Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing
Charles W Bamforth
In this book Charles Bamforth strives to give the nonprofessional a feel for the science and technology that gives us beer. He targets the beer aficionado, the nontechnical members of the brewing industry, and professionals who interact with the brewing industry such as suppliers, distributors and retailers.
This is the story of an industrial, technical process and is not a book on home brewing or the art of brewing. Bamforth begins with a brief history and then delves into the world beer market and the forces that shape it. He follows up with an overview of the brewing process beginning with the raw materials through the production of beer with a review of the major beer styles. This leads to a useful chapter on the quality of beer, the different chemical and interactions that impact beer quality and how we sense these qualities. Chapters on hops and malt discuss how they are processed into the raw materials for beer. The chapter on what happens in the brewhouse describes the transformation of malt and hops into a fermentable liquid that will produce a beer with the desired characteristics. Fermentation transforms the raw wort into beer and then a chapter on downstream processing describes how brewers transform the green beer into a marketable product. Then Bamforth discusses the kinds of tests brewers use to confirm that the current beer meets the standards they have set for it. He finishes with a discussion on the future of beer. While this may be too technical for some readers, Bamforth takes a technical subject, makes it readable and does not dumb it down. This book may challenge some readers but it is worth the effort.