Brew Your Own British Real Ale


I don’t know where to start with my review of this book. I originally bough this book about 10 years ago thinking it would have all these great recipes I could try. But every time I go to it I am let down.

The recipes are disappointing, and repetitive. The recipes themselves do not seem to match the tasting notes and ingredient descriptions put out by the breweries themselves. Often the hop types are way off base. They fail to name any specific variety of yeast, and for British ales this is quite important.

Probably my worst pet peeve is that they don’t even give any sort of Lovibond ratings for crystal malts. Some people on the forums claim that a medium crystal malt will work for any of these recipes, but that’s a somewhat simplistic way to approach this problem. Genuine, well-researched recipes do specify certain Lovibond ratings, and often a good recipe will have a mixture of two different crystal malts, for a more complex flavour profile.

To sum up, feel free to skip this book. You’re not missing much.

About Mike

I’m the head brewmaster at Shepody Brewery. I’m the one who chooses the recipes, orders supplies, does all the grunt work, and drinks most of the product.

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