Monday 23 December 2019

The New IPA by Scott Janish

Scott Janish's The New IPA is a welcome addition to the literature available on hops. Subtitled "A scientific guide to hop aroma and flavour" it covers where hop flavours come from and how they're affected by the various processes and parameters of brewing. This does make the scope of the book rather extensive, and in addition to chapters on hop components and the effect of hop additions at different times information on the effect of things like liquor treatment, grist composition and yeast strain on hop flavour is also included.

I found the details on how addition timings affects the concentration of various hops oils and which varieties are high or low in different compounds particularly interesting. Another step has been taken on the long journey to turn hop additions from an art to a science!

The information in the book comes from a variety of sources. There are well over 300 references cited many of which, if I ever have the time, deserve further study. The author also details his own practical experience and experiments, both as a home brewer and as a professional brewer, and in the final chapter other professionals also provide their tips. This does mean that some of the information provided has more weight than others and I did have to raise an eyebrow on reading that limit dextinase is considered more important for wort fermentability than beta-amylase. It is perhaps best to think that the text provides signposts for further research rather than definitive conclusions, but when looking at something as complicated as beer flavour practical experience in your own brewery will always count the most.

The book is self published, and though a good job has been done, there is room for improvement - I'm sure underlining text is now considered a crime against typography! My criticism are however minor and I would strongly recommend this book as an addition to any brewer's bookshelf.

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