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Cellarmanship Paperback – April 1, 2011
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i don't know--- I read the same book as the 1 star reviewer did. it was written (this is his 5th revised edition over 30 odd years) by someone who clearly knows what they are talking about. and contrary to the negative opinion, it was all about cellarmanship of "real ale", meaning to say "cask conditioned", as opposed to artificially carbonated beer, stored in, and served out of kegs. this is not intended for a "new homebrewer" as [the 1 star reviewer] identified himself. this book answered pretty much every question I had about how cask conditioned ale and beer are stored, handled and tapped. and also recognizing, fixing, and preventing problems that are unique to this specialized endeavor. perhaps the 1 star reviewer didn't understand what he was buying. it happens sometimes. I'm sure he can resell the book quite easily---not to worry, and have another homebrew. I will just quote 3 sentences from the introduction: "This book is intended as a textbook. Its aim is neither to imbue cask-conditioned beer, real ale, with any rosy glow of nostalgia nor to put forward any polemical position. It simply recognizes that caring for cask-conditioned beer, a product now almost unique to Great Britain, requires some learnt skills and techniques. ..." I've been homebrewing for more than 25 years. I found the book interesting. if I can just say one more thing here: this author believes that cask conditioned, (which is the same basic principle as bottle conditioned) makes for a superior tasting beer. I fully agree with this argument, but some homebrewers don't agree about this, and that debate will continue. however, this author also states that cask conditioned (live) beer requires some special handling and specific knowledge because it is not the same as factory made kegged (dead) beer, which is force carbonated, and force fed to the tap. I don't see much to debate about this second point. this textbook hopes to offer a reference for those who want to learn something about cellarmanship, hence the name of the book. I really think [the 1 star] review was way off base.
For those interested in learning more about cask packaging and serving, this is a good reference.