If you are a hophead and cannot get enough bitter IPA’s and DIPA’s and the ever expanding hoppy styles then this book will truly make your head spin. The backstory on what goes on to bring the hops to life and let alone get them into your beer is simply amazing and Stan Hieronymus does a skillful job of marrying the anecdotes with the science while also letting the stories room to breathe as well.
I will be the first to admit that many parts of this book went over my head. I am not a science guy nor am I a brewing guy so there were parts that I had to read and re-read a few times. This was no fault of Hieronymus. It just took me awhile to get it. I can’t spell ethyl-4-methylpentanoate let alone remember that it’s odor compound is fruity.
But I thoroughly enjoyed the opening of each chapter where Hieronymus either takes us to a hop yard to talk to a farmer or back in history to Wye College in England. And even better is the section on many of the known hop varieties.
It is a helpful cheat sheet to use the next time you have an IPA. All you have to do is figure out which hops are in the beer that you have and then check out the data on each one. Geeky to the extreme, I know. There are some really cool color photographs as well. I could have used more. And I would have liked more diagrams in the section of hop backs and torpedos but those are minor quibbles to a book that somehow manages to be all things to all people. Even homebrewers will get a charge from the recipe section.
Now that I have read this one, I have put the Yeast and Water books on my list for Christmas to complete my set! You can buy the book via Amazon HERE.