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Old 11-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #1
ChasidicCalvinist
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Default The founding fathers and home brew

EDIT---This is for the GLUTEN FREE FORUM

So I just got back from a conference outside of Philadelphia. I took my family into Philadelphia for a day so they could see some sights. We stopped by the City Tavern and I saw they had "historical" beers there based on recipes of Jefferson, Washington and Franklin. They had the original recipes available from Washington and Franklin to read. Neither of their beers used barley, wheat or rye. In the book the City Tavern has of their recipes it states that Franklin used molasses and spruce because barley and hops were not available.

One of the entries on their recipes also referenced Theory and Practice of Brewing by Michael Combrune. Which I found online here: http://archive.org/details/theoryandpractic00combiala

What I'm wondering is has anyone looked into historical brewing? I wonder if we study recipes from Colonial America, Great Britain and maybe even Europe, especially prior to the Reinheitsgebot, if we might not be able to find some pretty good recipes for beer that is entirely gluten free.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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It would be a fun project but personally I doubt you would find any new awesome beer.
They used what they could get their hands on.
You might not even recognize some of the brews as being beer.
Still would probably be a fun project though.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:45 AM   #3
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That does sound interesting.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:52 AM   #4
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Brewing historic beer is sort of like living in a log cabin with no electricity or running water. It may sound like a cool adventure but after you've had the luxury of modern technology, you'll likely to be very disappointed in the end.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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I haven't had or made any yet, but mead is "historic" and from what I hear is amazing. I would be interested to see what their old recipes were.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
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This thread may be of interest: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/bre...lasses-141355/

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:22 AM   #7
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Also, the book "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers" by Stephen Harrod Buhner is chock full of historical recipes, many of which are gluten-free. You might enjoy it, provided you can tolerate his paganist proclivities.

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris7687 View Post
I haven't had or made any yet, but mead is "historic" and from what I hear is amazing. I would be interested to see what their old recipes were.
Mead is good, and ancient. It is also fairly unchanged since it's such a simple recipe.

I would bet that some of the historic wines could be good also, although they may not resemble what you think of wine as.
Various distilled fruits would have probably been common. Apple cider would have been a big one if you were in the right area.

All these things were based on what was available local for he most part.

If you were in the Northeast corner of the United States, that doesn't include much grain.

There might be some decent corn based recipes that would be sort of recognizable, but I would bet that most of the brews were nothing you would recognize.
Most folks were barely getting by so importing hops and grains wasn't something that most men could do.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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There's a lot of info to sift through,but since my G-G-G-grandaddy was an Apache chief,he likely made & drank a corn beer called Tiswin (pronounced tizween). It was said to resemble an English ale,but no hops or other grains. Not checha either. They'd dig a pit,line it with tall grasses & layer up dried sweet corn in it & moisten it all with water & cover.
When it just sprouted,they'd boil it in water to reduce by about 50%. Dump it in a barrel & repeat till the barrel was full. About a 3% glass of headache they say. There are many differentpermutations throughout the carribien & Mexico/Central America into northern South America. You can search the net for some ingredients said to be used in them. Not much is said of this aspect of it in some old writings I ran across.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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Digging a pit? I think it was the instructions for Washington's beer but he just poured it in a barrel and covered with a canvas. Makes you wonder why we get so uppity about sanitizing.

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