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Old 09-19-2013, 08:24 PM   #11
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I am putting this brew on my "to do" list. Thanks for the recipe and i can't wait to try my hand at it. I intend to do an original batch (as you did) then try a modified version. I am interested in this purely in the historical aspect of it. I'm hoping I can get a better tasting/personal variation figured out, and pour it side-by-side with an original version on the 4th of July, with some friends.

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Last edited by stonecutter2; 09-19-2013 at 08:25 PM. Reason: I said "thread" when I meant "recipe" in the first sentence.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stonecutter2 View Post
I am putting this brew on my "to do" list. Thanks for the recipe and i can't wait to try my hand at it. I intend to do an original batch (as you did) then try a modified version. I am interested in this purely in the historical aspect of it. I'm hoping I can get a better tasting/personal variation figured out, and pour it side-by-side with an original version on the 4th of July, with some friends.
Cool. Definitely include the changes I suggest based on the tasting notes. Add a little dark molasses to the wort until it tastes about right. And definitely go with low alpha hops, don't try to add just a pinch of high alpha like magnum - it's really easy to overbitter this one.

Still have one more in the cupboard. It will fall clear given time. I think if you do these things you'll wind up with a nice beer.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #13
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Cool. Definitely include the changes I suggest based on the tasting notes. Add a little dark molasses to the wort until it tastes about right. And definitely go with low alpha hops, don't try to add just a pinch of high alpha like magnum - it's really easy to overbitter this one.

Still have one more in the cupboard. It will fall clear given time. I think if you do these things you'll wind up with a nice beer.
Sounds great. Regarding hops, is there one that would best fit what *could* have been used "back in the day?" It's pure speculation since it's not mentioned in the recipe, of course. Was considering Cluster (it's got some serious American pedigree), but it may overpower based on what you're saying.

If low alpha seems to potentially be a better fit, considering Fuggles or maybe even Liberty just for the name :P But what's in a name, I want it to taste good.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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If you put the hops in for the whole boil, a very low alpha hop would be in order. The intent was to provide bittering and not much else. A low alpha Liberty would be fine.

EDIT: I used Magnum because that is what I had, but it was just too high of an alpha to use even in small amounts.

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Old 09-24-2013, 06:31 PM   #15
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Was curious to know how 1lb of golden syrup came about in the recipe, when I've tried scaling down from 30 gallons to 1 gallon and I get something like 2lbs of bran and 1.6oz of molasses? Maybe I'm missing something, i'm pretty new to all of this.

Edit: Also decided to do one version with Liberty, and one with EKG. Then possibly a combo of the two. i want to see what I can come up with on this simple recipe for something quite interesting. If GW said "Hops to your taste" then I'm going to take that seriously.

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Old 09-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #16
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Well, 3 gallons of molasses was added to 30 gallons of wort in the original recipe for a total of 33 gallons. Taking 11 lbs per gallon for molasses:

(3 gallons molasses / 33 gallons beer) X (11 lbs molasses/1 gallon molasses) X (1 gallon beer) = 1.0 lbs of molasses

Note that I'm including the volume of the molasses in the total volume of the beer.

EDIT: On additional consideration, Washington's 33 gallons of beer were probably imperial gallons, as the standard beer barrel at the time was 34 ale gallons (very close to imperial gallons). But as it is a ratio (3 gallons molasses per 33 gallons of beer) the conversion holds, 1 lb of molasses per 1 U.S. gallon of beer.

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Old 09-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #17
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Well, 3 gallons of molasses was added to 30 gallons of wort in the original recipe for a total of 33 gallons. Taking 11 lbs per gallon for molasses:

(3 gallons molasses / 33 gallons beer) X (11 lbs molasses/1 gallon molasses) X (1 gallon beer) = 1.0 lbs of molasses

Note that I'm including the volume of the molasses in the total volume of the beer.

EDIT: On additional consideration, Washington's 33 gallons of beer were probably imperial gallons, as the standard beer barrel at the time was 34 ale gallons (very close to imperial gallons). But as it is a ratio (3 gallons molasses per 33 gallons of beer) the conversion holds, 1 lb of molasses per 1 U.S. gallon of beer.
Interesting, thanks for explaining the math

My scaling went something like this:

3 lbs molasses in 30 gallons of beer (actually you are right, should be 33). <--this was my fatal error. 1 gallon of molasses is obviously NOT 1lb.
3 lbs = 48oz <--- again, incorrect. Reading is fundamental!

48oz/33 gallons should equal the ounces of molasses per 1 gallon. That gives me 1.46oz - which obviously was far less than 1lb of molasses

I've got a lot of learning to do on scaling recipes - and I guess reading So again I appreciate explaining your method!

Now that I realized my mistake, this is how I SHOULD have calculated it (which confirms your numbers):
11lbs (per gallon of molasses) in ounces = 11*16 = 176oz/gallon of molasses
3 gallons of molasses (for 33 gallons of beer) = 528oz of molasses for 33 gallons of beer
528oz/33 to find ounces per gallon of beer = 16oz. This confirms 1lb of molasses for 1 gallon of small beer.

Formulas were never my strong suit in math, so I thought things out using the above method...just in case anyone else wanted to see my process. However I do like your formula and intend to use it from now on!

Getting some hops on order, and hoping to get this rocking after some seasonal brews get done in the fermenters. Heck I might have to buy another jug just to get this moving...curious to try a pint of it.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:28 PM   #18
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Interesting, thanks for explaining the math

...

Formulas were never my strong suit in math, so I thought things out using the above method...just in case anyone else wanted to see my process. However I do like your formula and intend to use it from now on!
I teach engineering and work with my students daily on unit conversions, so I'm probably a little more anal about these things than most people. I hope it helps!
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #19
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There are a couple of things that I am thinking about regarding this beer:

  1. Does extended boiling of starches break them down into sugars? The original recipe specifies a 3 hr boil, and my 1-hr boil produced a rather starchy sticky wort. I am wondering if there is something about the starch chemistry that makes a 3-hr boil of the bran necessary.
  2. Was Washington likely using a pure Sacchromyces beer yeast, or was Brettanomyces a likely and common contaminant, especially in cask fermented ales? Sacc. doesn't do much with starches, where Brett. will break down and chow on some complex stuff. I'd bet Brett. would chew this bran wort down to nothing, which might actually be desireable. I'm wondering if I can find an example of an old bottled beer that might have been analyzed to determine the strains present.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:28 AM   #20
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I am also reconsidering the weight associated with "a large Sifter full of Bran". I'm not sure how I got that to be 60 lbs.

If the sifter was about 1 bushel in volume,this reference puts bran at about 20 lbs/bushel, not 60 lbs per bushel. That would suggest 0.5 lbs of bran per U.S. gallon, not 2 lbs/gal.

The following might be a much better recipe. At 4% it is a small beer.

Quote:
HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: George Washington's Small Beer 2.0

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Specialty Beer
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 1 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 1 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.004
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.009
ABV (standard): 4.08%
IBU (tinseth): 18.88
SRM (morey): 4.03

FERMENTABLES:
0.625 lb - Wheat Bran (38.5%) This is one 10 oz. bag of wheat bran
1 lb - Lyle's Golden Syrup - (late addition) (61.5%) This is close to one 11 fl. oz. bottle of Lyle's Golden Syrup

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Liberty, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 18.88 REALLY EASY TO OVERBITTER

YEAST:
Danstar - Nottingham Ale Yeast
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