Sam Calagione is the kind of beer nut who works with a molecular archeologist in order to accurately recreate a resin and pomegranate-based beer once made by the ancient Etruscans. He is also the kind of brewer who will create a Japanese tsunami inspired beer called Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Gradually, Quietly, Steadily). Taking those two details into consideration, he doesn’t necessarily strike one as the type of guy to write a really useful homebrewing book. Alas, he is, and Extreme Brewing is that book.
After a quick breeze through the basics of beer (barley, malt, hops, water, yeast), Calagione dives right in to getting you started on brewing. There is a great breakdown on your equipment, from what’s necessary to what you’ll want in order to make the process much more enjoyable. His suggested beer for virgins is the A-to-Z Brown Ale, a very simple beer made complex by the use of exotic sugars and some upgraded hops – helpful in avoiding the possibility of being stuck with a couple gallons of just ho-hum beer. Calagione anticipated, and rightly so, that the types of people buying his book as their introduction to homebrewing are probably serious beer geeks sick of being armchair brewers.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Calagione has included tables with measurements and boiling times for the extreme herbs and fruits you might want to add to your concoctions at will. Russian River Brewing Company’s Vinnie Cilurzo makes a guest appearance to break down how to dry hop at home. This is all fine and well, but we know why you’re here: the recipes.
The original version of Extreme Brewing features plenty of easy-to-follow extreme beer recipes, but the deluxe version takes it fourteen beers further. The ‘Extremely Unique Beers’ chapter is designed to ease you into the extreme brewing space with beers one or two steps above and beyond the A-Z Brown Ale. Then come the big guns in the ‘Master Brewers’ Recipes’ chapter. Do you like Dogfish Head’s 60-Minute IPA? Now you can make it at home. Allagash’ s Belgian Wit? That’s in here too. Want to try seriously wild recipes from Xtreme Brewing or other homebrewers? You’re in luck.
In short, if you’re a hop head who’s gaga for Dogfish Head beers and you want to try your hand at getting extreme in the kitchen, grab a copy of Extreme Brewing – and don’t forget to invite us over to taste your rendition of Xtreme Brewing’s Dirty Banana.
Author: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Subject: homebrewing, extremely