Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the better books on the subject, 16 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition (Harperresource Book) (Paperback)
I found Joy of Home Brewing somewhat disappointing, despite its being widely praised. While the book does contain a great deal of useful information, it's poorly organised, often unclear, and occasionally simply wrong - for instance, despite Papaziani's assertion to the contrary, the fact that liquids decrease in density with temperature is unrelated to the decrease in viscosity that occurs when viscous liquids are warmed. Moreover, the author often fails to make clear distinctions between various devices or process under discussion, forcing the reader to re-read a passage several times to make sense of what it is being said. Finally, Papaziani's attempts at being light-hearted or clever generally fall quite flat, contributing nothing to either the readability or the entertainment value of his book. Indeed, there were times when I felt that if I read his inane catchphrase "relax, have a home brew!" one more time, I'd surely scream and toss the volume into the nearest waste bin. All this having been said, the book is not a bad place to begin with a home-brewing hobby, and does contain sufficient information that it's worth having around, simply as a reference, even for the seasoned brewer.

An Addendum....
I've now had Papazian's book for about two years, and I have to confess that my regard for it and its author has grown considerably during that period of time. JHB has now become the reference I'm most likely to turn to first if a brewing question arises, and the one I'm most likely to recommend to friends considering taking up the hobby. Overall, I've found the facts, tables, and figures to be impeccably correct, and points mentioned above where I assert otherwise can probably be attributed to matters of interpretation arising from Papazian's indefatigably casual style. I should say that the overall, chapter-by-chapter organization of the manuscript is one of the best I've seen, it's only at the paragraph and sentence level that the flow of ideas occasionally becomes less than crystal-clear. I still find the flippant style not to my personal taste, however, though the concepts and facts thus presented are nonetheless well-researched, even scholarly. Were I to re-review book at this point, I would most likely now give it four, possibly even five stars.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Mar 2011 10:43:53 GMT
I agree with this review.... I think it's a great place to start for a new homebrewer and the catchphrase works well to remind a new brewer that it supposed to be a fun thing to do. Once you move to intermediate you really don't need the "Dad jokes" and they do become quite irritating. I also agree that some of the key information is often hidden amongst other less pertinent information and sections need to be re-read a number of times when running through the brewing process.
That being said I tend to enjoy the US approach to brewing and homebrew. Less stuffy and beardy and more open and positive than their UK equivalents.
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