Friday, August 28, 2020

How to Brew Hard Seltzer: A Guide for Craft Breweries and Homebrewers

How to Brew Hard Seltzer: A Guide for Craft Breweries and Homebrewers is a technical guide with some tutorial instruction for engaged hobby zymurgists up through small scale professionals to create alcoholic seltzers. Due out 7th Sept 2020 from Brewer's Publications, it's 250 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

The book follows a logical layout and is meticulously annotated throughout. Although it's slanted toward the professional/technical end of the scale, there's a fair amount of background history and information to keep non-brewers interested. I found it a fascinating read and read it straight through cover to cover. An introductory history and background leads into chapters covering characteristics, ingredients, instruction for craft breweries (professional scale) to produce seltzer along with recipes, government regulations, instructions and recipes for homebrewers, and cocktail recipes for using the seltzers produced. 

The appendices include tutorials for beginning brewers with instructions for both seltzers and beer. The tutorials include good equipment lists, definitions of brewing terms, and relatively simple step-by-step instructions. Recipe ingredients are contained in bullet lists in the sidebar with American standard units given along with metric/SI measures in parentheses. Ingredients and varieties of hops, yeast, etc are very specific and will require a specialist retailer for sourcing. Alternatives and variation ingredients are listed in the recipes. 

This is a -very- thorough and interesting book, but I would imagine it might be intimidating for complete beginners (maybe not with some mentoring from a local brewing supplier). My only quibble with the book was that I felt there was an implied elitist prejudice against anything other than -real- beer; that seltzer is a hipster drink, but it sells like crazy, so we have to produce what the customers want. It wasn't terribly overt, but it really was noticeable several places.

I've never before seen a book on brewing hard seltzers. This one is definitive. Five stars (despite the weird implied elitism).

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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