuable reading for the home mead or wine maker. Baudar employs three methods of brewing based on the ingredients: hot brewing, cold brewing and a combination of the two. Each method focuses on extracting the most desirable flavors from a particular ingredient. His discussion of infusions is also a valuable source of ideas for getting new flavors into your brew. All of his recipes are for one gallon batches as much based on a philosophy of moderation and sustainability as on practical matters. Baudar's beers are all sugar based and not what most homebrewers are familiar with. The recipes may provide insights for brewing gluten free beers. The primitive and country wine and mead recipes violate many contemporary wine and mead making practices but they do use unique ingredients and can stimulate new ideas. Both his country wines and meads ar unusually young. Baudar finishes up with ethnic drinks and medicinal brews and naturally fermented sodas. Baudar writes well and his book is lavishly illustrated. Innovative brewing ideas and techniques fill the book but the specifics are for the most part Southern California centric. Fully implementing the authors approach requires to harmonize with his or her local environment. To do the book right, the reader will need to find a local forager with Baudar's talents and interests. This is a book for the adventurous, the searcher for new ideas, and the forager looking to expand the uses of his or her harvest.
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