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Make Your Own Beer (Paperback)

A Guide to All Things Beer and How to Brew it Yourself

Photographic Books Colour Books Arts and Crafts White Owl

By John Shepherd
Imprint: White Owl
Series: Make Your Own
Pages: 104
Illustrations: 120 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526769978
Published: 17th November 2020

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The primary aim is to create an accessible and practical guide to home brewing, covering all aspects of the process. The intended outcome is that somebody following the guide, would be able to brew a number of different style of beers of good quality and take pleasure from both the process and the end product.

Practically, the book will also offer some introductory, but very useful, information on other issues that are relevant to the home brewer; equipment and the cost versus benefit of different types, beer styles and flavours and an understanding of key, quality ingredients.

The photography will fit this approach in that images will be useful and show helpful details but also be professionally shot and be more than just functional; they will be good to look at.

The style of the book will be engaging and personal, in that it is intended to guide the reader through the process as something enjoyable, rather than approach it in a purely step by step approach. It is also intended to be light-hearted and, above all, readable and so could be enjoyed by someone actually brewing beer or someone who just wants an interesting way into the topic.

This was such a great book. It was simple to read and understand, without making you feel like a dummy. I liked that it included a lot of pictures and the captions were funny. I thought this is a great addition to any home-brewer's library.

NetGalley, Jennifer Darnell

The book has a logical and accessible layout. The introduction provides a capsule history of modern zymurgy, changing beer styles, and the renaissance of craft beers. The following chapters provide an overview of the scope and reasonable possibilities for home-brewing through a very well written tutorial through the process: equipment, ingredients, preparation, mash & sparge (don't worry, understandable definitions are provided), hopping, transfer, fermentation, packaging, storage, and further exploration/experimentation. There are several appendices which give examples of record keeping brew sheets and brew-kit equipment.

This would make a great gift for a keen beginner or intermediate hobbyist. Four stars.

NetGalley, Annie Buchanan

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book on beer making. I've read many of these, I mean many. I've been homebrewing for over 12 years and still check out new books on the topic as it is ever evolving and changing. This one covers a great process of where to start and where, when and what to upgrade. As well as how to go about making custom recipes, and most importantly when to move into the more complex brewing styles and how to build up to it.
It also has a really well done history of beer, most of these books have similar approaches to this so it's not really new information. I just think it was presented well. The whole book reads like a story vs a text book. It has great reference material and if you go through it to learn how to brew beer and expand your home-brewery you won't be left out to dry here.

NetGalley, Ken Stojevich

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The comprehensive book is a must for anyone with an interest in brewing. It’s gives an overview of the history of brewing and gives clear advice on how to brew. It tells you what you need, what you can adapt and how you can improve. If you have never brewed before- this is the book for you. If you have brewed before but want some more ideas this is your go to guide. Fabulously detailed, guide book.

NetGalley, Jackie Oldfield

Very thoroughly written book about home brewing. There is a lot of in-depth knowledge, and it’s easy to spot that the author has a lot of experience regarding the subject. There are clear instructions about what you need, what you need to do and when, with pictures. The guidance through the process of brewing beer at home is excellent.

There are great explanations about the ingredients, but not too much so that it would confuse a keen newbie. Extra points for pointing out the importance of cleaning! It can never be emphasized enough. In fact, I believe that is were many go wrong. It is naturally the least exciting bit about brewing. However, if you’re not going to give it the attention it needs I don’t see a point in brewing your own beer. By following the instructions in this book you should be able to brew yourself some tasty beers!

NetGalley, Tove R

About John Shepherd

John Shepherd has been home brewing for many years and he had been running a video production company for ten years when, in 2013, he and a friend decided to set up, from scratch, a craft brewery.


Not coming from a brewing industry background, the only thing they knew about the market prior to setting up the brewery was that people like different types of beers and so that was their goal: to produce a beer for everyone and anyone, but always of the absolute best quality. From lagers to stouts, bitters to pale ales, they believed that whatever your taste; everyone deserves a good beer.


Six years on, having won a number of awards and sold lots of different beers, John stepped back from the brewery on a day to day basis to focus on writing. He is working on other “how to” guides as well as a screenplay, a book of short stories and has successfully submitted comedy material to the BBC.

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