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Making Mead, Wine, Cider and Beer

There are those who would argue that civilization didn't really kick off until the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians began brewing beer. And it's true that as soon as the results of fermentation were discovered there was no looking back.

Home brewing today is both an art and science with results as unique and individual as each brewer. Whether you are interested in making mead (honey wine), making British ale or creating your own wines, ciders, or cordials, there are lots of books to teach you how to home brew vitually any type of spirits (legal and illegal). We've even included books on gardening for the home brewer.

Buy Books about Making Mead and Home Brewing
The Compleat Meadmaker
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The Compleat Meadmaker: Home Production of Honey Wine from Your First Batch to Award-Winning Fruit and Herb Variations
by Ken Schramm

From the Author: "My goal in writing this book is to begin bringing to meadmakers the breadth and depth of knowledge and resources that are available to beer brewers and winemakers. I sought to cover the many aspects of meadmaking in a comprehensive but easy-to-read fashion, and to provide readers with an understanding of the role quality ingredients play in creating a really pleasing mead.

This complex, diverse and romantic drink deserves more attention than it has received in print. It can range from bone dry to profoundly sweet, and can be crafted to complement any type of food. If I spread some of my enthusiasm for mead, and for this simple, fun and remarkably rewarding hobby, then I will have succeeded at my task."
Making Wild Wines and Meads
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Making Wild Wines & Meads: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More
by Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling

A terrific book on wine making for the beginner or anyone with an interest in unique meads and wines. Recipes include Marigold Wine, Dry Mead, Cranberry Claret, Lemon-Thyme Metheglin and dozens more. Cover the basics of wine making, supplies needed, and step-by-step instructions for each of these simple, easy to make recipes. Recipes are for one-gallon batches, making it fun to experiment without overwhelming amounts to pour down the sink just in case something goes wrong!
Home Winemaking Step-by-Step
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Home Winemaking Step-by-Step
by Jon Iverson

"Written expressly for beginning and advanced amateurs, this guide explores home winemaking in practical terms, focusing on the latest fermentation techniques of both red and white wine grapes. Detailed information on equipment, supplies, and mistakes to avoid will make getting started easy....Also included in the new edition is information on the use of oak barrels. Unlike other winemaking manuals, this is devoted entirely to wine made with grapes instead of fruit wines." A must-have manual on the most up-to-date techniques for the home wine maker.
Winemaking : Recipes, Equipment and Techniques
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Winemaking : Recipes, Equipment, and Techniques for Making Wine at Home
by Stanley F. and Dorothy Anderson

A terrific introductory book outlining the techniques, equipment and supplies necessary to create your own homemade wines - covers red, white, sparkling, rosé - even dessert wines and liqueurs. Lots of great recipes for fruit wines that turn out well. Spiral-bound for ease of use, with a good many helpful photos.
From Vines to Wines
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From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine
by Jeff Cox

Apparently, the author shares the info that his wife stomps the grapes. Okay. That sounds like fun. Aside from that, though, this is a thorough and entertaining guide to growing grapes and making grape wines. Naturally, not all of us can grow grapes in our own yards due to climate, but the information on wine making, Cox's complete and practical equipment lists, etc., make this book worthwhile even if you must buy your grapes. If you do want to grow your own, this book is perfect.
Cider : Making, Using and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider
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Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider
by Annie Proulx

"Clear, simple language, numerous illustrations, and detailed step-by-step instructions." Learn to make sweet and hard ciders, build your own apple press, use cider in home cooking, plan and plant your own orchard. Includes snippets of cider lore. A good all-round introduction to making apple cider, as well as recipes for apple vinegars and brandies. Since "applejack" is very hard indeed, she even includes a chapter covering the laws on home brewed liquor.
Cider, Hard and Sweet
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Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own
by Ben Watson

A culinary history of the oldest drink in America, plus information on making and cooking with cider. Fresh, or "sweet," cider is an American institution, as much a fall tradition as Halloween. And recent years have seen the resurgence of "hard" (alcoholic) cider after decades of obscurity.

In this entertaining book, Ben Watson explores the cultural and historical roots of cider. He introduces us to the different styles of cider--draft, farmhouse, French, New England, sparkling, and specialty blends made with honey or other fruit juices--and describes how they are made today. This elegantly simple drink is easier to make than homemade wine or beer, and Watson offers tips on both the fundamentals and advanced techniques of cider making.
The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible
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The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible
by Leon W. Kania

The most entertaining book on illegal activities available today, Kania shares the plans and instruction for making eight different kinds of still (all illegal, which he reiterates over and over again). Recipes for every imaginable kind of alcoholic beverage (wine from apple to zucchini, mead, beer, whiskey, gin, and more). Lots of humorous anecdotes from old-time moonshiners. Safety instructions so you don't blow yourself up. Even has instructions for making your own kegs. Whether you brew or not, this book is a terrifically fun read.
The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing
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The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing
by Charlie Papazian

The best and most complete beginner's guide to home brewing beer and ale. Covers everything you need to know with lots of handy charts and illustrations. Dozens of wildly named recipes. Includes a general history of beer making, as well as a history of each ingredient - hops, barley and malts. Covers British ales, German and American beers, various Lagers, and many more. Includes a final section for the advanced home brewer. Definitely a good place to start.
Designing Great Beers
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Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles
by Ray Daniels

From Amazon's description: "Part 1 of Designing Great Beers is a complete book in itself, focused solely on home-brewing ingredients and techniques (including three superb chapters on hops alone)." In Part 2, "Daniels devotes a chapter to each of 14 major style categories, detailing historical origins and modern brewing techniques." If you are ready to move on to designing your own beers, for fun or for competition, Daniel's book will answer all your questions and give you the information and technical expertise you need. For experienced home brewers.
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers
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Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation
by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Prior to the late middle ages, hops (a preservative) were not used in beer, which meant that ale "went off" very quickly and there were laws in London about not selling ale more than a day or two old. However, hops added a bit of bitterness that put people off, and there was much headshaking over the poor taste of the new beers. Buhner provides a guide to recreating the old, non-hops-using beers of earlier times, as well as recipes and lore about herb beers. His focus is on the use of herbals along with fermentation in natural medicine.
The Homebrewer's Garden
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The Homebrewer's Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare and Use Your Own Hops, Brewing Herbs, Malts
by Joe and Dennis Fisher

"If you have a backyard, or even a sun-facing porch, you can greatly enhance the flavor, aroma, and uniqueness of your homebrew by growing your own hops, brewing herbs, and malt grains. Easy instructions will help you put the "home" into your homebrew from setting up your first hop trellis, to malting grain at home, to brewing recipes specially formulated for homegrown ingredients." Highlights ancient herbal brewing and methods and techniques of drying/storing ingredients. Strong focus on preserving the old ways of brewing using all organic hops, herbs and malts.