Let’s Make Beer!

Learn how to make beer at home by using your library! If you are a beginner or advanced brewer, you can find something that will pique your interest. Many of the materials listed below are on the recommended reading list from the American Homebrewer’s Association. Click on the titles below if anything interests you – you can even place a request on these books to pick them at the library or a bookmobile! Ask a Librarian if you need help!

Beginner’s Guides for Brewing Beer

The Homebrewer’s Companion by Charlie Papazian is a great beginner’s guide for someone who is either thinking about brewing at home or a great resource for the advanced brewers. It contains a guide to different beer styles, a question and answer section, over 60 recipes to try, and more!






When you start your first big brew day or are conducting prior research, The Home Brewer’s Answer Book by Ashton Lewis would be handy to have around in case you run into any questions. For example: Not sure what the difference is between an ale and a lager? This will have an answer! It is arranged in sections such as Sanitation and All-Grain Brewing, which you will find helpful in finding an answer.




The design alone that makes Beer Craft by William Bostwick easy to follow is worth picking this book up, but it also is very informative. The recipes in this book offer 1 gallon recipes, as opposed to 5 gallon recipes found in other books, that will yield around a 12 pack. It is a nice amount for beginners if you’re not completely committed to the idea of brewing or maybe want to experiment with some new and different styles.



If I could pick one source to consult as a novice, Basic Homebrewing: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started would be it. The pictures detailing what equipment and ingredients to use is wonderful and makes the job seem less intimidating. It filled in some gaps on a few things I was confused about in the brewing process. I hope it does the same for you.




Recipes for brewing beer

Are you a fan of Guinness Extra Stout or Anchor Steam Beer? Clone Brews: Recipes for 200 Commerical Beers by Tess Szamatulski is for you! With over 200 copy cat recipes of well known beers including the two listed above, this will help you get started with understanding the different ingredients in your favorite drinks.





Sam Calagione is the founder and owner of Dogfish Head brewery, a microbrewery in Milton, DE. In Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home, Calagione uses a lot of pictures to show the brewing process and makes the craft easy to understand. There is a honey-chamomile wheat recipe located in the back that I highly recommend trying – it is delicious and a nice change for you wheat lovers out there!





Randy Mosher’s books are always very easy to understand and Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales, and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass is no exception! Did you know there is a certain way to pour and drink your beer to enjoy it to the fullest? Check out Chapter 2. Want to know “how not to screw it up?” Take a look at Chapter 3!




Make your own equipment

Brew Ware: How to Find, Adapt & Build Homebrewing Equipment by Karl F. Lutzen and Mark Stevens gives some great alternatives to buying more equipment to store at home. My husband and his friends have built two fermentation chillers to store their carboys at specific temperatures. I bet you could find something fun and useful to build out of this book, too!





Learn more

 If you are intersted in the history of American beer, Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle is for you! It tells stories of folks such as Phillip Best, Frederick Pabst and Adolphus Busch who followed the American dream by starting their own breweries.





Join us at “Let’s Make Beer!” to learn more about brewing at home from real home brewers on Tuesday September 27, 2011 at 7:00PM in Marvin 101BC. Sorry, no samples!

Erin Seeger

I am the Lawn & Garden and Cooking Neighborhood Librarian who also leads the "Bean There, Read That" book discussion for folks in their 20s and 30s, facilitates the "Master Gardener" series, and the "Cooking by the Book" series at Garfield Community Center.

  • Angela Meyers

    Hi, my name is Angela and I came across this entry for your beer making session you held on Sept. 27. I have been thinking about holding a similar event at our library in Elkhorn, WI but haven’t decided what format it would take, who would lead the group, etc.

    Any information you could share on your Let’s Make Beer program would be appreciated.



  • Erin Seeger

    Angela, the program went well and I am going to shoot you an email describing what topics were covered and how it was set up. Thank you for sharing your interest!

    Erin Seeger

  • Megan Lederer

    Hi Erin,
    I, like Angela above, am a librarian, trying to plan a home brewing program for my library. Can you send me some information about your program too?


  • Erin Seeger

    Hi, Angela! Thank you for your question. I will shoot you an email with some information.