Nice collection but not super thorough,
This review is from: Beer and Ingredients, The Ultimate Beer Ingredient Guide, What does What (Kindle Edition)
This is actually the second real review since the five star review was by the author. That bothered me but I looked at the sample anyway.
The first review knocked the book mostly because it is all info you can find on the internet. While that is true there is value in having all in one place that you can bring with you. At $9 it was over priced, at $.99 I think it is more than fair. After all we have all wasted more than that on some stupid app that didn't work.
So the book. Well for the Kindle the formatting is pretty bad. The table of contents is not formatted correctly so that some entries show on the same line most wrap. The combo makes it very hard to read. I have my fount a bit larger on the Kindle that I do on other things so I thought maybe it was me. So I shrunk the font and when it was at the next to smallest (pretty hard to read) it came out better but there was still wrapping issues and double entries on the same line. I think the author had this as a print out and then just "published" it with out checking how it would translate.
Chapters are also don't have page breaks so it all runs together. This isn't awful but it could have been a lot better.
I could only see the grains in the sample but I suspect that the other areas are covered about the same.
Grains were OK. The info IS handy to have in one place and the descriptions are better than in many places you might look. They do lack #'s as in moisture content enzyme potential color values, etc BUT they are all mentioned in a general way as in "low moisture" and some ball park color values. And truthfully that is probably fine. I would have preferred actual # ranges but that does vary a bit batch to batch so...
My bigger complaint on the grains is the lack of more coverage. The major grains by the major malters are there but that covers less than half of what I can get locally. And the malter I use the most (Canada Malting) isn't listed at all. Nor are three or four malters that I use.
This is probably because he compiled the data before the explosion of malt that is now available, but it still impacts the usefulness of the book.
My recommendation is that if you don't already have a reference for this info it's a good buy. I may get it just because the malt descriptions are pretty good and that helps when your thinking of reformulating something. For hops and yeast the iPhone app "Get Hoppy" is probably a better deal since it's db is updated and this book will continue to get more dated as more things come on the home-brew market.
I gave it three starts because I think that is about what it deserves. That is what the authors five star rating adjusted the first reviewers unfair (since the price change) review.
I think right now it's a legit three star. If the formatting were improved and coverage was a bit more comprehensive I would go four to five stars. Actually if all that were updated and it was still $.99 then I think five stars.
It's unfortunate that you can't get "updates" to the book but even if I bought this at $.99 I would happily buy an improved version for $.99.
Hope this helps people trying to figure out if this is worth the download.