Historical Interest

Recipe Menu


My Daddy's Beer Recipe

Back to menu Source: Stephen Hansen (hansen@gloworm.Stanford.edu) Digest: Issue #462, 7/18/90 Ingredients:
Procedure: In a large (3 gallon) porcelain pan, add 3 quarts water and bring to boil. Add sugar, stirring. Bring back up to boil and add 1 can of malt. Return to boil again and let simmer for 15 minutes. Fill large glass 1/2 full of luke warm water (not over 130 degrees) and add rice, yeast, and salt. Clean crock and fill 1/3 full of warm water. Pour in wort. Add cold water to within 3 inches of top. Add yeast solution and cover. After 6- 10 hours remove foam with wire strainer. Let sit until hydrometer says "bottle." Fill bottles, adding 1/2 teaspoon sugar to each. Cap and let stand 21 days. Comments: Back when I first started making beer (about 20 years ago now)I actually made several batches using this recipe. The results varied from barely drinkable to snail bait. I especially like his comparison in the last line of the original---"This should make 5 cases of pint bottles of beer equal to or superior to Millers High Life." 259

Roses for Arthur

Back to menu Source: Ye Olde Batte (mhalley%mun.BITNET) Digest: 11/31/88 Ingredients:
Procedure: Fill a glass container with rose petals. Cover with water and let set, covered by a clean cloth, for 3 days. Strain water through a cloth and measure. Add to it, one quarter of its volume of white sugar. Set in a glass jar or crock, add a pinch of dry yeast and stir well. When it is sparkling (3 days to a week), put into beer or champagne bottles and cap. Age 1-6 months. Comments: This recipe comes from a booklet called The Delicious Rose by Geraldine Duncann. It was called Rose Melemell, although it has no honey. This is an effervescent brew with a hint of summer roses. 260

Prohibition Pilsner

Back to menu Source: Robb Holmes (RHOLMES@uga.cc.uga.edu) Digest: Issue #805, 1/20/92 Ingredients:
Procedure: Dissolve syrup and sugar in boiling hot water---pour into cold water to make five gallons---allow to further cool for two hours, then add one cake yeast. Cover crock or other fermenting vessel with clean cloth. Keep in a cool, dark place. Watch carefully and when bubbles of gas cease coming to surface fermentation has been completed and liquor should be quite clear (approximately four days). Now siphon off clear liquid to another clean crock, leaving the thick sediment behind. To the liquor in the second crock add 1/4 pound granu- lated sugar and stir until dissolved. Fill into bottle by siphoning or pouring. Cap and immediately store in a cool dark place. The beverage will be ready for use when clear---requires one to two weeks. Comments: One crock can be eliminated if the liquid is siphoned directly into the bottles from the fermented crock. In this case, place 1/2 teaspoon sugar in each pint or one teaspoon in each quart bottle. Best consistent re- sults can be obtained if a five gallon bottle is used instead of a crock for the fermenting vessel, using a water seal. All vessels and tubing should be entirely clear and sanitary before use. A 2-3% warm lye solu- tion is an excellent one for the purpose. Rinse with water after the use of lye solution. Use of Hydrometer is not necessary if the above direc- tions are followed. The specific gravity at the time of bottling will however, be 1.012 - 1.016. This is the third and final installment of traditional "Prohibition Pilsner" recipes received anonymously, presumably from the makers of Blue Ribbon malt syrup, in the mid-1970's. Previous installments of Historical Homebrew appeared in Homebrew Digest # 795 and # 800. This is posted here purely for historical interest, and not as a recommended recipe, although the techniques called for here seem to be much closer to currently recommended procedures for beginning brewers, than in the earlier historical postings. The format of the original is retained as much as possible. 261

Blue Ribbon 1

Back to menu Source: Robb Holmes (rholmes@uga.cc.uga.edu) Digest: Issue #795, 1/6/92 Ingredients:
Procedure: Dissolve sugar and malt syrup in 6 quarts of hot water. Stir until dis- solved. Pour 14 quarts of cold water into a crock that has been scoured with Arm & Hammer baking soda and rinsed with clear water. Add hot solu- tion of malt, sugar, and water. The temperature should be about 65F. Dissolve a cake of compressed or dehydrated yeast in a small quantity of luke warm water (about 8 ounces of 75F water) and add to crock. Stir thoroughly. Cover crock with clean cloth and allow to ferment 4 or 5 days. Skim off foam after first and second days. Siphon beer into 12 ounce bottles. Before siphoning, place a scant 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into each bottle. Cap and allow to remain at 60-70F for 7-10 days. Cool and consume. Things to remember: Cleanliness of utensils, including bottles, siphon hose, crowns and crock is essential for good results. Wash everything in soda solution or detergentbefore and after each batch. A 7 or 9 gallon crock can be used to prevent messy foam-over. Many consumer failures can be averted by using a starter consisting of: 1 package of yeast, 2 ounces of sugar, 1 pint of 72F water. Let starter stand for 3-4 hours before mixing into crock with malt solution. Comments: Around 1975 or '76, the first time I got interested in brewing, I bought a can of the mysterious Blue Ribbon malt syrup. The label invited me to write to Premier malt products for a recipe book, and I did. A few weeks later it arrived: a well-produced, four-color print job with recipes for using malt syrup in cakes, cookies, biscuits and the like, but not a word about making beer. A few weeks later a plain brown envelope with no return address appeared in the mail. Inside were two mimeographed sheets of beer recipes---including this recipe. 262

Blue Ribbon 2

Back to menu Source: Robb Holmes (rholmes@uga.cc.uga.edu) Digest: Issue #795, 1/6/92 Ingredients:
Procedure: Dissolve malt syrup and sugar in 2 quarts of hot water. Pour into crock and add 18-20 quarts of cold water. Mix yeast in lukewarm water (70F). With wooden spoon, gently stir into malt and sugar mix. Cover with clean cloth and ferment at room temperature (68-70F). Skim off foam for first 3 days. Fermentation is complete when no more bubbles appear (about 4 or 5 days). If tester or hydrometer is used, be sure red line is at sur- face. Gelatin may be used to settle yeast. Dissolve two small envelopes of Knox gelatin in hot water. Pour gelatin over top of brew in crock about a day before you plan to bottle. Wash bottles and put scant 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in each, fill within an inch and a half and cap. Tip bottles upside down once and store upright in warm place (70-75F). Things to watch: 1) If beer is cloudy or gritty, you disturbed the sedi- ment by shaking or pouring too fast, 2) If beer tastes flat, you either bottled too late or did not allow it to age long enough, 3) If beer foams up or tastes airy, you bottled too soon. Comments: This recipe also came from the mimeographed sheet of beer recipes pro- vided by Premier Malt Products in the 1970's. 263

Major Thomas Fenner's Receipt to Make Bear

Back to menu Source: Thomas Manteufel (tomm@pet.med.ge.com) Digest: Issue #748, 10/25/91 Ingredients:
Comments: I made this after two Civil War beers (bay leaf/ginger and the spruce beer). I had molasses and the barm from the second Civil War beer, so I brewed this. I used 2 ounces of hops. (It really doesn't make much dif- ference what kind. The water is pretty bitter after boiling for an hour.) I let it ferment a week before bottling. It is undrinkable by modern standards. The only flavor is the bitterness of the molasses, followed by the hop bitterness. The flavors never melded; there is just the distinct double bitterness. One pound of molasses is about one pint in volume. Most of these historical beer recipes can be found in Brewed in America, by Stanley Baron. 265

Pumpkin Ale

Back to menu Source: Thomas Manteufel (tomm@pet.med.ge.com) Digest: Issue #748, 10/25/91 Receipt for Pompion Ale: Let the Pompion be beaten in a Trough and pressed as Apples. The expres- sed Juice is to be boiled in a Copper a considerable Time and carefully skimmed that there may be no Remains of the fibrous Part of the Pulp. After that Intention is answered let the Liquor be hopped cooled fer- mented &c. as Malt Beer. Comments: An anonymous recipe for pumpkin ale appeared in the papers of the American Philosophical Society in February, 1771. The author notes that he obtained this recipe from someone who claimed this tasted like malt ale, with only a slight "twang". After two years in the bottle, this twang had mellowed to an acceptable level. 266

Malt Liquors

Back to menu Source: Thomas Manteufel (tomm@pet.med.ge.com) Digest: Issue #748, 10/25/91 Directions for Brewing Malt Liquors: You are first to have ready the following Implements, a mash Vat, to put your malt in; a Vessel under this to receive the Wort in; a Copper to boil in; a Rudder to stir your malt with, and Vessels to cool your Liquor in; First then fill your Copper with water, take then 6 Bushels of Malt and put into your mash Vat, leaving about a Peck to sprinkle over the Liquor when in, Let your water simper, and be in the next degree of boiling but not boil; lay it on upon the Malt well ground, and when you have laid on such a quantity as you can draw off a Barrel of Wort, stir the malt well together with your Rudder; and then sprinkle the remaining Peck of Malt over all covering it up with Cloths to keep the heat in; for three hours; only when it have stood an hour and half draw off a pail full or two; and lay it on again to clear your tap hole. This done the next Business is to boil a Copper of Water, to scald your other Vessels with; always taking care to have a Copper of Liquor hot to lay on, upon the malt when you draw off the first Wort, and this will be for small Beer. The three hours now expired; let go (as the Term is) which is let the first wort run off, putting into the Vessel which re- ceives it a pound of Hops; when all drawn off lay on the hot Liquor for your small Beer, clean out your Copper and put the wort, Hops and all into the Copper and boil it for two hours; strain it then off thro: a Sieve into your Vessels to cool it; and put your small Beer into Copper and the same hops that come out of the first Beer and boil it an hour. When both are almost cool add Yeast to them; to set it to work, breaking the head in every time it rises; till it works itself clear and tun in; Bung it up with Clay and keep it in your Cellar, in three months you may bottle the strong Beer, the other in a weeks time will be fit to drink. Comments: From the letters of Joseph Clarke, general treasurer of the Rhode Island colony, sometime around 1775. 267

Green Corn Stalk Beer

Back to menu Source: Thomas Manteufel (tomm@pet.med.ge.com) Digest: Issue #748, 10/25/91 Procedure: The stalks, green as they were, as soon as pulled up, were carried to a convenient trough, then chopped and pounded so much, that, by boiling, all the juice could be extracted out of them; which juice every planter almost knows is of saccharine a quality almost as any thing can be, and that any thing of a luxuriant corn stalk is very full of it, ... After this pounding, the stalks and all were put into a large copper, there lowered down it its sweetness with water, to an equality with common observations in malt wort, and then boiled, till the liquor in a glass is seen to break, as the breweres term it; after that it is strained, and boiled again with hops. The beer I drank had been made above twenty days, and bottled off about four days. Comments: Published in the Virginia Gazette on Feb. 14, 1775. A family recipe by Landon Carter. 268

General Amherst's Spruce Beer

Back to menu Source: Thomas Manteufel (tomm@pet.med.ge.com) Digest: Issue #748, 10/25/91 Procedure: Take 7 Pounds of good spruce & boil it well till the bark peels off, then take the spruce out & put three Gallons of Molasses to the Liquor & and boil it again, scum it well as it boils, then take it out the kettle & put it into a cooler, boil the remained of the water sufficient for a Barrel of thirty Gallons, if the kettle is not large enough to boil it together, when milkwarm in the Cooler put a pint of Yest into it and mix well. Then put it into a Barrel and let it work for two or three days, keep filling it up as it works out. When done working, bung it up with a Tent Peg in the Barrel to give it vent every now and then. It may be used in up to two or three days after. If wanted to be bottled it should stand a fortnight in the Cask. It will keep a great while. Comments: From the journal of General Jeffrey Amherst, governor-general of British North America. 269

Benjamin Franklin's Spruce Beer

Back to menu Source: Thomas Manteufel (tomm@pet.med.ge.com) Digest: Issue #748, 10/25/91 A Way of Making Beer with Essence of Spruce: For a Cask containing 80 bottles, take one pot of Essence and 13 Pounds of Molases. - or the same amount of unrefined Loaf Sugar; mix them well together in 20 pints of hot Water: Stir together until they make a Foam, then pour it into the Cask you will then fill with Water: add a Pint of good Yeast, stir it well together and let it stand 2 or 3 Days to ferment, after which close the Cask, and after a few days it will be ready to be put into Bottles, that must be tightly corked. Leave them 10 or 12 Days in a cool Cellar, after which the Beer will be good to drink. Comments: Translated from the french while he was stationed in France. 270

Metheglin of My Lady Windebanke

Back to menu Source: Jacob Galley (gal2@midway.uchicago.edu) Digest: Issue #761, 11/15/91 A Receipt for Metheglin of My Lady Windebanke: Take four Gallons of water; add to it, these Herbs and Spices following. Pellitory of the Wall, Sage, Thyme, of each a quarter of a handful, as much Clove gilly-flowers, with half as much Borage and Bugloss flowers, a little Hyssop, Five or six Eringo-roots, three or four Parsley-roots: one Fennel-root, the pith taken out, a few Red-nettle-roots, and a little Harts-tongue. Boil these Roots and Herbs half an hour; Then take out the Roots and Herbs, and put in the Spices grosly beaten in a Canvass-bag, viz. Cloves, Mace, of each half an Ounce, and as much Cinnamon, of Nutmeg an Ounce, with two Ounces of Ginger, and a Gallon of Honey: boil all these together half an hour longer, but do not skim it at all: let it boil in, and set it a cooling after you have taken it off the fire. When it is cold, put six spoonfuls of barm to it, and let it work twelve hours at least; then Tun it, and put a little Limon-peel into it: and then you may bottle it, if you please. Comments: This is from The Closet of Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt. Opened (London: H. Brome, 1669) (Reproduced without permission, naturally.) 271

Sir TJ's Mead

Back to menu Source: Ken Hinson (math5d@vtcc1.cc.vt.edu) Ingredients:
Procedure: Combine the above ingredients with 1/2 gallon of water per total gallons desired, boiling and skimming until no more scum appears. Pour into primary fermenter, add: 1 stick cinnamon and top off to five gallons with cool water. Upon the wort reaching 75 degrees F, pitch Red Star Chanpagne yeast and cap with a ferment- ation lock. Upon a visible ces- sation of fermentation (around 3 weeks) rack into a secondary fermenter with fermentation lock and allow to age. Rack every month after until drunk. May be drunk after 3 weeks. (he suggests also adding 2 tbsps of lemon juice and a cup of strong black tea.) Comments: I've never tried this recipe, so I can't vouch for how good it is, but the basic elements are there. Recipe is based on The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digby Kt. Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wine, &c.. 272

Weak Honey Drink

Back to menu Source: Ken Hinson (math5d@vtcc1.cc.vt.edu) Procedure: Put in a six-quart pot one pint of honey and nine pints of water (spring water is suggested but not necessary). Stir well, dissolving the honey. Boil for about 30 minutes, skimming off the foam as it rises to the surface. About 1 minute before you remove the liquid from the heat, throw in a teaspoon of rinsed, sliced, or broken ginger (powdered will not do the right thing) and about the same amount of the rind of an orange (eat the rest of the orange). Set the mead aside for a few hours till it be lukewarm (5 hours is more than enough) and then add yeast to the mead, stirring well. Mead yeast is the real yeast to use, but any wine yeast will do. Do not use brewer's yeast or ale yeast. Let the mead stand a day or two (you can wait as much as a week if you want); then bottle it in clean bottles. In a few days it is drinkable, I like to wait a week. Comments: This recipe was taken from the SCA's Known World Handbook in an article written by Michael Tighe (Sir Michael of York). (My notes on above recipe: play with the flavorings! If you don't like giner, try using nutmeg instead. This produces a very low alcohol drink, yet well-carbonated and sweet to the taste, though not cloying.) A few other things: Metheglin is fun to make: what I did was used honey/water ratios suggested for a generic mead, then went to the local health-food store and browsed in the spice section ("This smells good - grab a handful") Nothing scientific about this---a little of this and that. DON'T boil these herbs and spices in your wort! Instead, make a "tea" and add that to the wort as you pitch your yeast. For any spices or herbs you use, never use the powdered stuff out of the jar if you can avoid it. Powdered cloves just don't have the same taste as whole cloves (by the way, for nutmegs: if you don't have a nutmeg grinder, use a hammer!) Finally: to boil or not to boil. A friend made an unboiled mead and when he bottled it wound up with a wax deposit on the bottom 1/2 inch in his bottles. No harm, but esthetically icky. 273

Prohibition Chicago Style

Back to menu Source: Bruce T. Hill (dannet!bruce@uunet.UU.NET) Digest: Issue #788, 12/23/91 Ingredients:
Procedure: Bring one gallon water to boiling point using a pan large enough to hold water, malt syrup and corn sugar. Add malt syrup and stir until mixed. Stir in corn sugar slowly until dissolved. Settler should be mixed in with sugar at this time for best results.history:prohibition Place crock on box or chair (not on floor), pour in three gallons of luke warm water, then add hot ingredients. Now add sufficient luke warm water to make 5 and 1/2 gallons of liquid in the 6 gallon crock. Dissolve yeast in cup of luke warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow mixture to stand until yeast starts working, usually within 1/2 hour. Add the working yeast to mixture in crock and stir until mixed throughly. Chill before serving. When pouring, slant bottle and glass and pour slowly to prevent clouding. If it is cloudy or tastes gritty, you have disturbed the sediment by shaking it up or by pouring too fast. If it tastes "flat" you either bottled it too late, or did not allow it to age long enough. If it tends to foam up or tastes "airy", you bottled it too soon. The mixture had not completed. Use of tester. Tester is accurate when it is kept at uniform 65 or 70. The tester will settle the first day between 3 and 6. This is the approximate alcohol content. When the tester settles to 1/2% or the red line "B" it is ready to bottle. If the test settles to "W" it means it is too flat. Taste to determine if it has turned sour. If not, then add one teaspoon of sugar to the quart of 1/2 teaspoon to the pint before capping, to resotre life to it. In the event it has soured, it is spoiled. 274 Comments: My sister-in-law's mother gave this following recipe to me. It dates back to the 1930's. They grew up in a predominantly Polish part of Chicago where it was traditional to make home-made beer for festive occasions (like Christmas!). The recipe is pretty rough by our modern homebrewing standards, but it shows that the homebrewing spirit was alive and well several decades ago.