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Old 04-04-2010, 09:45 PM   #1
BrewOnBoard
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Default Brewing historical beer?

I was hoping to bottle my swartzbier today, but the wind has kicked up to 30 knots which means my house is moving too much and stirring up too much trub to bottle. No worries though, a sailor has to defer to the wind and the extra time sure won't hurt the swartzbier.

As I stare at the sloshing yeasties I find myself thinking about ships of yore with barrels of IPA and other grog. Quite a few barrels too as the british navy ration was a gallon of beer per day for each sailor. (wonder what the abv of that stuff was)

Has anyone ever tried to brew a beer from a real historical recipe? I wonder how different the ingredients of today are and if you could even get close. Still, there must be surviving documents with recipes out there somewhere.

Anyone have a recipe for british admiralty beer? Wouldn't that be fun to try and brew!

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Old 04-04-2010, 10:18 PM   #2
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Not specific to a ship or the navy, but you could brew this guy.

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Old 04-04-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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One of my favorite craft beers is actually a recipe from 1850 brewed with yeast salvaged in 1988 from a ship that sunk in the English Channel in 1825.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elgood%27s_Brewery

Quote:
In 1988, several bottles of the brew were obtained from the sunken ship in the Channel. They were still in their original containers, with their wood stoppers and wax seals intact. When opened, the beer were said to taste like wet boots according to renowned brewer and microbiologist, Dr Keith Thomas.
Upon examining the beer under a microscope, he found a small percentage of the yeast was still alive. He spend months growing this yeast and brewed a porter using an 1850 recipe.
Marketing ploy? Maybe. But it's a pretty good porter.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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Historical recipes tend to involve bushels of grain and barrels of wort. This is a page from the 1881 cyclopedia on brewing. Recipes towards the bottom.

Quote:
To Brew three Barrels of Porter.

Take 1 sack of pale malt, 1/2 a sack of amber malt, and 1/2 a sack of brown malt.

Turn on 2 barrels for first mash at l65°; second mash, 1 1/2 barrels at 172°; third mush, 2 barrels at 142°. Boil 10 lbs. of new and old hops and 2 oz. of porter extract in the first wort. Cool, ferment, and cleanse according to the previous instructions.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:26 AM   #5
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Reminds me of what Pretty Things is doing with their Once Upon a Time project. (Looks like the milds weren't too mild back then...)

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Old 04-05-2010, 08:41 AM   #6
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Read Randy Mosher's 'Radical Brewing' - he has a whole chapter devoted to old time beers and he even has some recipes too.

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Old 04-05-2010, 09:37 AM   #7
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Check out this book http://www.durdenparkbeer.org.uk/Publications.htm

has a load of information, and a load of recipes from the 18-19th Century.

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:24 AM   #8
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Anyone tried any of these old brews? Are they any good? 11% alcohol and a pounds of hops? Makes the cask IPAs of today sound like bud lite!

So the sailors were really drinking a gallon a day of 11% beer eh? Wow.

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:33 AM   #9
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IPA's of old tended to be about 6-7% with the smaller ones being drank domestically and the bigger ones going out on ships.

There are quite a few old recipes available through Google Books but they can be a pain to convert.

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Old 04-07-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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Ship ?, historic beer ? British Admirality ?

Have you seen this documentary film in the making?:

www.arcticalchemy.com

or

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/arctic-alchemy-153577/

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