The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor

I’m excited to announce that for the last year I’ve been researching and writing a scientifically-driven book specific to brewing hoppy beers, with a working title of “The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor.” After spending the first half of 2017 reading through all of the academic research I could get my hands on, I’ve determined there is enough material (augmented by my practical experiments) for such a targeted aspect of brewing to fill the pages of a book. The project will be in the same format as many of my blog posts, and a small portion of the text will include information I’ve already written about (with some updates). The rest of the book, however, will be new content that has been extremely hard for me not to write about on the blog!

I’ve been sitting on this post for a few weeks, timid to hit the publish button. Likely because the size of the project is overwhelming and committing to it is scary (although exciting at the same time). It doesn’t help that as the ambition of projects and goals increase, so too can self-doubt. While commuting to work last week listening to a podcast, a few words found me at the right time. The guest of the show essentially said that when you don’t let others know about your plans and goals, you are betting against yourself from the start.

I don’t know if the above quote is true or not, but I do know that I care about producing a book that brewers will enjoy reading and find informative. To do this, I need the help of brewers willing to let me know what issues they are the most curious about. I care about writing about timely and relevant issues that new brewing practices and ingredients have introduced. To do this, I need the help of researchers with appropriate equipment to help test these areas that don’t yet have sufficient data. I also need the public awareness of the project to increase the accountability and pressure on me to get to work and stay on track! All of the above requires making the project known, and if this also means I’m betting on its success from the outset, then I’m all for it!

If anybody has the experience, equipment, and interest to help advance the science in some of the understudied areas, I would be thrilled to talk to you further, particular the ability to test hop compounds and thiols. Likewise, if your hop-focused brewery keeps advanced data or does experiments to enhance hop character, I would love to present commercial experience (and recipes) to accompany the research. If your brewery will be at GABF this year and you have interest in talking to me about your experience for the project during the festival, please let me know!

Below is the Draft Table of Contents for the book, which I’m sure will see some revisions as I progress. If there are any topics you would like to see researched or if there are any particular hop-related question that you have always been curious about, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post. The book, after all, is one I want brewers to be interested in reading!

Despite having multiple blog post ideas and experiments in mind, I’m going to switch my focus and time to writing for the book and not the blog. So, if you are interested in staying up-to-date on the status, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I don’t have a target date set yet for the release of the book (I still need to convince a publisher there is an appetite for this type of book). My goal is to finish the bulk of the research and writing by the end of the year and preferably before Sapwood Cellars opens (lease negotiations pending).

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog posts and giving me honest feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. It’s my hope this book will be a continuation of the same type of researched-based approach to brewing that both homebrewers and professional brewers can benefit!

Time to get to work!

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