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First Steps in Winemaking Paperback – 31 Dec 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Special Interest Model Books; new ed edition (31 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854861395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854861399
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 127.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Cyril John James Berry was one of Britain's leading amateur winemakers, co-founder of the first Winemaker's Circle, founder Chairman of the National Association of Winemakers and Brewers and Editor-Publisher of the monthly magazine The Amateur Winemaker which he ran for 27 years. After World War II, when sugar came off rationing, Cyril co-founded the first Winemaker's Circle in Andover, which still flourishes today. Then Cheltenham, Bournemouth, Harrow and Hertford Circles sprang to life and gradually the bubbles of wine spread all over the UK. Clubs learnt about each others' events through a little magazine The Amateur Winemaker which Cyril and his wife Peggy produced in the upstairs bedroom of their house in Andover. This was for sale to Clubs at 6 pence a copy. Cyril had an ebullient personality and energy which not only embraced his family and social life but also gave him the courage at a mature age to give up his safe, professional life as Editor of a local Andover paper in order to concentrate on producing The Amateur Winemaker magazine on a national scale. He wrote several best-selling books on winemaking and home brewing, upon which he was an acknowledged expert for forty years, appearing frequently on television and always in demand as a lecturer and wine judge. He lived in Andover, Hampshire, England and in Malaga, Spain where he died in 2002.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

150 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Tomicek on 16 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
C J J Berry was a master on winemaking. I have bought and read most books on winemaking. This is the one I always turn back to. If you have to buy one book on homewinemaking this is the one! He begins my explaining the concepts and techniques of winemaking in easy to understand terms. He also explains the science behind the process but he is never confusing or condescending. I have never come across a problems which has not been solved by his troubleshooting section and his procedures are comprehensive but easy to follow. The remainder of the book takes you through a wine making year with suggestions, recipies and leaves you confident enough to experiment successfully. All recipes are in metric, imperial and US measures. He leaves you feeling that country wines from fruit are nothing to be ashamed of and that you should not worry about trying to emulate wines you can buy. Having said that, many of the wines stand comparison to anything you can buy. First published in 1960 it has not dated and will remain a reference for all authors to aspire to. It is an invaluable reference for both beginners and those more advanced wine makers.
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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By D. D. Wilson on 15 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
I got into wine making about ten years ago, having used a few home brew wine kits. I then wanted to try making my own from scratch. Sure enough this book was recommended to me as a starting point. Well, I have now made over 100 gallons of wine in those years since biying the book, and not one bottle has been spoilt, all of them drinkable, and some of them that good that my friends were amazed that I made them, and hadn't bought it from a supermarket! It has plenty of tips, recipe ideas, etc in very easy to understand guidance. Starting off with the basics this gives you enough to progress on to bigger and better ideas. I can now adapt and make my own recipes for home made wines with ease. Although a little old fashion in his ways, he makes home brewing a pleasure and not a chore.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
I've yet to find a book that can come close to First Steps in Winemaking, which is excellent for both beginner and established brewer alike.
Some might argue the style is a little dated, but I rather like the 1960's oulook on life. A sound investment for anyone thinking of taking up this rewarding hobby.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Morton on 22 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
As I write this I have two demijohns bubbling away in the kitchen; in one carrot wine is well on the way, in the other blackcurrant wine is almost ready for bottling. With my tea I had a very pleasant glass of rhubarb wine. All come from recipes contained in this book. Through its advice on pretty much every aspect of wine-making I've produced wines I've been more than happy to share, rather than hide and sip furtively.
If you're interested in making your own wine, this is the book to get.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By RogTheDog on 7 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
An updated version of this fantastic beginners guide to making wine from the early 60's. Sadly this edition has done away with pictures of the author sterilizing his equipment in shirt and tie while puffing on a pipe, and units of measurement such as the "saltspoonful" have made way for the 1/4 teaspoon, but it must be said these changes make it easier to follow for a modern audience and the book maintains it's charming enthusiasm for its subject.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Orpwood on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
A good, easy to understand book with clear explanation in laymans terms as well as more advanced information. I had three other books on wine making which left questions unanswered, this book gets top marks from me.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
C.J.J. Berry is a legend to winemaking hobbiests worldwide as the man who had a winemaking recipe for just about any ingredient. For literally tens of thousands of home winemakers, this is the only reference book they ever had or needed.
When it first appeared, the layout of "First Steps in Winemaking" was quite unique. After an admirable discussion of the basic principles of home winemaking, Berry then presented his recipes on the basis of the month in which the principal ingredients are readily available at market or are typically harvested in the British home garden. There are three things wrong with this format.
Firstly, citing harvest months for various ingredients geographically limits the accuracy of the format. Harvest times for any crop will vary greatly around the world, but they can differ from Britain's calendar by six months for gardeners in, say, Australia. Berry's treatment works fine in the British Isles and many other places, but certainly this is not universally so. In his later books, Berry abandoned the calendar-month format of "First Steps...."
Secondly, at least in developed countries, there is no longer a need to be tied to calendar-month availability of ingredients. Advances in cargo transport and refrigeration over the past 50 years have made dependency on local crops a thing of the past. Almost any ingredient can be found in the modern supermarket or produce center at any time.
Thirdly, Berry's presentation of recipes by month results in dependence on the index in order to find recipes for a particular ingredient. This is perhaps the greatest shortcoming of the book's layout. An alphabetical listing of recipes, as he used in subsequent books, would have been more convenient.
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