This is not a book for the highly successful regional or larger brewer who already has multiple labs and a doctorate in microbiology. This is a book for those who are in the early stages of their love of yeast and what it can do for their beer.
Hmm. While I may happen to be a person who knows my trub from a slant, I am not sure this book is really aimed at me. Yet it is handy. It has five simple sections: biology, varieties, fermentation, yeast propogation and setting up a lab. It even has pictures of various primary set-ups including both the Marsdon Union and the Firestone Union. Neato. Probably more than you need to know. But if you are planning to starting out on that craft brewery dream or even want to win the home brew prize at next year's fair, you probably should be reading this book. Note the implicit warning in the use of "highly successful" in the passage quoted above.
Co-author Christ White is the founder of White Labs Inc. while his fellow Zainasheff is an award winning homebrewer and the Style Profile columnist for Brew Your Own magazine. Yeast nerds, you say. Sure they are - but who else do you want in charge of a book like this? Me? No one wants that. No, the good people at the Brewers Association knew what they were doing when they picked these guys. Along with Stan's recent book Brewing with Wheat, it appears to be part of a plan by the publishers to create a range of intermediary level texts for serious brewers.
Which leads to an admission. We have to be honest. This book could suck and I would not really know it. When I home brew and there is a lag in fermentation, I don't troubleshoot. I throw in another batch of yeast of any sort I have hanging around. Heck, I have two year old ingredients for an all grain mash in the house and plan to try and make a batch out of it. Why? Because I am a bad brewer. And I probably think that is what "old ale" really means. The rest of you? You don't have to be like that. There is hope. For less than a single bottle of today's more overpriced seasonals, you really should be thinking about this book if you are thinking about brewing.