The home brewers guide to vintage beer by Ron Pattinson.

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by dennisking, Jan 25, 2014.

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  1. Jan 25, 2014 #1

    dennisking

    dennisking

    dennisking

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    First impressions, hard back great but when you open it the spiral spine makes it look a bit cheap. The book it's self is a mix of a history of British beer styles with recipes for each section adapted from original brewing logs. Being a bit of a beer history geek I enjoyed reading the background bits although I've only skimmed through it. The recipes are reasonably laid out but just a few moans. I assume the are all for 23lts as he doesn't state the final volume. I think it's more aimed at the American market as some of the recipes have a mix of 2 row and 6 row barley, never seen 6 row for sale in the UK. Each recipe has a little background history with it as well as a yeast recommendation although looking at the gravity's a little advice on the amount of yeast may of helped. Not all high gravity brews. He includes courage light ale at 1032! Some of the recipes have multiple mash and sparge instructions. Overall a decent book, maybe a bit overpriced, but if you like the Durden park book you will like this one.
     
  2. Jan 26, 2014 #2

    Bopper

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    Myself i could not justify paying for books like that, when i think its all on the internet! as i think all them recipes and much more for Ron's books are at http://barclayperkins.blogspot.co.uk. That is a very good point about not seeing 6-row on sale in the UK, maybe some one could put their pennies worth in about this! I have seen 6-row at the farm i visit and i did ask, they told me it was cattle feed, but obviously was un-malted.


    Richard
     
  3. Jan 26, 2014 #3

    SimonS

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    As a keen follower of his blog I was really looking forwards to this book coming out.

    Lots of recipes, and a little history - great! Even has instructions on how to make invert sugar.

    I felt the book was a little dry, and missing out on some of the personality which shines through on his blog. I also couldn't find any details on what volumes the recipes were for. I know that some of the recipes in his books are simply lifted straight from the old brew books - great for authenticity, but the old breweries (and new ones I presume) are a lot more efficient than my simple homebrew - some of the recipes in his books are based around 80% efficiency plus, and need some re-jigging. Still, the books aren't aimed at the 'my first AG market', and it is easily done with beer smith or some such.

    Overall, glad I got the book, but I prefer (and recommend to anyone with an interest in vintage beers) his other books - Bitter! is, as far as I can make out, simply the documentation of an obsession! Really want to get his Mild! and Strong!.

    For those who want to view his recipes, here is a link to all his 'lets Brew Wednesday' listings - http://www.unholymess.com/blog/lets-brew

    I had a crack at his 1848 Russian Imperial Stout in Nov., which was fantastic - until it got an infection in the corny :-(


    Simon
     
  4. Jan 26, 2014 #4

    Good Ed

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    I've just ordered this, and am also planning on getting his Mild book.

    I think the reference to 6 row and 2 row is simply from the old recipes, grain and hops were sourced from all over the world as the UK market just wasn't big enough. I've just done my first beer from one of Ron's recipes and I'm planning more. His brewing partner Kirsten England http://www.unholymess.com/blog/ does quite a lot of explaining on the blog about the make up of the recipes and will encourage you to use different types and varieties of pale malt, such as Optic, Halcyon etc, and Scottish and Continental pale malts.

    I really enjoy Ron's blog and I'm constantly going back to read old stuff, what a life he has drinking beer and writing about it :drink:
     
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  5. Jan 26, 2014 #5

    dennisking

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    He does state that in the book. In days gone by we had to import a lot of grain. Not now and I'm proud to say my late father in law was in charge of the project, starting in the late 60s, to make us self sufficient in grain. It was achieved in the early 80s.
     
  6. Jan 28, 2014 #6

    Good Ed

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    Got my copy yesterday, and have had a look through. Published in America, so as Dennis says slanted to the US market. I checked with Ron and the recipes are for 6 US gallons, which is 22.7L, pretty much what we are used to.

    It is really a recipe book as it says on the cover, although the few pages of history are good, I would suggest buying his other books if you want to read in depth about each style, and it does lack that humour that is in his writing on his blog.

    Overall worth the price if you are interested in brewing historic beers.
     
  7. Jan 28, 2014 #7

    Bopper

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    I've got about 100 recipes from http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com , how many recipe are in the book? I absolutely love the historic recipes especially form the 60's and 70's as i can remember drinking some of them!

    P.S- US 6 gallon is = 5 gallon imperial

    Richard
     
  8. Jan 29, 2014 #8

    Dr Mike

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    I recognise one or two recipes as having been on the blog but I think the overwhelming majority are new. One thing I've noticed on the Blog recipes is that the hopping rate is often inconsistent between Ron's tables of the original beers and the Homebrew version of the recipes (have a look at the 1868 version of the Younger's XP recipe). This doesn't appear to be an issue with the book as all the recipes seem to have quantity of hops you would expect.

    A couple of omissions I've noticed in the book are that no mention is made of Dry Hopping rates (I understand this was not always well recorded in the original logs but some general guidelines for each style would have been nice) and that although there are details of mash temps, no mash times are given. For mash temps, I'd be inclined to ignore some of the suggestions and try to shoot for one that will get the right attenuation with the yeast you choose. There are also a few typos one page in the narrative section appears to be missing a table.

    Overall though still an interesting book to dip in and out of and I will doubtless do a few of the recipes. As others have said, the narrative is not as chatty as you expect from reading Ron's blog.
     
  9. Jan 30, 2014 #9

    SimonS

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    I have noticed a few variations in hop rates between beers also. I suspect that the old brewers used to brew in a different way to us. While we expect a recipe to be exact to the decimal place, I believe that they were less precise, and used what was to hand a lot of the time. I also understand that with parti-gyle (I think that is what it is called) they used to mix the different worts so they could be exactly on the money with the OG every time - must make arriving at the recipe for homebrew a very difficult (and impressive) feat. Likewise, how carefully did they measure they temperature in the early 1800s?

    I do wonder if any two batches leaving the brewery tasted the same!
     
  10. Feb 3, 2014 #10

    patto1ro

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    The hopping rates varied between winter and summer - more hops in the summer, fewer in winter. And they'd change hopping rates when they changed the hops they were using.

    They measured the temperatures very carefully, both mashing and fermentation. The mash temperatures are very constant between different batches.
     
  11. Feb 3, 2014 #11

    patto1ro

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    All the recipes in the book are new, though some are similar to ones I've posted on the blog.
     
  12. Feb 3, 2014 #12

    dennisking

    dennisking

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    Thank you for replying Ron
     
  13. Feb 12, 2014 #13

    patto1ro

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  14. Feb 15, 2014 #14

    SimonS

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    Cheers Ron, that is appreciated. I will be getting a cook on soon.

    Incidentally, has anyone else been banned from 'breaking bad' euphemisms when brewing?
     

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