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Old 01-13-2014, 06:00 PM   #61
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I plan on doing another batch of this beer shortly, this time with either Cluster hops or East Kent Goldings. Heck I might try one batch of each.

I will be doing the 3 hour boil again, not the 1 hour boil. I can't explain how good that 3 hour batch was after a few months of bottle conditioning. It was a really easy drinking, enjoyable beer! The 1 hour batch never matured like the 3 hour batch, so there IS something to doing a long boil like that.

I do intend on letting this bulk age in secondary for a couple of months, though, which deviates from Gen. Washington's recipe to bottle shortly after fermentation. I want to let it stay in the fermenter longer because there was way too much trub in the bottom of my bottles for my liking. I also think something regarding the 3 hour boil + time allowed the beer to mature into something very tasty, and that will happen whether in individual bottles or in a secondary.

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Old 01-14-2014, 04:17 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecutter2 View Post
I will be doing the 3 hour boil again, not the 1 hour boil. I can't explain how good that 3 hour batch was after a few months of bottle conditioning. It was a really easy drinking, enjoyable beer! The 1 hour batch never matured like the 3 hour batch, so there IS something to doing a long boil like that.
This is really useful information. I wonder if there is some thermal breakdown of starches going on in that long boil.

I really need to give this another go as my first recipe was way off. I'll update the original recipe post with your notes as you have put a lot more effort into developing this recipe.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:12 PM   #63
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Ok, now I'm curious. do either of you guy's think this beer would be better if it were carbed?

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:13 PM   #64
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Ok, now I'm curious. do either of you guy's think this beer would be better if it were carbed?
I still have 1 bottle from my 1 hour boil batch that has a NB Fizz Drop in it, actually. I'm going to crack that and see what it's like.

So here's the thing I thought about, though. If given enough time to have the trub settle out, then yeah I think the 3 hour boil version would be pretty good carbed up. It became a mellow, drinkable brew with great subtle flavors.

The problem with carbing it, that I see, is that the trub likes to form a sort of gelatinous blob in the bottom of the bottle, and if you carb this beer then that stuff's going to get all mixed up into the beer when you pop the top. That's what happened with my last bottle that had a Fizz Drop in it.

Washington says to "bottle it that day week it was brewed" and I assume he mistakenly wrote day when he meant week. I find no reference to a "day week" so it's not some old colonial term as best I can figure.

I honestly don't know if the recipe hints at carbonation, because Washington says to bottle it so early...my fermentation was never complete until well after a week in the fermenter (was actually more like 2 weeks). At 7 days in primary, mine was still bubbling - so it's quite possible that some light carbonation would result from bottling so early.

I just think the trub thing is weird. And with bubbles it might get gross.

My plan for my next batch is:

Do a protein rest - 20 minutes at 110F. Washington doesn't say to do it, and I have no idea if it will do anything with wheat bran, but I want to see if it helps with the trub blobs in the bottle.

3 hour boil

Leave in primary for 1-2 months (unless obvious that the blob of trub has now been resolved).

Carbonate 1/2 of the bottles, leave other 1/2 still. Compare the two after a couple of weeks.

I'm still hoping to get a "great!" version of this ready for the 4th of July this year.
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Last edited by stonecutter2; 01-22-2014 at 08:15 PM. Reason: I wrote 90 minute boil, I meant 3 hours. D'oh.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:36 PM   #65
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I stumbled across this reference that has some interesting text:


The London and Country Brewer, by Anonymous (1736)

In CHAP. IX. The Country or private way of Brewing:

Quote:
I will suppose a private Family to Brew five Bushels of Malt, whose Copper holds brim-full thirty six Gallons or a Barrel: On this water we put half a Peck of Bran or Malt when it is something hot, which will much forward it by keep in the Steams or Spirit of the water, and when it begins to Boil, if the water is foul, skim off the Bran or Malt and give it the Hogs
These are the only two uses of the word "bran" in the entire document, and there is no clear distinction made between Bran and Malt, even in the section describing grain processing.

Also, if we take bran in the modern sense, nothing in Washington's recipe specifically refers to wheat bran. Other cereal crops produce bran, including corn. Washington grew both wheat and corn at Mt. Vernon. Washington also got into distilling whiskey, using rye, corn and small amounts of malted barley.

I am wondering a couple things now:
  1. Did "bran" possibly indicate "malt"? Malted grains were expensive, but perhaps the idea of this beer was to stretch a relatively small amount of expensive malt using molasses? Also, maybe it was possible to kiln small amounts of sprouted grains locally, without need to purchase from a maltster?
  2. If "bran" in Washington's recipe meant bran in the original sense, the bran of a cereal grain, was the grain necessarily wheat? Could it have been corn? Degerminated corn grits, bran, or meal (all the same, just varying the milling) is commonly used in brewing even today, and corn meal was a part of the grist of Washington's whiskey recipe. This might produce a much nicer, milder beer as boiling corn grits doesn't involve boiling a tannin-laden husk. Wheat bran was actually used as a source of tannins to tan leather.

I think corn grits might be an interesting experiment in place of wheat bran. Corn grit and molasses beer?
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:37 AM   #66
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I can't imagine that malted barley would have been difficult to come by in 1776 Philly. By that time there were dozens of breweries in Philly, and surely there must have been malt houses as well. Even if the malt was not available comercially, Washington had a huge estate with his own brewhouse. I would imagine that his "staff" would most likely raise the needed barley, and malt it in house. After all, malt is a key ingredient in Rye wiskey. If he was distilling wiskey he must have had access to malted barley.

Furthermore, if he was refering to barley as "bran", the barley would have to have been crushed/milled to be able to go through the sifter.

Not any different than we do today, inculding the addition of inexpensive adjuncs, in the form of mollasses. lol Just like BMC!

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Old 01-23-2014, 09:56 PM   #67
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Well, I have a freezer full of Willamette and Fuggles from the garden, a packet of notty, and an empty 1 gallon fermenter. I'll have to see if I can find the bran and golden suryp, and maybe give this a try tomarrow! I'll keep you posted!

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Old 01-23-2014, 10:15 PM   #68
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Distilleries.horked up most of the barley in colonial days, which was a much, much, much bigger industry until the German immigration. There was a lot of molasses, corn and wheat used in beer then.

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Old 01-24-2014, 05:51 PM   #69
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Ok, my boil is under way. I have started with 2.5 gallons fresh well water, 1-10oz. package of wheat bran, and 1/2 oz. of my home grown, whole leaf Willamette hops.

I first started with 1/4 oz. of the willamette's, but I could not get even the slightest bit of hop aroma from the boil. So, I added an additional 1/4 oz, and now have a precievable hop aroma when standing right over the boiling kettle. It is not very pronounced, but still there!

I plan on adding in another 1/4 - 1/2 oz. hopps at flame out.

I believe that I will bring the gravity of this wort up to around 1.035- 1.040. I plan on testing the gravity of the wort and then adding a light brown sugar suryp to achieve a S.G. in the 1.035 area. I am shooting for a beer with a 4.5% abv when finished.

I believe that this is as close to the "mollassas" George had as I can find localy, and I've used it several times to boost the frementables in some of my ciders with good results. I'll add a tablespoon of the mollasses that we have today just for some flavor/authentisity.

Any thoughts?

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Old 01-24-2014, 11:04 PM   #70
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My wort came out at 1.010 S.G.. It tasted bitter, but not bad. 1/2 oz. of Willamette might be a little strong. I added my sugar and ended up with 1.036, so I'm expecting it to be around 4%, which should be acceptable for a "small beer". I strained the wort through a muslin hop bag into my mister beer LBK. It looks very cloudy as others have said.
I pitched about half a packet of Notty and put the LBK in the closet to frement.

I decided to use the LBK because it is more in line with the open casks that Geo would have been using at Mt. Vernon.

I've also been giving some thought to bottling this on day 8. That is if the gravity is close to where it should be so that I don't get bottle bombs. Is there any way to calculate that #? I wondered if that is what would have been done in the day, and if done that way, would it be somewhat carbed?

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