How to Make Hard Seltzer

Refreshing Recipes for Sparkling Libations

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Pub Date Sep 07 2020 | Archive Date Feb 15 2021

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Hard seltzer is a booming category in the world of lifestyle beverages and many craft brewers are lending their artisanal skills to this refreshing beverage. Simple to make and with a wide range of creative flavor additions, hard seltzer is a sparkling alternative for beer lovers looking to give their palate a different experience. Learn about the development of the current market and delve into the intricacies of sugars used in making seltzer. Understand the different regulations for this beverage based on how you make it so you can be in legal compliance.

Explore recipes, serving suggestions, and even mocktails for using hard seltzer. In this guide, some of the country' s best hard seltzer producers provide recipes and advice for making seltzer for both commercial and home enjoyment.

Hard seltzer is a booming category in the world of lifestyle beverages and many craft brewers are lending their artisanal skills to this refreshing beverage. Simple to make and with a wide range of...

Advance Praise

"I wish this book existed when we started making [seltzer] two years ago. ... Not only will you find recipes and discussions of production processes, raw materials, and ingredients, but also a rundown of the regulations involved in classifying and labeling this new product. If you are a homebrewer, this book also includes recipes and brewing process tips aimed specifically at you."

—Julie Verratti, Co-Founder/Chief Brand Officer, Denizens Brewing Co.

"I wish this book existed when we started making [seltzer] two years ago. ... Not only will you find recipes and discussions of production processes, raw materials, and ingredients, but also a...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781938469657
PRICE $19.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

What I thought this book would be: a yummy books filled with recipes and cocktails with a bit of background and science. What it was: all science and background and honestly it wasn’t for me. I was so excited to find new recipes to spice up my Hard seltzer but I just didn’t care for this. If you’re looking for a book song the lines of beer or wine crafting in seltzer form this is for you, but if you’re looking for a book with recipes to make quick and easy this is just not it.

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This is an excellent technical guide to making hard seltzer that is especially helpful for small breweries or hard core home brewers, although it also provides information for those who are new to home brewing and want to try making hard seltzer on a smaller scale.

What's most perplexing about this book is that the author makes no secret of the fact that he dislikes hard seltzer and pretty much dislikes the people who drink it. He runs a small brewery and they began selling hard seltzer recently because of consumer demand. There were no books with information so he wrote one for the industry and for home brewers. Colby frequently insults the drink though, and occasionally insults those who drink it. At the end of the introduction he writes, "I hope you enjoy the book. Now that I am done writing it, I need a beer." In the history section where he talks about how tastes developed for different beers in different countries (a very interesting section) and the recent rise of hard seltzers, he writes, "How can people continue to buy something that "tastes like TV static" they ask? The answer is that this is not what people are buying into--they are buying a beverage that is the thing that young, trendy, pseudo-health-conscious people are drinking." It's hard to get excited about doing something when the author seems to want to talk you out of doing it. He argues that hard seltzer is here to stay because of changes in the law and because people who want low carb, low calorie and keto drinks want it, and he says it's a way for breweries to stay in business even with the financial struggles that Covid-19 and such are causing.

The book itself is extremely complete and technical. Everything you need to know about every step is here, though there are not photographs of the steps or the equipment. It's like a very long, very well written manual. He then gives instructions for experienced home brewers to do it in five gallon batches, and then has a chapter for smaller scale and those who are less hard core. He follows that with a section telling you how to home brew beer, since this helps understand how to home brew seltzer (which is basically just sugar water that is boiled down, clarified, fed yeast and fermented until the yeast has turned the sugar to alcohol, and then very mildly flavored). For the most part the instructions are overly technical and are likely to discourage all but the most experienced home brewers. I have a lot of experience with home brewing country wines (wines made with fruits besides just grapes, frequently with wild or backyard fruits like elderberries, rhubarb and apples) and I thought it would be fun to brew hard seltzer, but I'm an old school brewer and am not the type to measure gravity, use purchased supplies and chemicals, filter it through charcoal, etc. Also, he was successful in kind of convincing me the end result isn't really worth it. I'll stick with my elderflower champagne and wild fruit hooch. :)

I'd highly recommend this book for brewers who want to get into brewing hard seltzer. Colby includes lots of information about popular flavors and combinations, and includes lots of recipes for varying alcohol content and flavor suggestions. While I probably will not use the information and brew hard seltzer myself, I now understand the process and enjoyed learning about it.

I read a digital ARC of this book for review.

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I am not a home brewer, but I am a fan of seltzer and hard seltzer, so I wanted to read this book to see the behind the scenes of how my favorite beverage is made. I loved reading a bit of the history of brewing to set the foundation for hard seltzers and then also the history of seltzers in general and how brewers came to use them to keep sales continuing during the times of recession and COVID.

My favorite chapter of the book is chapter 9 where the reader is encouraged to take a hard seltzer and then doctor it up to make it a unique cocktail. I never thought about mixing my seltzers with other things to make new drinks - genius!

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How to Brew Hard Seltzer: A Guide for Craft Breweries and Homebrewers is a technical guide with some tutorial instruction for engaged hobby zymurgists up through small scale professionals to create alcoholic seltzers. Due out 7th Sept 2020 from Brewer's Publications, it's 250 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

The book follows a logical layout and is meticulously annotated throughout. Although it's slanted toward the professional/technical end of the scale, there's a fair amount of background history and information to keep non-brewers interested. I found it a fascinating read and read it straight through cover to cover. An introductory history and background leads into chapters covering characteristics, ingredients, instruction for craft breweries (professional scale) to produce seltzer along with recipes, government regulations, instructions and recipes for homebrewers, and cocktail recipes for using the seltzers produced.

The appendices include tutorials for beginning brewers with instructions for both seltzers and beer. The tutorials include good equipment lists, definitions of brewing terms, and relatively simple step-by-step instructions. Recipe ingredients are contained in bullet lists in the sidebar with American standard units given along with metric/SI measures in parentheses. Ingredients and varieties of hops, yeast, etc are very specific and will require a specialist retailer for sourcing. Alternatives and variation ingredients are listed in the recipes.

This is a -very- thorough and interesting book, but I would imagine it might be intimidating for complete beginners (maybe not with some mentoring from a local brewing supplier). My only quibble with the book was that I felt there was an implied elitist prejudice against anything other than -real- beer; that seltzer is a hipster drink, but it sells like crazy, so we have to produce what the customers want. It wasn't terribly overt, but it really was noticeable several places.

I've never before seen a book on brewing hard seltzers. This one is definitive. Five stars (despite the weird implied elitism).

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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From White Claw to Truly, hard seltzer is a low calorie drink that is refreshing and gluten free. Recent popularity for hard seltzer had me taking a look at how this came about and what it takes to make your own hard seltzer. I was gifted a copy to voluntarily read and offer an opinion.

What did I like? I was amazed at the complexity of making your own seltzer! Beer crafters might be able to take this book and make their own hard seltzer but I will leave it to the experts. I enjoyed the history behind brewing which started out the book but since I’ve never fermented anything before ....the second half, where you actually make the seltzer, was a bit more complicated. I have enjoyed the results from breweries, as the hard seltzer areas in stores take up more and more shelf space.

Would I buy or recommend? To me this is not a beginner book but the wealth of information inside could be worth its weight in gold. If you are determined to make your own hard seltzer the book offers step by step info and some amazing pictures of some refreshing looking drinks. The ingredients themselves make the start up cost cheaper than beer making so anyone interested in self producing hard seltzer would love this guide.

Thank you for a copy to read and I voluntarily left an opinion. Five stars!

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A comprehensive guide. Whether you're experienced or just starting out this book is a very useful resource for Hard Seltzer.

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for an advance copy of this title in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Very informative book about seltzers. I was surprised at all the different types of flavors and will be trying my hand at this very soon!

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This book is incredibly informative. The writing is a little dry (pun intended) but I suppose that is what you want from what is essentially a how-to manual on how to make hard seltzer. The author throws in a few fun tidbits too, including a history of the beverage and even a few cocktail recipes to make with seltzer. This book is definitely for the serious homebrewer - beginner or experienced, but definitely someone dedicated to the hobby.

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I was expecting this book to be nothing but recipes. Instead, I was pleasantly by the history and science behind making hard seltzer's. Overall, this was a very helpful resource.

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Interesting and informative for any looking to add hard seltzer to their lineup. With the growth of seltzer products, this is a great guide to get you started.

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I almost missed the best part of this book because I didn't read the TOC in the digital version (who does?). The book is structured from macro to micro, that is, with the discussion of commercial history of hard seltzers occupying most of the first half of the book, directions for seltzer making in a commercial brewery next, followed by directions aimed at the experienced home beer brewer with equipment at hand, followed by recipes for making hard seltzer using beer brewing techniques, followed by recipes for using the resulting seltzers in mixed drinks. End of main text. But whoa here come two appendices, the first of which is exactly what I need.

I might have missed this appendix even if I had read the TOC because I didn’t recognize the word "fermentist", which turns out to mean people who ferment stuff, as distinguished from brewers. That sounds pejorative but it isn't really. I make ginger beer, hard cider, and root beer and not hopped beer. I use minimal equipment and a rapid ferment and drink process that aims for flavor and carbonation, not alcohol. I imagine kombucha makers fit in here.

The second appendix is an introduction to the terminology and tech of brewing beer that is included to pull in readers who are not yet experienced in brewing beer at home.

So no matter where you are on the brewing spectrum you can find something useful here.

Mr. Corby writes clear and careful prose and you will enjoy reading the text. The directions are easy to follow.

If you are interested in brewing hard seltzer, this is the book. The instructions will inform your fermenting projects too, although in a backhanded way.

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Great book for really getting into the weeds on learning how to make seltzers! Chris does a great job of explaining the process of making seltzer in large batches or just a small one for the home brewer that's been curious.

He goes to great lengths to explain each step in the process, leaving helpful hints about the different smells and temperature tolerances that may be experienced and how to correct them.

This would be great book for any experienced home brewer looking to branch out!

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I never knew there was enough to know about hard seltzer to fill a whole book. The history, origin, and ingredients of this were heavily discussed and explained.

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How to Make Hard Seltzer is filled with so much more than what I was expecting! Chris Colby gives us so much information on higher-level Seltzer production down to the basic tips and tricks for homebrewing, anyone can become a Seltzer-making expert in no time.

Now, I've been gluten-free, by necessity, for over 10 years now, and with the lack-luster GF beers on the market, when the popularity of seltzers hit, I was so game for all of it. My husband has been homebrewing his own beer for many, many years now, so with the great resource of this book and a few additions in equipment (you know, cross-contamination and all that) I am super excited to create my own home seltzer brews.

Chris covers everything from the onset of seltzer brewing, the differences of what's on the market, commercial brewing and home brewing techniques, recipes, recipes with alcohol content alterations, and mass batch recipes that can be diluted for bottling if you want to create higher output with your efforts.

As I stated above, I'm super excited to start my own homebrewing and have a much clearer understanding of the process and slight alterations that can make some fun changes to my adult beverage time. I would absolutely recommend this book for those that love hard seltzers and are looking to expand their homebrewing repertoire.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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