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3.9 out of 5 stars
The Big Book of Brewing
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2005
I found this book very helpful as it contains a wealth of information on the subject of home brewing with all-grain ingredients, it is simply jam packed full of information on the subject and describes the processes and techniques in language that the amateur can understand - not to say that it is only for amateurs. This book represents value for money and can save you a lot of wasted time and effort.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2005
This book should be on every home brewers shelf. Starting from a basic first brew, this book lays out the mashing process in simple terms. The personal views, trials and tribulations of the author in his own brewing experimentation are expressed, as well as more accepted and familiar brewing methods.
While this book will get you up and brewing, it also contains more of the interesting theoretical information behind malts, sugars and hops, enabling you to personalise your beer making and experiment on your own.
Watch out for wild hops and hairdriers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2008
For a long time this was the definitive source of information for British full mash home brewers. There are several aspects of it that are out of date and/or unusual, such as overnight mashing (which I never tried) which may have been driven by the generally poor quality of ingredients available at the time. Nevertheless I was able to brew some fantastic beers under its guidance so there is a lot of good stuff in there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
When I first started brewing beer at home over 25years ago this book was my mentor, reference source and bible. David Line pioneered the art of brewing beer on the small domestic scale. He explains in great detail the processes and mechanisms involved in "mashing" that is converting the crushed malt grain into the wort, or sweet liquid sugars. He explains many ways of doing this on a kitchen size scale, and the necessary conditions required for a successful conversion. The book then explains how to ferment this wort into the finished beer in great detail. This book is absolutely essential reading for those who wish to master the art of brewing beer successfully at home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2009
This book is a very clear exposition of brewing high quality beer at home. The book is for those prepared to go the extra mile to produce a product of higher quality and is really not for the faint-hearted amateur brewer. Meticulously following the author's methods will produce some very drinkable beers, which I've enjoyed in the past.
I bought this book to assist my attempts to brew gluten-free beers for my coeliac wife (a Dane) who sadly misses her beer. The detailed explanations by one of the UK's real home brewing experts (who sadly died young) will be enormously useful for this purpose.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2009
I really enjoyed this book, and it really got me into home brewing, so I'm very glad to have read it.

It's pretty comprehensive, and includes everything you need to start on the path of brewing from grain, beginning with fairly straightforward techniques, but giving more technical detail as you work through the book.

It's less overwhelming than some of the content of other books available, and I like the author's writing style.

So why only 3 stars?

The book is really quite dated now (written in the 70's I believe), and concentrates mainly on English real ale style beers. Also, there are lots of other books out there now that are clearer, have more detail, and cover greater ranges of styles.

It's decent value for money, very useful in it's own right, but I would suggest paying the extra to get a more comprehensive book like John Palmer's
How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right for the First Time.
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The Big Book of Brewing is an excellent manual in the art of homebrewing and will provide all of the information you will need to brew good beer. It has some technical sections, specifically about water treatment you can probably avoid or follow, as you please, but the rest is solid, practical information, from your first brew onwards. I noted that the copyright for this book is 1985, some six years after the author's death, meaning that it must have been written some time before this date and it does feel and read like something from forty or fifty years ago, especially when exhorting the virtues of strong beer matured in wooden casks, something I can remember travelling across London and into Hertfordshire to sample, back in the early 70's. I mention this to say that the book has the aura of a classic and may not be as up to date as some might like - no fruity American style beers, for instance, but traditional beer at its best, nevertheless. A good read for the homebrewer looking for a solid education in making better beer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2008
I mostly agree with what the other two reviewers have said of this book, but I also agree with the comments on the US site, amazon.com.
This book is a must for every advanced homebrewer and contains a wealth of information, including things I didn't know and never read in other more modern brew books.
However, the book is by no means complete, uses methods and equipment which are out-dated and much more difficult than those used today AND is certainly not for the beginner! For the beginner, the best book I have come across is the Joy of Brewing by Papazian.
Granted the edition I recently bought was published in 1982, Dave Line was a true homebrew pioneer who should not be forgotten.
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on 4 June 2014
A really good present for a man in this increasing period of home-brewing, it's in-depth, helpful and intriguing. Well worth the price and it arrived quickly, I would recommend it to people interested in home-brewing generally, or to those just generally interested in the making of alcoholic beverages.
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on 22 April 2014
After reading a few reviews of this book before I purchased it I knew of it's pitfalls but it's still a good addition to my brewing book collection. There are better books and books far worse.
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