Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide by Dick Cantrell and Peter Bouckaert
Date read: 17 July – 19 September 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paperback, xxiv, 228 pages
Published 2016 by Brewers Publications
This was an excellent book, particularly for the pro brewer, but also for the homebrewer with the cash and fortitude to undertake fermenting and/or conditioning/aging in barrels. Of course, other ways to get wood into beer—spirals, chips, powder, etc.—are also covered.
- Foreword by Frank Book
- Foreword by Wayne Wambles
- 1. The History of the Barrel, or There and Back Again
- 2. Cooperage
- 3. Wood & Wooden Vessels
- 4. Wood Maintenance
- 5. Flavors from Wood
- 6. Flavors in Wood
- 7. Blending and Culture
- Appendix A: Techniques for Wood- and Barrel-Aging for Homebrewers
- Appendix B: Wood Primer for Homebrewers
I utterly recommend this book if you are considering barrel/wood-aging at any level. It can get quite deep at times —but always fascinating—but you only need to absorb small bits as a homebrewer. All in all, a lot of great stuff to be aware of even if you never stick any beer in wood or vice versa. This book will help you gain an even better appreciation of the art of cooperage and that of the barrel-aging of beer.
The bottom line: Every individual barrel [or piece of wood] is its own special snowflake. That is the starting point. Good luck!