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 Dave S » Wed May 14, 2014 8:54 am

What's this about a new edition? The only one I can find is the 3rd edition, which came out in 2009.
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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by IPA » Fri May 16, 2014 8:12 am

Dave S wrote:What's this about a new edition? The only one I can find is the 3rd edition, which came out in 2009.
For those who don't know Graham was in the process of writing this book when he suffered a stroke. Just before this he said that he was under a lot of pressure from the publishers to finish the book.Amazon have repeatedly extended the release date. He commented at the time, before the stroke, that he was not sure if he would ever finish it. Only he knows now if he ever will. I'm sure that we all wish him the best.
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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by Jim » Fri May 16, 2014 8:29 am

IPA wrote:
Dave S wrote:What's this about a new edition? The only one I can find is the 3rd edition, which came out in 2009.
For those who don't know Graham was in the process of writing this book when he suffered a stroke. Just before this he said that he was under a lot of pressure from the publishers to finish the book.Amazon have repeatedly extended the release date. He commented at the time, before the stroke, that he was not sure if he would ever finish it. Only he knows now if he ever will. I'm sure that we all wish him the best.
I was under the impression that it was the Camra Guide to Home Brewing (to be renamed 'CAMRA'S Complete Home Brewing') that he was working on......could be wrong though.

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

Post by IPA » Fri May 16, 2014 8:54 am

Jim wrote:
IPA wrote:
Dave S wrote:What's this about a new edition? The only one I can find is the 3rd edition, which came out in 2009.
For those who don't know Graham was in the process of writing this book when he suffered a stroke. Just before this he said that he was under a lot of pressure from the publishers to finish the book.Amazon have repeatedly extended the release date. He commented at the time, before the stroke, that he was not sure if he would ever finish it. Only he knows now if he ever will. I'm sure that we all wish him the best.
I was under the impression that it was the Camra Guide to Home Brewing (to be renamed 'CAMRA'S Complete Home Brewing') that he was working on......could be wrong though.

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Your not wrong Jim it's me. :oops: I made a mistake with the book title.
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Re: Brew Your Own British Real Ale (3rd Edition)- Graham Whe

Post by PhilB » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:53 am

Hi All

Found a copy of the latest (4th Edition) to Grahams book in a Waterstone's over the weekend, so it's definitely out now ... also available there (link) ... good to see you're "back in the saddle" Graham =D> :wink:

The book looks a lot more colourful and "modern" now, I'd say definitely new and improved, although it would be interesting to see if there were certain demographics that were attracted to the 3rd edition and others to the 4th, when they're sat on a bookshelf next to each other, as they were in Waterstone's :? ... anyway, this update probably is the better book to buy for anyone looking to acquire a copy, but it's not quite got enough new in it, over the 3rd edition that I already have, for me to decide to make another purchase.

Cheers, PhilB

Graham

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

Post by Graham » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:10 pm

PhilB wrote: Found a copy of the latest (4th Edition) to Grahams book in a Waterstone's over the weekend, so it's definitely out now ... also available there (link) ... good to see you're "back in the saddle" Graham =D> :wink:
I had nothing to do with it, I am sorry to say. The publishers unilaterally declared that they were going to "tart up" the book. It was all done in the blink of an eye without any involvement from me, and was done almost before I knew that it was going to happen. I did not even have time to proof-read it; errors are bound to creep in when you have publishing-types messing with a book covering a subject that they know nothing about.

Competitive brewing books are becoming more illustrated and colourful, although it seems to me that the publishers of some of them are more concerned with producing colourful coffee-table books than usefulness and accuracy. Also I doubt the utility of matter being added just to break up and lighten the text while having little relevance or illustrative value to the subject in hand.

I hope that they have not called it a fourth edition; A new edition should have new editorial matter, which it doesn't. it is only a tarted-up third edition.

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

Post by PhilB » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:34 pm

Hi Graham

I did think I had seen mention of it being the 4th edition somewhere in it ... but then I was flicking through it in a bookshop with one eye on the stairs waiting for MrsB to come and haul me away from the cookery/brewing section :roll: ... your comments do now help to explain the forward (alledgedly written by yourself :? ) which starts with something like "It is some time since the 2nd Edition of this book ..." :?
Graham wrote:I did not even have time to proof-read it; errors are bound to creep in
... hmmm, indeed ... that seems particularly worrying when they seem to have been adding recipes for new/different beers from the previous version ... or have I mis-remembered Thwaite's Nutty Black, for example, not being in my version (pub. 2009) :?: ... were you not even involved in formulating these new recipes? :?

Cheers, PhilB

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

Post by PhilB » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:29 pm

Hi Graham

Aaahhh, I see now ... they've re-labelled the recipe from Thwaites Dark Mild to Thwaites Nutty Black (quite possibly like Thwaites have done with the beer, I suppose :? )

I'm going to have to retune my "exactly the same thing, in new packaging" radar I think ... otherwise I'll end up spending a LOT of money on "new" Beatles albums (as an example) ... AGAIN :shock: :roll:

Cheers, PhilB

AnthonyUK

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

Post by AnthonyUK » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:24 pm

I checked the link and was interested to see 'Sponsored by the homebrew company' and wondered what if anything this added to the book.

Graham

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

Post by Graham » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:37 pm

Well, I now have my own copy of BYO "New Illustrated Format"; It is sad that I had to sack off down to Waterstones and buy a copy of my own damn book before I could comment on it. :x

I can confirm that they, "they" being the publisher, have changed the name of Thwaites dark mild to nutty black. It was arrogant of them to do that without asking me. I can not see that a brewer would change the name of something without taking the opportunity to tweak the recipe in one way or another. That possibility did not seem to enter their heads. Commercial brewers' web sites are notoriously bad; they are often too reliant upon Flash for images and menus, although that has become less of a problem since Apple wisely kicked Flash off their portable devices. Nevertheless, although not being encumbered by Flash, Thwaites is very high on the crap web site parade; apart from forcing me to accept a cookie for no good reason that I could see, I found absolutely nothing about the heritage of nutty black. In fact, their site is almost devoid of product information. So, had I been asked, I would probably have agreed to the name change on account of having no information to the contrary. I need someone from Thwaites country to tell me if there is a noticeable difference between the two.

Oh dear, they have added a glossary which makes me look a proper dumbo. Had I been looking at a competitors book, one glance at that glossary would have caused me to put it back on the shelf with a "no thank you sir" in my thoughts. To say nothing of the photograph (on page 18) of hops that any respectable home brewer would reject on sight. So don't blame me for definitions such as "[the] European Brewing Convention is a scale that measures the colour of a finished beer." or that "Adjuncts are fermentable ingredients that do not require enzymic conversion." I am sure that the European Space Agency could have saved themselves millions had they realised that a hydrometer is "an instrument used to measure gravity." It makes me want to "thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick". :twisted:

Such definitions are even more pointless when it becomes apparent that the newly laid-out recipe pages do not actually state that colour is specified in EBC or that bitterness is specified in EBU / IBU. This omission is bound to cause confusion. Most Americans and a good many Brits are under the impression that SRM is the only colour scale in the world and SRM will be the assumption in many cases. There are several bitterness scales historically used in home brewing, some of which are still extant, particularly in America.

Already I am beginning to receive reports of the inevitable errors and omissions: The recipe for Boddington's mild is missing the figures for the ten-minute hops (Thanks Rob), which should be 7,9,and 9 grammes respectively.

They have changed some of my text; it will take me some time to wade through it all and see if it still makes sense. Some of it reads a bit odd when pulled out into isolated panels, but that could be more my bad writing than anything to do with the publisher.

Graham

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

Post by Graham » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:36 am

AnthonyUK wrote:I checked the link and was interested to see 'Sponsored by the homebrew company' and wondered what if anything this added to the book.
That is a very cynical attitude.

A side-effect is that certain home brew shops will not stock the book because it advertises a competitor, but I have to say that I am quite happy with that situation. Had the publishers taken an advert from a company other than the Home Brew Shop I would have barked until they had to shoot me to keep me quiet.

In the early days, the days of the first editions of my books, I had the wrath of the industry fight. In those days a home-brew shop's major profit was beer kits of all sorts, with impressive names accompanied by tasting notes that would put the best of alternative medicine quacks to shame. For an upstart like me to pop up and suggest that beer kits are crap and "Why not try to make beer this way", was tantamount to declaring war on the wholesale suppliers, who, of course, supplied these beer kits and advertised them as being the "bees knees" of taste and sophistication.

It would have been an impossible uphill struggle had it not been for the proprietors of the home brew shop taking my side and fighting from my corner. They stood by my side, Diane Green in particular, taking me by the hand and guiding me through the minefield of the various home brew exhibitions and functions that I happened to attend, fending off and placating my potential enemies along the way. Danny Green once said that he was astounded that one "poxy little book" could make such a positive difference to his business. They tried their best to stock every ingredient specified in my books and to store them in good condition. Their success also encouraged other home brew shops to shake up their ideas about what home brewing was to be become. I hope that my books enhanced their business at the time, but I feel that the whole British home brewing hobby is indebted to The Home Brew Shop in leading the way out of the quagmire of dried out, cheesy hops; slack malt; baker's yeast; and suggestions that one would be better off buying a beer kit.

So the short answer to your blunt question: "what if anything this added to the book", is the fact that the book probably would not be here had it not been for their support and influence in the early days; without them I would have thrown in the towel years ago. Also their financial contribution lowers the price of the book to the purchaser, for the benefit of every purchaser, no matter where he buys his brewing supplies from.

So I am happy enough to host an advert by a company that has supported me and has certainly done more to promote quality home brewing than they are given credit for.

AnthonyUK

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

Post by AnthonyUK » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:07 am

Graham, I'm sorry that you saw my comment as cynical but it was not at all and you have interpreted it not how it was intended.
I only wondered if as a sponsor there would be any tie-ins such as recipe kits etc as this is my LHBS. It is a great shop and resource who I fully support and can think of nobody better as a sponsor.

Confused of Alton :?

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

Post by PhilB » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:23 am

Hi Graham
Graham wrote: It makes me want to "thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick". :twisted:
... oh dear, that doesn't sound good :(

I don't suppose it's any recompense to you that many of your "competitors" aren't faring much better ... the Law and Grimes, "The Homebrew Handbook" (which is definitely way over at the coffee table book end of the spectrum, lovely photos of different beers in different bottles and glasses though :roll: ) is full of typos; quite early on in the book they mention "apparent attenuation (AA) of yeast", but presumably some proof reader decided subsequent references to "AA" weren't meaningful enough and did a global search and replace, except they didn't then notice that later chapters, talking in some depth about the "apparent attenuation percentages of different hops" then didn't make sense :roll: ; and I'm yet to be able to put any of their recipes into any brewing calculator and get it to match up with any of their predicted values for OG or bitterness, they don't specify brew lengths and they don't specify "apparent attenuation %" (sic) of hops to use in their recipes, so how are you supposed to work out which bits are the typos and which bits are accurate? You can be sure there are lots of typos when recipes specify things like 3g of Pale Malt and 454kg of Crystal though :shock: ... and the Greg Hughes, "Home Brew Beer" (which is the Dorling Kindersley offering that I imagine your publishers are wanting to "respond" to) has completely neglected to mention any notion of a "warm conditioning" period, when not force carbonating, after priming and packaging :roll: With many of the ale recipes suggesting fermenting at 18C and then conditioning at 12C, this has led to a spate of new brewers posting questions (over on the BrewUK forum at least) about why their beer is not carbonating :?

I suppose nowadays, with such internet forums, like here at Jim's, there are ways of finding out what can be done to overcome, or work around, these publishing and printing errors, at least :?

Cheers, PhilB

Graham

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

Post by Graham » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:45 am

AnthonyUK wrote:Graham, I'm sorry that you saw my comment as cynical but it was not at all and you have interpreted it not how it was intended.
I only wondered if as a sponsor there would be any tie-ins such as recipe kits etc as this is my LHBS. It is a great shop and resource who I fully support and can think of nobody better as a sponsor.
Confused of Alton :?
Sorry. I did take it as a note of disapproval, although had I thought about it I would have realised that you would have had no reason to disapprove.
I have had to defend that sponsorship on a number of occasions, usually from shop proprietors who want my endorsement and assistance to use the recipes within the book, but nevertheless refuse to stock it because it has an advert for someone else in it. I find such small-mindedness irritating; I doubt if they would have been prepared to put their money where their mouth is had they been offered the opportunity of sponsorship. For all I know they may have been offered the same opportunity as the HBS

Sorry - I am in irritated mode at the moment, for reasons already mention earlier in the thread.

AnthonyUK

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

Post by AnthonyUK » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:14 pm

No probs Graham.

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