When I have a brewing question I normally turn to Mr Internet to answer it.
Often you can get pretty good advice from the forums on HomeBrewTalk. The forums are busy and there are a lot of very experienced brewers there who are happy to dispense advice. I haven’t had to post any questions as yet because every time I’ve searched for something I’ve found that it’s already been discussed. Other sites where I have found answers to questions and issues are:
A google search usually turns up posts in all of these places. One caveat is that conventional wisdom isn’t always right, and you get a lot of cautious opinions and “a man in a pub told me” kind of advice.
A lot of brewers like to blog—a reflection on the ‘geek’ nature of our hobby perhaps?. Some of the blogs have a wealth of really interesting information. Here is a list of blogs that I frequent:
- http://brulosophy.com – Loads of great info here. The ExBeeriments are well worth a look. A bit of a brewing meets Mythbusters thing
- http://beerandwinejournal.com – A site run by Chris Colby & James Spencer. Loads of interesting articles and opinions. Almost nothing about wine though 🙂
- http://www.themadfermentationist.com – I first heard about this blog on the excellent “Basic Brewing Radio” podcast. He’s a guy that likes to experiment with some of the weirder and funkier styles of beer. A brave guy with a very amusing blog!
There are some sites that a good to have in your bookmarks:
- MrMalty.com—This is Jamil Zainasheff’s site. He has some interesting articles and a very handy yeast starter calculator. Great for making sure you’re pitching the right amount of yeast.
- BYO Magazine—I don’t subscribe to the magazine, but the site has a huge range or articles and tested recipes. Very US-centric though.
- BJCP Guidelines—Home brew competitions in the US are judged according to these style guidelines. If you’re looking to replicate a traditional style then this might give you a bit of inspiration. You can also use it to help you taste an unfamiliar beer by telling you what to expect from a beer of that style.
- Beer Legends—Lots of good info, particularly on the different hop varieties.
- How to Brew—John Palmer’s famous book. The third edition is a something you have to buy, but he has put his first edition up online for free! If you want to know about any of the processes of brewing you could do a lot worse than looking it up here.
- Winning Home Brew—A huge amount of good information here.
There are loads of other good sites out there. Feel free to send me any that you think I’ve missed and I’ll add them in here.