Yeast under a microscope, via Wikipedia
Chelsea Green has 2 great posts with Sandor Katz, author of “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements” and “Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods,” on the wonderful world of fermentation.
More than anything, I would recommend working with what you’ve got. Preserving the garden harvest does not require highly specialized exotic ingredients. In general, I would recommend using less refined versions of any ingredient. Unrefined sea salts typically contain a broad spectrum of minerals, including iodine. In table salt, the trace minerals are removed from the sodium chloride and then iodine is added back in (along with anti-caking chemicals). If you can, use ingredients that are less processed and which you can easily trace to their origins.
And secondly, exactly what I had been looking for: How to Brew Amazing Beer in Vast Quantities.
If you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy some hops and barley now:)