Author Topic: New Yeast Book  (Read 892 times)

Offline bluesssman

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New Yeast Book
« on: November 25, 2010, 09:07:08 PM »
Has anyone read the book, "Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation", by Chris White with Jamil Zainasheff? I am thinking about purchasing it, but would like to know what others think about it.

Gary

Offline EHall

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 09:20:16 PM »
I'm actually reading it now, so far really good.
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 10:31:41 PM »
I'm sure you'll get responses from people who've actually read the book, but I've heard nothing but good things.
Dave Malone
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Offline dzlater

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 05:07:13 AM »
The book is good has a lot of information.
It's very comprehensive if you have a question about yeast the answer is in there.
If you are interested in setting up a yeast culturing lab I would definitely recommend it.
The most practical piece of information I found was how to a test for diactyl.
If you already know about starters, reusing yeast, fermentation temp control, pitching rates, and are not interested in all the real geeky stuff I don't know how much usable info you'll get out of it.
I am not saying don't buy it, I am glad I read it, but it hasn't really changed anything I the way I ferment the beer.

Offline pweis909

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 05:23:26 AM »
I read through it once cover to cover when it first arrived in October and have not picked it up since.  My initial reaction is that there is a ton of information about yeast that I found very interesting.  Keep in mind that I am a sciency kind of guy who is enthralled by microbes beyond their ability to make beer and has picked up other books about bacteria and fungi for leisure reading.  I am not sure how much of Yeast I will incorporate into my brewing.  It defintiely makes me want to start a yeast laboratory and library, but practical considerations make that unlikely, at least in the short term. I will need to return to to the book again to extract and absorb more of it and evaluate what facets of it I can adopt and adapt for my own brewing.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 05:48:05 AM »
If you think that the yeast are the most important ingredient, and their care and nutrition is important, by all means get it.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 10:10:32 AM »
I pre-ordered the book from the AHA and it certainly is a one-stop reference for all things yeast; HOWEVER, the best information  can be found elsewhere and the book does seem more geared towards small brewpubs than to homebrewers.

I think that the most valuable information for homebrewers is probably making a starter and yeast rinsing - which is up on the Mr.Malty site, yeast cell counts - which is up on the White Labs site, maintaining a yeast library which is available on various other sites notably braukaiser.com, and fast-ferment and wort stability tests about which there is much info available in zymurgy and online. Most of these things are actually covered in the brewing science lab procedures pdf:
www.brewingscience.com/education/handbook.pdf

While there is other information that isn't freely available elsewhere, it isn't information that is going to change my brewing or propagation practice in any significant way. While this book is interesting it's not a purchase I would make again.
Tyler Cipriani
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Offline bluesssman

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 05:27:16 PM »
Thanks all!!!

I have ordered the book and will let you all know what I think after I have read it.

Gary

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 08:42:29 PM »
Tyler,

We have come into an interesting age when it comes to textbooks and their contents. A lot of the basic stuff can be found on the internet in bits and pieces for free, I have taken advantage of a lot of this myself. Wikipedia, for example, is great when it comes to chemistry. And so is Google Books.

However, the value of a good textbook is that it provides the information in an organized and well edited way. Basically tying together the bits and pieces. And I think that's what you are paying for.

I haven't read the book myself but I do plan to buy it. Mostly just to see what Chris and Jamil have to say and if it matches my experiences.

Kai

Offline mabrungard

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 08:31:45 AM »
I am several chapters into this book and its pretty useful.  I have seen much of the information in my more technical brewing text books, but this book seems geared to making it more understandable and useable for the typical homebrewer and craftbrewer.

Unless you're a really technical brewer and a true yeast biology maven, you will get some valuable insight out of their book.
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2010, 06:19:04 PM »
It's not that there wasn't any interesting information in the book - I feel that the book has two problems that prevent me from being able to recommend it: 1.Audience 2.Structure

I feel as though the authors are trying to appeal to too many readers at the same time. The book's depth of information suffered greatly as a result of writing a book targeted specifically at both homebrewers and commercial brewers. Furthermore, there are many sections of the book that deal with the step-by-step aspects of commercial breweries procedures - which is information that I read the first time through the book but is now a big section that I have to skip through to find that for which I'm searching.

Perhaps a direct result of the two target markets is that the structure of the book doesn't seem well conceived. The book is divided into seven different parts:

1.Importance of Yeast
2. Biology Enzymes and Esters
3. How to choose yeast
4. Fermentation
5. Yeast growth handling and storage
6. Your own yeast lab made easy
7. Troubleshooting

The method of choosing the order or division of these subjects is confusing to me. I feel like section 5 and 6 should have been combined as well as sections 2 and 4. The net result of this "structure" in my experience is that, once you've read the book, it's extremely difficult to go back and find the one piece of information for which you're searching (Also, I feel, the index could use quite a bit of work). If the point of a textbook is to amalgamate information with a meaningful structure then, in that respect, for me at least, this book failed.

On a final aside, the book is only 304 pages including the index, the introduction and the very useful, albeit page consuming,  chunk of sections 6 and 7 that are composed of bullet points and step-by-step instructions (and section 3 which I feel could have been omitted as a section and absorbed into more useful areas in the book). I guess my final sort of point (that I didn't outline in the thesis of this post) is it's a short book for everything you need to know about yeast.

Plus, I didn't like the print quality.

...But don't take my word for it!
Tyler Cipriani
Longmont, CO

Offline kgs

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 11:26:01 AM »
Interesting response, because structure and index are the two areas where I feel "How to Brew" falls down.

Yes, "How to Brew" is the best book available on homebrewing, and yes, I have read it end-to-end, several times in fact, and recommend it to others. But after reading it for the first time I remarked to my LHBS that I thought the structure was all wrong, and they agreed, and when I recommend it I do so with that caveat. (It does start with a "crash course," but it's so abbreviated that those two-page sheets most LHBS throw into basic brewing kits will have more information.) The book wanders into thickets of detail at the wrong points, and it would benefit from a reordering of chapters. The index is weak; If the next edition is available as an eBook, it will at least be searchable.

I like the "textbook" comparison because these are books targeting people who are teaching themselves to brew. If this were a class taught week by week, would brewing lager beer really come before priming and bottling? "Joy of Homebrewing" is very dated, but its order makes more sense: tackling a basic extract brew from boiling to bottling, moving up to steeping grains, getting into all-grain.

But I still make sure "How to Brew" is where it needs to be on my bookshelf before I start a brew session!
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Offline alikocho

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Re: New Yeast Book
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 12:17:49 PM »
Interesting response, because structure and index are the two areas where I feel "How to Brew" falls down.

Yes, "How to Brew" is the best book available on homebrewing, and yes, I have read it end-to-end, several times in fact, and recommend it to others. But after reading it for the first time I remarked to my LHBS that I thought the structure was all wrong, and they agreed, and when I recommend it I do so with that caveat. (It does start with a "crash course," but it's so abbreviated that those two-page sheets most LHBS throw into basic brewing kits will have more information.) The book wanders into thickets of detail at the wrong points, and it would benefit from a reordering of chapters. The index is weak; If the next edition is available as an eBook, it will at least be searchable.


I said the exact same thing to a friend last night. Papazian's book is much better from this point of view, although Palmer's is better as a manual.
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