Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy

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Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy[1] by Dave Line

I'd been home winemaking for a while and had just been introduced to and developed a taste for real ale when I came across the original edition of this book. It has a recipe for Greene King Abbot Ale which at the time was my favourite beer but unavailable in Liverpool so purchase was immediate! To cut a long story short this was the start of my full mash grain brewing that I've found to be the most enjoyable hobby. I'm still learning 30 years later!

I found that most of the recipes in this book produced good results although not always that close to the real thing. I know that Dave Line over-estimated the likely efficiencies achievable by home brewers but I don't remember this causing me any great problems at the time. When my extracts came out low I just relaxed, didn't worry and had a homebrew (long before I'd heard of Charlie Papazian) and either accepted a beer a bit low in OG, added some sugar and/or boiled a bit longer. The important thing for me was the delicious end result. It is easy to increase the amount of malt or reduce the target brew length to ensure you hit target OGs if that is a concern for you.

My original copy is very well used, battered, wort-stained and annotated. This seems to be a common feature with this book. My favourite recipes from this book were Greene King Abbot Ale (it never came out like the real thing - it was usually better!), Eldridge Pope Royal Oak (very consistent) and Gibbs Mew Bishops Tipple (this is was a very popular brew with friends and I recommend that every brewer try this recipe at least once - it is a remarkable big beer).

--LesHowarth 18:26, 6 February 2009 (UTC)