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-   -   Challenge for the beer jedi's (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/challenge-beer-jedis-256566/)

Huck4Food 07-13-2011 02:05 AM

Challenge for the beer jedi's
I recently got a bootleg beer recipe that my mother found in some old papers she had. It was my great uncles recipe for beer that he made before it was legal to do so in a private home (my mother says she remembers him brewing it in the 50's and early 60's in a shed in the backyard). However it is a very basic recipe that has no hop additions, some sugar added, and unknown yeast strains (it simply calls for a yeast cake). It calls for one tin of extra dry malt extract. I am assuming that malt extract was available for other purposes during this time (i.e. malted milk etc.). My mother was unable to describe the size of the can or brand name, except to state that the closest she has tasted to this beer since is Sleeman's Dark Ale from Canada.

I have been impressed with some of the beer history and sleuthing in these forums so I figured I would throw it to the brewing jedi's and see if I can't try to replicate this for good old time sake. I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of what to try or what was available at the time to try and clone this simple recipe.

passedpawn 07-13-2011 02:07 AM

Blue Ribbon extract was available for a long time after prohibition. Probably that.

Brewing Instructions


Huck4Food 07-13-2011 02:23 AM

Awesome Passedpawn,

Thanks for the input, I'll send my mom a picture of the can and see if I can jog her memory. I can say that my mom helped me brew a witbeir two weeks ago and she laughed about the sanitation that I went through. She remembers my great uncle dumping out the traub and rinsing the crock he fermented in, and then he started another batch in the same dirty crock. No soap, no sanitation, just beer. He had no airlock, he just open fermented the stuff and mom says it tasted better than any beer she has ever had.

passedpawn 07-13-2011 02:35 AM

Maybe you can scan that recipe and post it here. If you have trouble posting a pic, PM me and I'll post it for you.

Revvy 07-13-2011 02:38 AM

Everything you want to know about brewing during the homebrew prohibition can be found in this thread brewing with Premier malt extract.

Evidently the current size is 2.2 pounds in a can.

I posted some of the history of that and even a link to the company (in michigan) that is still making it. It was originally the Pabst blue ribbon company who started making it during prohibition for folks to ahem bake with.

Huck4Food 07-13-2011 08:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the recipe, like I said its basic. The paper was so old I had to invert the color scales when I scanned it just to make it readable. I'm trying to find authentic ingredients for the period to see if I can make this beer and try a recipe that is 50 years+ old and a part of my family's beer making history.

Misplaced_Canuck 07-13-2011 09:03 PM

1/4 cup of salt? Am I reading this right?


Huck4Food 07-13-2011 09:11 PM

Yep. 1/4 cup of salt. I have no idea what it was for but thats the way he made it.

Misplaced_Canuck 07-13-2011 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by Huck4Food (Post 3083809)
Yep. 1/4 cup of salt. I have no idea what it was for but thats the way he made it.

It'll probably be pretty rough but drinkable. I'd omit most (if not all!) of the salt.

As is, I'd expect a cidery (from the sugar) salty (obvious) and rather funky tasting beer (yeast cake).

Red Star still makes yeast cakes: http://www.redstaryeast.com/lessons/yeast_types__usage/cake_yeast.php


Huck4Food 07-14-2011 12:18 AM

Maybe the salt was to balance his water out, but that would imply that he was very particular about his process. However speaking to my mom about it she claims he didn't even measure ingredients so I have no idea what the salt was for.

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