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Old 07-14-2011, 12:25 AM   #11
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Salt could be the hop replacement of the time. Just a guess.

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:36 AM   #12
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Surely the malt extract has hops in it. If not .... ewwwww gross.

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Old 07-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ghpeel View Post
Surely the malt extract has hops in it. If not .... ewwwww gross.
Yes, it was hopped malt extract, which since they touted it during homebrew prohibition as an additive for baking, must have made for some very hoppy cookies. Cascade macaroons anyone?

I posted a couple of the baking recipes using that extract from the old days in my beer history thread.

The salt was more than likely rudimentry water chemistry adjustments, or something else. But the extracts were hopped.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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The salt doesn't surprise me all that much, especially since the OP is from Virginia (Huck, is your uncle from the South as well?)... My wife's grandmother used to always salt her beer, and I take it to be a relatively common thing done in the South in the old days. She was originally from Opelika, AL. So that might be a deliberate part of the recipe.

I'm actually going to be doing a gose for my next batch, which is a beer with added salt, and naming the beer after said [now deceased] grandmother...

One thing I'd look into is the type of salt available at the time. I know the gose recipe calls for sea salt or kosher salt, as I think modern iodized salt could affect yeast health (at least intuitively, as iodophor is an iodine-based sanitizer). According to Wikipedia, iodized salt began being sold nationally in the 1920's, but it would be unclear what your uncle used...

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Old 07-14-2011, 06:45 PM   #15
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I remember my aunt's & uncles on dad's side putting salt in their beer to kill the head. It made it taste bitter to me,& that was just a sprinkle. I think that's way to much salt. He must've had water PH problems. A lot more wells & hand pumps next to the sink in those days when I was a kid.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:59 PM   #16
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Salt isn't going to make it taste bitter, if anything it should accentuate the malt. It is after all sodium chloride. Chloride is going to smooth or cut the bitterness and accentuate the malt. Same as if you were to adjust your water.

That recipe looks interesting. My guess is he also had some house yeast in there as well that probably did the bulk of the fermenting after the many generations that he pitched right into the crock sans sanitation.

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Old 07-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #17
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Salt isn't going to make it taste bitter, if anything it should accentuate the malt. It is after all sodium chloride. Chloride is going to smooth or cut the bitterness and accentuate the malt. Same as if you were to adjust your water.

That recipe looks interesting. My guess is he also had some house yeast in there as well that probably did the bulk of the fermenting after the many generations that he pitched right into the crock sans sanitation.
+1, sounds interesting. I think I may give this a try, open fermented and all. Probably sub dry yeast for the cake though or re-pitch something. Sounds like a good reason to have a little cookout/party... then my friends can share the pain if it's bad, lord knows they drink enough of the good brew but I really wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:54 PM   #18
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I'd definitely go with a Kosher salt instead of table salt. Kosher salt is lighter by volume than table salt. So 1/4 cup kosher salt will be less "salty" than the equivalent volume of table salt.

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Old 07-14-2011, 09:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bwarbiany View Post
The salt doesn't surprise me all that much, especially since the OP is from Virginia (Huck, is your uncle from the South as well?)... My wife's grandmother used to always salt her beer, and I take it to be a relatively common thing done in the South in the old days. She was originally from Opelika, AL. So that might be a deliberate part of the recipe.

I'm actually going to be doing a gose for my next batch, which is a beer with added salt, and naming the beer after said [now deceased] grandmother...

One thing I'd look into is the type of salt available at the time. I know the gose recipe calls for sea salt or kosher salt, as I think modern iodized salt could affect yeast health (at least intuitively, as iodophor is an iodine-based sanitizer). According to Wikipedia, iodized salt began being sold nationally in the 1920's, but it would be unclear what your uncle used...
No, my great uncle was from a small town in CT. I live in Virginia at the request of the department of defense and should not be looked upon as identifying with a sub-cultural practice such as the obviously barbarous salting a perfectly good glass of beer. However I must also offer that I was raised in Phoenix, AZ and have often been told that the heat destroyed more brain cells than any amount of beer I have ever consumed.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:18 PM   #20
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Yes, it was hopped malt extract, which since they touted it during homebrew prohibition as an additive for baking, must have made for some very hoppy cookies.
Actually, that sounds good. Maybe dark chocolate cookies... I may have to try this.
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