Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Wheeler

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by Graham » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:33 am

PhilB wrote:
Graham wrote: It makes me want to "thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick". :twisted:
... oh dear, that doesn't sound good :(
Yes, that glossary, just two largish-print, badly written pages, has thrown my credibility and reputation clean out of the window. I dread to see the reviews if and when they appear on Amazon. I feel thoroughly defenestrated. :lol:

It is the inevitable result when publishers take it upon themselves to do things without possessing the necessary knowledge. Many editors believe that they know better than the author, and this is particularly dangerous when this applies to specialised, technical or semi-technical books. I suppose that I move far too slowly for the comfort of the publisher, so perhaps they felt it expedient to do as much as they could without my involvement. I just wish that they had exercised a bit more caution, thought about the consequences of what they were doing, and had not booked the print run before the redesign was finished, thereby setting dangerously short deadlines. The trouble is that with excessive meddling from editors, the author loses control of his work and the result can easily turn into an unmitigated mess. I have a feeling that the glossary will come back to haunt us in the form of lost reputation and probably reduced sales. Once people find cause to start laughing at you, the game is up.

With regard to the Law & Grimes' and Greg Hughes' books; it is very difficult to get the balance right, an author must know and judge his target audience well in order to know what to include, what to leave out, and the level of technicality necessary in order to satisfy that target audience. Also, in the rush, tumble and panic of things it is very easy to omit something important or to assume that an explanation isn't necessary. I have come across this time and time again in cookery books: "Do so and so (replace so and so with a pseudo-French word here) by your favourite method." If you haven't got a method you certainly will not have a favourite one, more so if you don't know what the word means.

As to so-called typos; it is unfair to blame the editor or the publishing house for everything. Most errors of this sort are solely the fault of the author. In these days of word processors and electronic transfer there is very little, if any, manual transcription involved and thus very little opportunity for typos to occur at the publisher's end. The editor has a job to do, mainly to make the writing fit the available space, which usually means chopping out superfluous stuff (unfortunately stuff that the editor unilaterally deems superfluous), abridging long passages, and, hopefully, correcting poor grammar. All of this usually goes smoothly enough, but can sometimes have unintended consequences, like changing the author's meaning, chopping out important stuff, or leaving inter-page cross-references orphaned. It is when they start adding things that one really needs to get worried.

However, there is only the author to blame for the cardinal sin of publishing recipes that do meet expectations or, even worse, those that do not work at all. An editor is unlikely to mess with the recipes apart from, may be, converting between metric / imperial / U.S. measurements, but even that should be the responsibility of the author. The reason that I decided to write my first book was because in the early 1980s there were so many obviously unworkable recipes published in the books and magazines that I thought that they were doing significant damage by discouraging beginners who thought that they had done something wrong. In these days of brewing software there is no excuse for publishing recipes that are mathematically unsound.

Despite all of the wisdom that I have expounded above, my first book was terrible; I cringe now just thinking about it, leave alone when I go back and re-read it, so I fully understand how a book, particularly a first book, can go horribly wrong. It is just down to lack of experience. At least the recipes worked though.
G.W.

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by TempTest » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:29 pm

Just spent a good while reading this thread and particularly the latter few posts have been fascinating.

I'd still consider myself a novice brewery in terms of experience, but I'd read a number of books now and have a reasonable understanding of the theory. None the less, I've been eyeing up 'Brew Your Own British Real Ale' for a while. Having read the most recent reports, would people suggest avoiding the 4th Ed and getting hold of the 3rd Ed? If so, can somebody please give me the ISBN for the 3rd so I can grab a copy of it before it goes out of print? That'd be great. Alternatively, if you'd recommend going with the latest (4th Ed) then I guess there is no rush.

As an aside, is it worth picking up 'Home Brewing' (also by Graham Wheeler) in addition to BYOBRA or is there an overlap? If so, it looks as though a 3rd Ed is on the way... Again, worth waiting for this or get the 2nd Revised Ed?

Thank you! :)

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by Dave S » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:14 pm

TempTest wrote:Just spent a good while reading this thread and particularly the latter few posts have been fascinating.

I'd still consider myself a novice brewery in terms of experience, but I'd read a number of books now and have a reasonable understanding of the theory. None the less, I've been eyeing up 'Brew Your Own British Real Ale' for a while. Having read the most recent reports, would people suggest avoiding the 4th Ed and getting hold of the 3rd Ed? If so, can somebody please give me the ISBN for the 3rd so I can grab a copy of it before it goes out of print? That'd be great. Alternatively, if you'd recommend going with the latest (4th Ed) then I guess there is no rush.

As an aside, is it worth picking up 'Home Brewing' (also by Graham Wheeler) in addition to BYOBRA or is there an overlap? If so, it looks as though a 3rd Ed is on the way... Again, worth waiting for this or get the 2nd Revised Ed?

Thank you! :)
Well as Graham himself presents a somewhat dim view of the 4th edition, I'd be inclined to go for the 3rd. ISBN: 978-1-85249-258-8
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by PhilB » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:38 pm

Dave S wrote:Well as Graham himself presents a somewhat dim view of the 4th edition ...
... Oh, I haven't read these latest posts like that :? ... the way I've seen them is more that Graham has (largely) not been involved in the update, but he has provided some new/updated text for some areas. Mostly it's a re-formatting and "freshen-up" of the same content; and Graham wouldn't have done some of the changes the way "they" have :? ... and, as Graham has pointed out in his last post, it would seem that's a common set of feelings for an author to have whenever a book is published :?

TempTest, I'd turn your question back on you ... and suggest your question is like asking which version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire you should buy, hardback or paperback, the adult or children's cover ... which would suit you best? The larger format, colourful, "hard-wearing and lavishly illustrated", new improved (but avoid the glossary) version? Or the version that looks like a novel with a picture of a pint of beer on the cover? :?: :?: :wink:

Cheers, PhilB

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by TempTest » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:07 pm

I think having given it some thought and re-read Mr Wheeler's comments the 3rd Ed looks a better bet... I think I'd rather a copy that the author has actually read would be preferable! I don't mind the the lack of glitzy cover, etc. Now, if only I could find a copy! Seems everybody has changed to selling the 4th Ed... And I'm not going to paying £30+ as it seems some sellers have it listed.

Also, as asked previously:
As an aside, is it worth picking up 'Home Brewing' (also by Graham Wheeler) in addition to BYOBRA or is there an overlap? If so, it looks as though a 3rd Ed is on the way... Again, worth waiting for this or get the 2nd Revised Ed?
Any advice? Thank you! :)

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by TempTest » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:14 pm

Hmm... After having written that I'm still not sure! I'm reading some good reviews of 4th Ed so perhaps it does not matter after all.

To add: It also seems the 3rd Ed (see the photo on Amazon) has the text 'Sponsored by The Home Brew Shop' on the bottom. Does not look as though it's new for 4th Ed after all.

Still cannot work out what the difference is between 'Brew Your Own British Real Ale' and 'Complete Home Brewing' is, though!

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by Aleman » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:24 am

BYOBRA is a recipe book, Complete home brewing is a theory book . . . with a few non commercial recipes . . . Even though the text is dated, and doesn't cover the new stuff that has come along in the last 15 years it's a good grounding in the theory, if you find it for a good price buy it.
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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by Graham » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:33 am

I would suggest that the latest reprint (the third-and-a-bit edition) is the best buy, and probably easier to read. The content is the same as the previous (third edition); the changes are mostly cosmetic, Yes the added glossary is laughable, and has irritated me somewhat, but you can always ignore it - please do. [-o< .

Unfortunately the introduction of this latest enhanced edition has prompted the on-line muggers to start asking crazy prices for the earlier edition. From £21.91 to as much as £222.00 according to Amazon external sellers. These offers seem to be somewhat scammy because the ridiculously high-priced copies are shipped from Korea. I cannot see why or how Koreans would have copies of the book to trade, so I see it as a likely trap to grab two-hundred-plus quid and probably not supply the book, although some of these muggers seem to advertise the books without actually having a copy and then try to source a copy if someone bites. If you are set on sticking to the older edition, you will probably find a copy lurking on the shelves of high street book shops; there was an earlier copy in my local Waterstones when I bought a copy of the latest reprint.
Still cannot work out what the difference is between 'Brew Your Own British Real Ale' and 'Complete Home Brewing' is, though!
Brew Your Own is a basic book aimed directly at the beginner or intermediate brewer; easy-to-understand instructions, basic simple equipment, low on technical stuff, and a range of recipes based upon typical pub beers to make it easier for the brewer to decide upon a recipe to tackle. Complete Home brewing was intended to be a replacement for the earlier book Home Brewing the CAMRA guide. It will be more in depth, have more technical stuff, have more mathematics for those who like numbers, and probably openly challenge some of the current home-brew practices. The recipes will be generic and more varied in style.
As an aside, is it worth picking up 'Home Brewing' (also by Graham Wheeler) in addition to BYOBRA or is there an overlap? If so, it looks as though a 3rd Ed is on the way... Again, worth waiting for this or get the 2nd Revised Ed?
Home Brewing has been out of print for a good number of years. You will be lucky to find a copy and it seems likely that you will need very deep pockets if you do.
G.W.

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by PhilB » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:05 am

Hi TempTest
TempTest wrote:Now, if only I could find a copy! Seems everybody has changed to selling the 4th Ed... And I'm not going to paying £30+ as it seems some sellers have it listed.
...
Graham wrote: If you are set on sticking to the older edition, you will probably find a copy lurking on the shelves of high street book shops;
... or you could use one of their central ordering services. They (link) claim to still have stock, for example :?

Cheers, PhilB

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by TempTest » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:57 am

Graham wrote:
Still cannot work out what the difference is between 'Brew Your Own British Real Ale' and 'Complete Home Brewing' is, though!
Brew Your Own is a basic book aimed directly at the beginner or intermediate brewer; easy-to-understand instructions, basic simple equipment, low on technical stuff, and a range of recipes based upon typical pub beers to make it easier for the brewer to decide upon a recipe to tackle. Complete Home brewing was intended to be a replacement for the earlier book Home Brewing the CAMRA guide. It will be more in depth, have more technical stuff, have more mathematics for those who like numbers, and probably openly challenge some of the current home-brew practices. The recipes will be generic and more varied in style.
Graham, Complete Home Brewing sounds great - Any idea if/when this will be released? Amazon have this listed as available for pre-order but a date of 31 Dec 2012! Complete Home Brewing sounds like a more worthwhile purchase for me than Brew Your Own :)
PhilB wrote:They (link)[/url] claim to still have stock, for example :?

Cheers, PhilB
Thanks for the heads up - If i decide (now against Graham's advice!) to go for the 3rd Ed I'll give them a try! :)

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by SHIELDS EXILE » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:06 am

I recently got my copy from amazon, and compared it with the older version Graham wrote in1998, and note that he no longer uses mild ale malt inthe Hook Norton recipes or flaked maize, or maltose syrup.The new book is well set up, but I will stick with his old book, as I think those adjuncts were great flavours.Deuchars IPA was agood new recipe.

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by paulg » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:44 pm

shields exile
have you found a source for maltose syrup.I have the first 3 editions of GW book but cannot find maltose syrup and do not know of a substitute for it.
Anyone?

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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by 6470zzy » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:24 pm

paulg wrote:shields exile
have you found a source for maltose syrup.I have the first 3 editions of GW book but cannot find maltose syrup and do not know of a substitute for it.
Anyone?
You can usually find this in a Chinese market or you could substitute Corn syrup

Cheers
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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by Dave S » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:14 pm

6470zzy wrote:
paulg wrote:shields exile
have you found a source for maltose syrup.I have the first 3 editions of GW book but cannot find maltose syrup and do not know of a substitute for it.
Anyone?
You can usually find this in a Chinese market or you could substitute Corn syrup

Cheers
Yes, my nearby International food store stocks it. It is derived from rice. It's not that cheap - near £4 for about a 300 g jar.
Best wishes

Dave

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