Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review - Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at Home

Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at HomeHooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at Home by Scott Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

Publisher Description:

For anyone who has considered brewing a batch of beer or mead at home, or making a custom barrel of wine with local fruit, this thorough guide will clear a path to the bottle. It demystifies the process: from planting hops and fruits to pruning, harvesting, fermenting, flavoring, and bottling one-of-a-kind drinks from your own backyard. It serves as a starting point not only for wines and beers, but also hard ciders, meads, and infusions, and even touches on at-home distilling
Perfect for the city-dweller, urban gardener, or anyone with limited space and a desire to make custom concoctions, Hooch offers projects to suit any lifestyle. With recipes for brews made from grapes, hops, and herbs, DIY boozers will find everything they need to begin a brewing journey.
My Review:

I have never considered brewing any type of alcohol but the concept is interesting and I like to read up on interesting things. As the description says this book is a great starting point for any one interested in home brewing.  Chapter one covers the basics of fermentation including the supplies you'll need, the science behind the process and a step by step guide. Chapters 2 through 5 cover the different types of alcohol you can home brew: wines, beers, hard ciders, and honey based wines. Each chapter gives background information on the type of brew and what goes into making these drinks.

For example Chapter five covers honey based drinks.
You probably don't want to think about it quite that way, but bee vomit is one of Nature's most extraordinary substances.  Honey, a much more appealing name than "bee puke," is more than just spoil proof food for queen bees and their children. It is a natural preservative for human food, and an antibacterial dressing for wounds, and an anti-inflammatory when consumed.
First off, I don't want to think about honey being "bee puke" but other than that did you know that it can be used as an antibacterial dressing for wounds? I didn't, and this wasn't the only interesting thing I learned in this book.

Chapter 6 covers distilling and makes a point to clearly state that it is illegal to distill in the US and in most countries without a proper license. Then they go on to talk about the processes of distilling and the different things you make.  One of these things is Absinthe, besides what I've seen in movies I know very little about it, so this section was intriguing.

Besides the brewing and distilling information this book shines a spotlight on different wineries and distilleries that are known for the related brew.  

Going into this book I had no interest in home brewing.  The book does provide recipes for infusions and I think I might be making Limoncello sometime soon.

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