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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will keep me brewing for several years
One or two people have questioned some of the inaccuracies in this book but the only way to produce excellent beers (and you CAN produce them yourself using grains -- beers that equal anything you can drink in a pub), is to use the recipes and form your own opinions. All the recipes utilise ingredients that are easily available in the UK and Europe. There are enough...
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer

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2.0 out of 5 stars what a let down!!!
I picked up this book in a shop the other day and on the face of it looked great, however after looking through it for around 5-10 mins. I could see so many mistakes with the OG and FG readings, they just don't add up with the desired ABV. a real shame because it could be a real good book. I'm sure the actual recipes are very good but you'll get different readings and...
Published 3 months ago by Pauline Tingey


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will keep me brewing for several years, 4 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
One or two people have questioned some of the inaccuracies in this book but the only way to produce excellent beers (and you CAN produce them yourself using grains -- beers that equal anything you can drink in a pub), is to use the recipes and form your own opinions. All the recipes utilise ingredients that are easily available in the UK and Europe. There are enough recipes to keep me brewing for several years and, you never know, I may eventually be able to improve on them. One of the most practical books on brewing beer that I have seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but with a few small issues..., 28 Jun 2012
By 
S. Barber (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
Good Points: Easy to read, lots of useful anecdotes and tips. Fantastic pictures - makes recipes look very inviting and like an exciting prospect, certainly better than words on a page + wide variety of recipes and types of beer including German, Belgian, UK, US and fruit beers! Overall excellent overview on the subject with plenty to get started.

Bad Points: All grain brewing method doesnt match up with recipes. To quote the method "Heat 20L of Water, Use 10L for Mashing, 10L for sparging" - Recipe then calls for 23L of water. At no point is it stated where the other 3L of water are included. Similarly the recipes tell you how much water to use, but give you no idea how much beer you'll get out - not only is this a bit of an oversight on their part, but is quite misleading as a pretty 'standard' quantity for UK homebrew is 23L or 40pints - but this is listed as the quantity of water to start with. Personally allowing for absorption and boiling i ended up with about 15L. This is not crucial information - mashing times, approx gravity aimed for and boiling time are listed - if you follow the instructions you should end up with some beer - but an idea of how much would be useful.

Another small note on recipes - some are given with lots of information the kind of beer you'll be making - notes on taste, strength, different flavours etc. Some simply say 'Golden Ale: This ale is golden' or words to that effect. If you were trying to 'clone' a shop bought brew this might be fair enough - you already have an idea of what its like, but as you're making 30 - 40 pints, some more info as to whether its to your taste would be useful before committing all that time and effort.

Overall: Great book, but personally i will use the recipes given as guidelines on quantities and styles and plug the info in to a computer/iphone application to obtain proper quantities of liquid for mashing, sparging etc.
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2.0 out of 5 stars what a let down!!!, 22 April 2014
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
I picked up this book in a shop the other day and on the face of it looked great, however after looking through it for around 5-10 mins. I could see so many mistakes with the OG and FG readings, they just don't add up with the desired ABV. a real shame because it could be a real good book. I'm sure the actual recipes are very good but you'll get different readings and have to a just accordingly.
you would have thought they would have realised such mistakes before publishing it. :(
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book... BUT BEWARE!, 11 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
I was given this book as a gift after telling friends I was keen to start home brewing. I love the look of the book and it reads very nicely too - I particularly like the conversational style.

Now for the warning:
All the recipes advise you to START with 23 litres of water, this IS NOT the batch size!

Now call me an idiot - yes I realise I have misread - but, as someone who is new to homebrewing (which this book is aimed at) this was an easy mistake to make. 23 litres (or 5 gallons) is a very common batch size in homebrewing! In addition to this, (as others have noted) nowhere in the recipes does it tell you what the final batch size SHOULD be - just to add to the confusion. Thankfully I noticed this after my first brew and, although it didn't spoil it (I still made a nice beer) it just wasn't right.

I note that other reviewers have criticised the book further for technical errors and, although I haven't scrutinised all of the recipes, I would tend to agree. If in doubt run it through BeerEngine
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nice looking but full of errors, 11 Jan 2014
By 
Russell Baker "Russell" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
Very nicely presented but so many of the recipes are full of errors. Of the 75 recipes there are at least 32 where the numbers just don't add up. If you were to make a beer to the recipe you would not end up with anything like the beer they suggest. Most often the quantities they suggest are too low to make the beer. Some have the wrong Original Gravity or Final Gravity making very hard to work out if you've made the beer correctly . There are a lot of basic maths errors too when they calculate how much alcohol should be in the beer. For instance the Dark Ruby Mild has an Original Gravity of 1034 a final gravity of 1014 and suggests an alcohol content of 5.6%, that's just impossible.

If you want to make any of the recipes in this book you would need to first check it and possibly redesign it which really defeats the object of buying the book in the first place. It's a shame because this book suggests it's for the aspiring backyard brewer but you'd need a fair amount of brewing experience to spot and correct the errors.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Do your maths..., 11 May 2013
By 
David Walker (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
The book is a valuable all grain brewer book. It has a great variety of styles but a hell of a lot of errors, TBH some fatal and unforgivable errors which make me wonder how much proofing was done. The Champagne beer recipe tells me the beer would be 4.7% try closer to 9%! Gravities are all over the place leading you to fear your wort is seriously off until you run it through a recipe maker to realise you are right and the book is grossly wrong and obviously not proofed.

Use it as inspiration, utilise the brilliant malt and hops tables in the first chapters of the book but doubt every recipe and invest in a copy of BeerSmith
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4.0 out of 5 stars Answers on a postcard, 10 April 2013
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
As always the devil is in the detail, but the authors make no bones that this is an attempt at a fun rough guide, not a seminal work. I really like the design and the fact it's not bogged down with heavy chemistry dialogue, and it's a nice book to have on the coffee table. As with most books on the subject I can see a few likewise glitches, which I expect they will correct at reprint.

To answer a couple of good points on the below review: brewing liquor volumes: my guess is the 20lt starting point is post treated water after boiling or chemical treatment. It does say later on to adjust with cold water. Presumedly also post boil or treated. This would not only help with evaporation and cooling prior to pitching the yeast, but also dilution to the correct OG.

I imagine the volumes coming out at the end vary according to how vigorous your boil, surface area of boiler, and hop and grain absorption of wort. A rough guide as they put it, in the book, would be a loss of liquid of about 10-12%. Which they do mention at some point. Due to my water profile, I nearly always start with around 30 to 32 litres of water pre boil, but on propane I'm always having to adjust the boil.

My guess is it wasn't edited by the authors cos just before the hop substitution equation, it clearly mentions in the narrative that alpha acids vary from year to year. The obvious abbreviation of AA is then explained as 'apparent attenuation', (which is to do with yeast not hops, and that section is quite thorough), so this would tend to support my theory that it wasn't edited by the authors. If it's their first book they won't have much control or say on it. I look forward to a follow up, as I've found some of the recipes particularly good but also interesting as they seem to blend old styles with new world hops and european malts. The IPA was very good as was the Smoked Porter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely presented book but some errors in recipes, 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
Bought this after thumbing through it in Waterstone's. I liked the broad range of beer styles covered; Belgian, American, British and German each getting their own chapters. Also half a dozen or so fruit beers for those who either grow their own or can afford todays prices for fresh produce (the strawberry beer asks for nearly 5kg of fruit). Each recipe is accompanied by a nice glossy image of the expected brew to inspire us - much in the same style we have come to expect from celebrity chef cookery books. However, two things this book isn't. Firstly, it's not a detailed text on how to get started in all grain brewing - it doesn't pretend to be either. Secondly, it's not been proof read all that well; there's omissions and inconsistencies in several recipes. For instance, the double stout on pg 115 contains no pale malt. Achieving the stated target abv of 12% must involve some undeclared divine intervention. Further, the hop additions for the Citra pale ale on pg 122 are a little odd too; both examples perhaps suggesting that the author enjoys his vocation to the full. Pity really, on the whole, this is a nice classy book and a worthy addition to the library of any home brewer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Its got me thinking about beer, 30 May 2012
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
I bought this from Dave the landlord at the Eagle pub in Battersea, one of the authors. They run a great pub dedicated to real ale and this book has the same enthusiasm. I havent tried any of the brews yet as I'm a complete novice but what the book did do was make me much more comfortable with the idea of making proper beer from ingredients like the professionals do. I no longer feel uninitiated or far less ignorant. It seems to me that the process will be like an elongated cooking session which I'm perfectly happy with. Most importantly the book has recipes of all the beers I'd like to make and a few I'd love to try at some time from classic British and Belgian beers to the fantastic American brews. I get no sense of snobbery or over complexity in the directions and explanations which is very welcome and in fact everything comes across in a straight forward but very enthusiastic manner.The presentation of the book is also superb with lovely pictures and a very clear and easy to get around organisation.
I must stress that although I frequent his pub I have absolutely nothing to gain from writing this review and have not been encouraged to do so. I accidentally found the book on here when I was searching for some of the ingredients!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the homebrew handbook, 18 April 2012
This review is from: The Homebrew Handbook (Hardcover)
a great book to use in my first attempts at all grain brewing,nice to see a book that had recipes for all beer types.
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The Homebrew Handbook by Dave Law (Hardcover - 5 April 2012)
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