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Old 04-04-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
IowaBrewMan
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Default Old Old School Brewing techniques

So I went over to my grandma's house today and she was asking me about my latest homebrew. She then proceeded to tell me about how her dad use to brew beer back in the depression era. She actually gave me the thermometer that he use to use on his batches. I'm pretty pumped she was able to find that. I was hoping she knew a little bit about his beer because i thought it would be cool to try to create a batch that i think would resemble what he brew. She couldn't remember anything other then it was a always a very light malt. I assume it was just a light pilsner. What do you guys think? also she said that he use to brew it in a big 10 gallon tub and store it behind the stove with just a towel over the top so nothing would get in it. Is it possible to ferment beer without an airlock or do you think she is just remembering it wrong?

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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No its very possible. Look at old Belgian Brewerys. Openm shallow tubs,

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaBrewMan View Post
Is it possible to ferment beer without an airlock or do you think she is just remembering it wrong?
Sure. I used to do it that way years ago. I used a carboy for the secondary and my primary bucket had no lid. I just rubber-banded a towel to the top and transfered after primary fermentation. With solid sanitation and a undisturbed fermentation location, I bet you could leave the beer in a bucket with a towel on top for a few weeks with no problems.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:05 PM   #4
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thanks guys, i'm pretty pumped to know my great grandpa use to brew his own stuff so i'm definitely going to try to brew up some of my own like he did. do you think back then a blonde ale was the primary beer they home brewed?

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Old 04-05-2011, 12:53 AM   #5
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try looking up a CAP recipe (classic american pilsner)

very cool, by the way.

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Old 04-05-2011, 01:07 AM   #6
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I have always been fascinated with the depression era brewing too. My wife's dad worked at Falstaff here in Galveston for years. Her grand dad used to brew during that era at home. I still have his original recipe. Keep in mind, back in that day, if there was such as thing as a hydrometer, he sure didn't own one. They used a floating thermometer which I still have his original one along with the stone crock. Over time, they could paint a mark on the floating thermometer and basically use it as a rudimentary hydrometer. He was Severt Ivor, President of the Galveston Ice House. The Galveston Ice House was in cahoots with the Galveston Falstaff brewery, after all, that's where you got ice. I love history.

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Old 04-05-2011, 02:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie Mac View Post
I have always been fascinated with the depression era brewing too. My wife's dad worked at Falstaff here in Galveston for years. Her grand dad used to brew during that era at home. I still have his original recipe. Keep in mind, back in that day, if there was such as thing as a hydrometer, he sure didn't own one. They used a floating thermometer which I still have his original one along with the stone crock. Over time, they could paint a mark on the floating thermometer and basically use it as a rudimentary hydrometer. He was Severt Ivor, President of the Galveston Ice House. The Galveston Ice House was in cahoots with the Galveston Falstaff brewery, after all, that's where you got ice. I love history.

That is really cool. I especially like that it is named "beer".
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:11 PM   #8
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I wonder if the malt in the recipe is the kinds of malt syrup that the breweries put out during the great depression? I'd imagine it to be lager or pilsner.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Usually their fermenters were ceramic crocks and they covered them often with pie pans or even just kitchen towels.

If you're interested I have a ton of links old articles and even recipes on my Beer History Sites thread.

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