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True Brews

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True Brews

How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home
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This accessible home-brew guide for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented drinks, from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn's Emma Christensen, offers a wide range of simple yet enticing recipes for Root...
This accessible home-brew guide for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented drinks, from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn's Emma Christensen, offers a wide range of simple yet enticing recipes for Root...
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Description-
  • This accessible home-brew guide for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented drinks, from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn's Emma Christensen, offers a wide range of simple yet enticing recipes for Root Beer, Honey Green Tea Kombucha, Pear Cider, Gluten-Free Sorghum Ale, Blueberry-Lavender Mead, Gin Sake, Plum Wine, and more.

    You can make naturally fermented sodas, tend batches of kombucha, and brew your own beer in the smallest apartment kitchen with little more equipment than a soup pot, a plastic bucket, and a long-handled spoon. All you need is the know-how.

    That's where Emma Christensen comes in, distilling a wide variety of projects--from mead to kefir to sake--to their simplest forms, making the process fun and accessible for homebrewers. All fifty-plus recipes in True Brews stem from the same basic techniques and core equipment, so it's easy for you to experiment with your favorite flavors and add-ins once you grasp the fundamentals.

    Covering a tantalizing range of recipes, including Coconut Water Kefir, Root Beer, Honey--Green Tea Kombucha, Pear Cider, Gluten-Free Pale Ale, Chai-Spiced Mead, Cloudy Cherry Sake, and Plum Wine, these fresh beverages make impressive homemade offerings for hostess gifts, happy hours, and thirsty friends alike.

Excerpts-
  • Introduction


    Let's set a few things straight: anyone can homebrew in any size apartment with a stockpot, a bucket, and a jug. I promise you this is true. You don't need a lot of space. You don't need fancy equipment. You won't stink up the apartment or be forced to hide homebrew in the bathtub. And as long as you use common sense, you don't need to worry about exploding bottles. You want to homebrew? Let's do it.

    Sodas run the gamut from the simplest of ginger ales to the fanciest fancy-pants fresh fruit- and herb-infused sparklers. There are kombucha scobys and kefir grains that have traveled the world and back over the course of generations. Homebrewers and winemakers will argue into the wee hours about the merits of this brewing technique with that temperature variance and using this particular piece of hand-welded equipment.

    But every single one of these brews, from that basic soda to the finest Pinot Noir, shares the same fundamental process. If you take a sugary liquid, add some yeast or friendly bacteria, and let it sit for a while without bothering it, this beverage will transform into something fizzy, flavorful, and quite often, alcoholic. That, my friends, is fermentation.

    Sugary liquid + yeast (and the occasional friendly bacteria) + time = delicious fermented beverage.

    It really is that simple. Right this very minute, you could buy a gallon of grape juice from the store, add a teaspoon of yeast, and in a few weeks, you'd have wine. Not very good wine, but wine nonetheless. If you want better wine, there are some details that need to be discussed. Lucky for you, those details are right here in this book.

    I started brewing beer in 2009 with my husband. We were newly married and newly settled in a city far away from friends and family. We thought that brewing would be a dandy project to tackle as we settled into our new life together.

    Our first batch was so terrible that we poured it straight down the drain. Our second batch was slightly better. Our third was downright drinkable. By our fourth, we had upgraded our equipment, collected a small library of brewing books, and reserved the domain name for our imaginary future brewpub: New Low Brewing Company. (Its tagline: "When life reaches a new low, grab the beer that's right there with you!")

    As was probably inevitable, I started looking around for more things that we could transform into alcohol using this magical process of fermentation. I grilled a friend about making mead and started obsessing over the idea of brewing sake. Yeast-carbonated sodas in recycled plastic bottles started collecting in our fridge. After a second move, this one to California, I discovered kombucha and kefir. I loved these beverages immediately for their snappy flavors and centuries-old fermentation process--plus their payload of probiotics and antioxidants didn't hurt.

    At a certain point, it became obvious: I was addicted to brewing. Which, in the larger scheme of things, is not really so terrible.

    All of the recipes in this book are tailored to batches of 1 gallon or less. That goes for the equipment as well as the ingredients. I have only ever lived in small city apartments, and so I sympathize with the limits on kitchen and storage space.
    Small batches are also good for learning the brewing process. Temperatures are easier to control, pots are easier to lift, and mistakes are easier to catch. And if a mistake does happen somewhere in the process, it's less heartbreaking to part with 1 gallon of funky brew than 5 or more of them.

    The Brewer's Pantry, Brewer's Toolbox, and Brewer's Handbook...

About the Author-
  • EMMA CHRISTENSEN is a food writer, beer reviewer, and homebrewer; currently her writing appears daily on Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn. In addition, Christensen writes a twice-monthly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services on weeknight meal solutions for harried home cooks. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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    Ten Speed Press
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True Brews
True Brews
How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home
Emma Christensen
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True Brews
True Brews
How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home
Emma Christensen
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