Brewing Quality Beers, 3rd Edition: The Home Brewer's Essential Guidebook, by Byron Burch.
3rd Edition Changes: The standard beginning/intermediate brewing text updated with new information and current brewing ingredients. Highly informative step by step instructions covers the basics but includes enough all-grain information to transition from extracts to mashing.
This short book is the finest how-to manual for home brewers. First, it provides a succinctly readable introduction to get novices safely through their first few batches. Then, it goes on to present the best available introductions to intermediate and advanced brewing.
BQB does not attempt to be an encyclopedia. Rather, it presents a clear procedural guideline for someone to follow in order to succeed. The book includes recipes to help newcomers avoid potential problems, but the intent is to teach the reader about the various brewing ingredients, and how they work together, so brewers will be inspired and enabled to create successful recipes on their own.
No other home brewing textbook is written by an author with Byron Burch's extraordinary set of qualifications:
First, as a national champion home brewer (1986) and meadmaker (1992 and 1994) his expertise is obvious.
Second, since 1972, he has worked in the brewing and winemaking supply trade, creating a highly successful business, despite its being located in a town of only modest size. Along the way, he has taught countless new brewers, which gives him an exceptional grasp of what they want and need to know, what questions they have, and how much information they can absorb at one time.
Third, having a master's degree in English, he is able to pass along his brewing expertise in a disciplined, clear, and effective manner that benefits would-be home brewers.
Brewing Quality Beers is the book you should study if you want your home brewing venture to become an engrossing hobby.