I am always on a quest to learn as much as I can about this great hobby. In that quest, I try my best to keep up to date with any new literature out there. I've been following Scott Janish's website for a few years now, and when I found out that he was writing a book, I was itching get my hands on it!
The book is entitled The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor and explores the science behind the various factors that contribute to brewing intensely aromatic and flavorful hoppy beers. The idea behind it is to get brewers to think differently about how they approach hoppy beers.
I find that there are many online forms of brewing information (reddit, blogs, etc.), but it's not every day that a new brewing book comes along. I didn't wait for the paperback version to come out and instead purchased the Kindle version.
There are so many great takeaways in this book that I am not sure where to start. If there is one thing that I learnt from this book, it is the importance of whirlpooling and dosing hops at different temperatures during flameout. I used to think that I needed to overload on the dry-hopping, but as soon as I took more notice of whirlpooling, my beers started to instantly improve.
Some other important takeaways I learnt:
- The hop variety is just as important as the hopping process. For example, Columbus appears to be a great hop to utilise in the whirlpool to boost desirable monoterpene alcohols in the fermenting vessel. Whereas Simcoe tested lower for its ability to tranfer these compounds.
- If you want to get the most out of your hops, its important to use them in the whirlpool too, not just for dry hopping. A study found that when using no hops at all on the hot-side, it resulted in a less aromatic beer than one where whirlpool hops and no dry hopping took place.
- When it comes to dry hopping, sometimes less is more. A study found that as the dry hopping percentage increased, the efficiency of the extraction of fruity monoterpene alcohols decreased. It can be very tempting to go heavy on the dry hopping, but it might not be as necessary as you think.
- Its inevatable that oxygen will make its way into your fermenter when dry hopping. To keep oxygen levels low, try adding the hops during the first 3-5 days of fermentation.
I've chosen a few of my favourite takeaways from the book above. However, there are so many useful nuggets of information in this book that I have barely done it justice.
Would I recommend?
Aboslutely! This book is packed with great tips and advice for brewers. There are a lot of books out there that seem to repeat and regurgitate the same old homebrewing literature out there, but this book is not one of them. Its filled with new information backed by scientific research and I feel like I learnt something new on each chapter.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner homebrewer with only a few brews under your belt, this book might be a little advanced for you. Keep it on your wishlist for now.
All in all, The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor is a great book - bravo Scott!