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Fermly Blog

  • Writer's pictureFrances Tietje-Wang

Fermly Recommends: The Chemistry of Beer


The book The Chemistry of Beer next to a glass of delicious beer from Cheluna Brewing

The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds takes you on an intriguing journey through the alchemical transformation of grain and water into one of humanity's oldest and most beloved beverages. Authored by Roger Barth, a seasoned home brewer and chemistry professor, this book uncorks the secrets behind beer's captivating chemistry in a refreshingly accessible manner.


From its ancient origins to its modern-day ubiquity, beer has woven itself into the fabric of human history. Barth begins by delving into the archaeological traces of beer's earliest incarnations, from Sumerian clay tablets to medieval European monasteries, tracing its evolution through time and across cultures.


At the heart of this narrative lies the chemistry of brewing, where science meets art in the creation of every frothy pint. Barth elucidates the fundamental principles of chemistry, from atomic structures to chemical reactions, laying the groundwork for a deeper understanding of brewing processes. Readers explore the organic chemistry of beer's key ingredients, the intricate dance of water and carbohydrates, and the nuanced interplay of flavors and aromas.


Beyond the brew kettle, Barth uncovers the broader impact of beer on scientific innovation, from Louis Pasteur's groundbreaking work with yeast to advancements in temperature measurement and microbiology. Through engaging prose and rich visual aids, including photographs, chemical structures, and reference tables, readers embark on a sensory exploration of beer's multifaceted chemistry.


The book culminates with a practical foray into home brewing, demystifying the process with safety tips, step-by-step instructions, and tantalizing recipes. Whether you're a veteran brewer or a curious nerd, The Chemistry of Beer offers a spirited celebration of science, history, and the boundless possibilities found within a pint glass.


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