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Old 09-01-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
Cinci-Brewing
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Default Colonial Ale?

I've been reading on Colonial style beer recipes, in preparation of brewing an extract based, Colonial style ale that's a close representation of what a Colonial ale might have tasted like in those day's.

Here's the recipe that I have so far:

8 lbs Pale Malt Extract
4 lbs Wheat Malt Extract
1 lb Molasses
1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings (60 min)
1 oz Cluster Hops (10 min)

My first question is: Would 1 lb of Molasses be to much, and overpower this recipe?

Molasses was a widely used adjunct in the Colonial day's of home brewing, and not only must it be a part of this recipe, but you must be able to tell that It's there in the finished product.

I'm just wondering if 1 lb of molasses is to much to overpower it, and that I should maybe start out with let's say, 1/2 lb of molasses?

My second question is: Corn was also said to be very popular in Colonial brewing, and It's said that cracked local maize was the most likely to be used.

Now if I wanted to incorporate corn into the above recipe, would I be better off with 1 lb or 2 lbs of flaked corn (maize)?

My third question is: It's my understanding that Colonial era beers were very hoppy, like an IPA. I'm wondering if I should use more hops?

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Old 09-01-2012, 01:11 AM   #2
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Subscribed. I am interested in seeing where this beer goes.

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Old 09-01-2012, 01:24 AM   #3
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I remember reading somewhere that herbs were used as well, hops did not appear in the US till after rev war? I could be completely wrong, try the home brewers garden book, has some good history...is this for a reenactment?

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Old 09-01-2012, 04:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy68 View Post
I remember reading somewhere that herbs were used as well, hops did not appear in the US till after rev war? I could be completely wrong, try the home brewers garden book, has some good history...is this for a reenactment?
Nope, I'm brewing this more so to see what a beer might have tasted like back then, but I guess one could use this for a reenactment, it would be reliving history if you could get it down perfect.

I do remember reading in my research so far, that the cluster hops, were the first hops grown in this country, reportedly from the 18th century.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:23 AM   #5
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Good luck, but if you really brewed something they drank then, I think you would be very disappointed. As noted earlier, I think the beer would have been made with herbs, and not hops, and probably have some sour (vinegar) taste to it.

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Old 09-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
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Vinegar? I hardly think they'd have put up with that. Beers were necessarily sour due to how they were produced, but hops were a well-known and commonly used ingredient during this era. In Bavaria, at the time, it was unlawful to not use hops. America has lots of hop plants and imagine some would have been imported from England. That isn't to say that local herbs weren't used instead, but 1776 would have known plenty about hops. Also, sour beers are absolutely fantastic. Vinegar? Not at all.

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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The Native Americans were using hops as medicine probably before they were used in making beer.

bosco

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cordane View Post
Vinegar? I hardly think they'd have put up with that. Beers were necessarily sour due to how they were produced, but hops were a well-known and commonly used ingredient during this era. In Bavaria, at the time, it was unlawful to not use hops. America has lots of hop plants and imagine some would have been imported from England. That isn't to say that local herbs weren't used instead, but 1776 would have known plenty about hops. Also, sour beers are absolutely fantastic. Vinegar? Not at all.
Thanks for the information, I was going to post the same thing, but you beat me to it. Beer's during the Colonial era, are said by those into historical brewing, to not only contain hops, but to be very hoppy beers, like IPA's.

One wonder's if this was done as a preferred taste, or to preserve beer for longer shelf life. Could be both. One thing we do know from reading George Washington's English style porter beer recipe, is that he recommended that the amount of hop's to be used, should be determined by the brewer's taste.

"To Make Small Beer

Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. -- Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask -- leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working -- Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed."


East Kent Golding hops (called East Kent if grown in East Kent), or Kent Golding's (if grown in Mid-Kent), or Golding's (if grown elsewhere in the UK), are a popular English hop that was being grown prior to 1790, and widely cultivated here in the states.

Back to the subject at hand, I'm thinking that I'll start off with a half of pound of molasses, and see what the taste is like. I'm thinking that one pound of molasses might be to strong. What does everyone else think?

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For those of you who are interested, here are some links to a few articles and a video, for more information on historical brewing.

http://historiccamdencounty.com/ccnews116.shtml

http://homecraftedbeer.com/?p=308

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