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On this same point, the book has no tasting notes or evidence that the author has actually brewed the recipes. They are simply listed in a standard format easy to read, I'll give him that. I heard Pattinson say on a podcast that he does not really brew, at least he hasn't for a while; he has someone do it for him which is fine. But where is the evidence that the cited recipes comprising the book have actually been successfully created by a contemporary brewer? I would like to have even a vague idea of how Stout recipes A, B, and C differ from one another. Does anyone actually know? Let's pick on Stout for a moment.

The history section that precedes them lists the sub-categories of Sweet, Oatmeal, Milk, and London, with Brown as a presumptive baseline.


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So I tried to locate a Sweet Stout among the recipes. Or Oatmeal, or Milk. At least none are pointed out.

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I couldn't find lactose or oats in any of the recipes. Perhaps Pattinson did not find any, or they were not included, but it's a bit misleading. In short it's a fun book, but the point of buying it for most is probably to actually brew beer. I'm going to try doing so regardless, but there are significant oversights towards the aim of using the book in that practical way. As another reviewer more succinctly states, the book "doesn't go far enough. For those familiar with Pattinson's writing, this book will be what you expect. It is a concise collection and adaptation of his blog posts that are based on lots of research looking at old brewing records and newspaper articles.

Pattinson clearly lays out his plan in the introduction. In this regard, the book fully accomplishes its goal. For those unfamiliar with Pattinson's writing, the review is not so simple. The book looks at a lot of topics that are rarely discussed in homebrewing literature.

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For most, the concept that beer styles have evolved over the years will be an eye opener. I don't believe there is a book that is as comprehensive on British styles. The German styles discussed in the final pages are not commonly seen in print either. The chapters are clear and concise charting the evolution of styles such as IPA, pale ale, mild, and others.

There are at least a half dozen recipes for each style. Any experienced homebrewer should be able to recreate these beers with these recipes. This book is not for beginning homebrewers. There are no extract recipes in here. It is strictly for someone with a couple of all grain batches under their belt. At times, Pattinson is a too little concise. It would be nice for someone with so much knowledge of his subject to expand a bit on what is presented.

Pattinson discuses the use of Brettanomyces in stock ale production. He stops short of mentioning which strains that a homebrewer may want to use. This information is readily available online, but should have been included in a book with this title. This is a fantastic book and I look forward to more like it.


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It's great that homebrew writing has gotten to the point where people will do hard research to present a book that dispels the myths that preceded it. My complaints are minor and not unexpected for someone who reads Pattinson's blog. On the balance, this book is an eye opening read about what beer styles are with a few slight technical oversights. I own a lot of homebrewing brewing books. There are a ton of books on the history of craft beer, technical details of brewing, and various styles. Very few of these books blend historical information, useful recipes, and present it in such a clear manner.

I'm really impressed with this book, I can't wait to brew the recipes, and my only disappointment is that a style much beloved by me, english mild historically is so much different from the low abv beer I brew today. If you are looking for brewable vintage English historic recipes, including those brewed by the likes of Pretty Things, this is the book for you. This was a very quick read, pages, over 7 days, with multiple tags set to mark specific recipes as ones I'd like to brew. A well-assembled collection of properly researched material which begins with a discussion of historic brewing ingredients and techniques, then delves into a collection of historical commercial recipes by style.

Pattinson does a solid job of adapting historical brewing records to small home-sized batches in the recipes. He also debunks many historical brewing myths, like the pre use of roasted barley in Guinness they didn't , and explains corrections to other items, such as style origin and terminology. This is a really good book that unfortunately purports itself to being an amazing book. While the title suggests a much wider breadth it is strictly limited to english beers between to or so. Now if you are into making english styles of beers this book is essential.

It is probably useful to any serious homebrewer wishing to understand recipe design. However, like many others I was left disappointed by what was not included. See all 27 reviews. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.


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The History of Britain's Great Beers. Beer Beyond the Influence of Brewer's Yeast. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Although most beers are at their best when they leave the brewery, some styles can improve with age. Notably, this includes so-called bottle-conditioned beers, which contain active yeast that helps with preservation and continues to evolve the flavour, and some malty, sweet or dark beers weighing in at more than 8 per cent alcohol.

The flavours can become softer over time, with less of the bitter hop aroma, while oxidation over time can yield nutty complexity. E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters globeandmail.

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Article text size A. Open this photo in gallery: Published May 3, Updated April 30, Does beer have an expiry date? Story continues below advertisement. Report an error Editorial code of conduct. Log in Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? I'm a print subscriber, link to my account Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate.

Never drink stale beer again

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