True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home

October 29, 2016 - Comment

True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home 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,

True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home

True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home

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 t

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Pirate Jeni says:
77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
I just adore this book, June 26, 2013
By 
Pirate Jeni (Albany, NY USA) –

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home (Hardcover)
I bought this book primarily to make soda since I already make kefir at home and as far as kombucha goes.. I just can’t with the SCOBY. It’s too… gelatinous for me.
Anyway, the very first thing I did was to make the watermelon mint soda. WORTH IT. Oh My Gawd. I’m hooked.. some of these methods are too involved for me, like the sake, but I’m very interested in brewing mead and hard lemonade.

My favorite bit about this book is that everything is small batches. You get to dip your toe into brewing without a huge investment. My first batch of soda was made in the recommended washed out two liter bottle. Less than a dollar for champagne yeast, a watermelon and some mint from my garden and I was all set to make the best soda ever in the world.

Emma gives you a basic recipe/method for each thing to make.. a Master recipe, if you will. I’m already dreaming of the different kinds of soda I can make with this new information.

I’m also looking forward to making hard cider as soon as it’s apple season.

UPDATE: 02/08/14:

Well, I have a SCOBY because someone sent me one… and let me tell you, it’s totally awesome once you get past the “omg whut is this?” factor. I have made the blackberry sage kombucha and it’s totally one of my favorites. I’ve also made the pear water kefir.. DELISH. I’m currently working on the Sweet Mulled Cider.. I’m adding the yeast tomorrow.. it’ll be a long wait but it will be ready in October.

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Cissa says:
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Brewing 101, September 17, 2013
By 
Cissa (MA USA) –

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home (Hardcover)
This is a very basic book on brewing a lot of different things. While we’ve brewed mead, beer, cider, and wine (not fruit wine), the clear recipes are handy even for these (except beer’ we’re pretty experienced with beer… although these recipes are for 100% mashed, and we’ve tended to use a mix of mash and extract).

One of the nicest things about these recipes is their small scale. If one does not know what one is doing, it helps not to be trying it in 5-gallon sizes! Even the 100% mash beer would be possible for us in a 1-2 gallon size, though it’s unwieldy at 5+ gallons.

I am very interested in learning to make soda. I am also finding the kefir and kombucha fascinating, because I think I could use some more probiotics in my diet and these recipes look tasty. I’m also intrigued by the fruit wines, especially in the smaller quantities described here.

I’ve got some basic kefir started now, and am looking forward to exploring more of these very accessible brews.

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DiscipleofJMB says:
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Pretty good guide for the beginner, March 2, 2014
By 
DiscipleofJMB (Germantown, MD) –

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I purchased this book looking to expand upon my small-batch operations spurred on by the Brooklyn Brew Shop kits. I already had the supplies, I figured I’d try making other beers and other brews!

I had never heard of kefir or kombucha, and they seem weird so I’m unsure of whether I’ll try those or not… So those are not mentioned in this review.

Soda: so far I have made the orange cream and cherry lime sodas. They were very easy to make and tasted great. Many people said the cherry lime one tasted like cherry pie in a bottle! I agree. Just make sure you let the soda carbonate fully before drinking! My first one came out a bit flat, which was my fault for rushing.

Beer: the Mocha Stout I made via this recipe has been pretty good. The book is VERY basic on the brewing process, and doesn’t give you all the information you need to make GREAT beer. From my limited experience in making over half a dozen beers over the past 2 months, I have found that having a decent library of other brewing books and advice from experienced brewers will help you make a better product. When I first tasted the Mocha Stout, it had a strong sort of olive aroma, which I learned comes from the roasted malts. This will mellow with age, so I have put the rest of the batch in the fridge and will try it over the next several weeks/months to learn about the mellowing process. Overall, the recipes are ok but are very basic. If you really like brewing beer you will need to go beyond this book.

Cider: I am currently aging the Sweet Spiced Mulled Cider produced from the recipe in this book. It seems to be coming along well, as it’s been aging a little over a month and was recently racked to its third fermentation stage to get it off the sediment. My first cider started out brown and murky, and is starting to clarify beautifully. It has an amber, golden aura and is truly beautiful. When I racked it over to another glass fermenter for longer aging, I was hit with yeasty and spiced aroma that was almost overwhelming but then I had a small taste. Those strong smells and tastes faded, and left me with a clean tart apple and sweet honey taste. I can tell this will be amazing after bottled and left to age so the initial funk dissipates.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CIDER: again, I had to find this information out from sources other than this book… Most cider you find in grocery stores and farmer’s markets is strictly a “sweet” apple cider. The sweeter the cider, the less actual apple taste you will end up with. I happened to stumble upon a sweet-tart organic cider from a small farm near Richmond, VA that seems to be ideal so far. Many orchards apparently do make batches of cider specifically for home brew cider making, so ask around and try to get some of the cider that has a good amount of tart apples if you want that apple flavor.

Wine: mead will be first on the list, but I haven’t tried it yet. Seems similar to the cider section so I’m confident I can do it with these recipes!

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