Against All Hops:
Techniques and Philosophy for Creating Extraordinary Botanical Beers
George (Butch) Heilshorn
George Heilshorn is the founder and former owner of Portsmith New Hampshire's Earth Eagle Brewings and is now involved with Talisman Spirits. In Against All Hops: Techniques and Philosophy for Creating Extraordinary Botanical Beers Heilshorn presents a variety of non-hopped herbal and spice beers that he and his brother-in-law produced at the brewer he and his brother-in-law founded. Heilshorn kicks the book off with a brief, but fun history of beer and brewing and makes the case that for most of its history beer was not hopped. Instead early brewers used a wide variety of herbal and spice additions to beer to improve its flavor, its durability and/or its medicinal qualities. He gives good advice on acquiring raw materials and he provides sound rules on foraging. Heilshorn has a good discussion on plant handling, handling and using wild yeast and a fascinating discussion of how different herbs interact with each other and yeast in a beer. He completes the book with 12 all grain recipes that use herbs instead of hops. If you are a home brewer interested in experimenting with herbs and spices this is a good place to start. this book will also give you ideas on working with wild yeast. The book is well written, interesting, well illustrated and easy to follow.
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