Father's brew.

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JMUV

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When I was a little guy and my poppa was living he made homebrew. He passed in 1966. When I was in my early 20s Mom gave me his hand written recipe.
1 can of blue ribbon malt
20 lb sugar( cane)
1 lb of rice
20 gallons of water.
Yeast was store bought ( mom said)
The malt was hopped.
Rice was put in the "crock" (mom said)
The crock was a 25 gallon ceramic crock. He covered the crock with a cloth and tied it in place with twine.
My memories of the process is limited to being woken up with the rest of my siblings to bottle beer. I rember poppa showing me his hydrometer that had a red ring. He told me that " the beer is ready to bottle when the red line touches the beer."
I have brewed some and just out of an attempt to try and duplicate his brew with more modern methods I am looking for advice.
No where can I find blue ribbon malt. What can I use as substitute that would get me close. I wouldn't use the crock and twine method but would use my fermenter and air lock. I have a modern hydrometer and would prime the batch before bottling. I am searching for advice on ingredients.
 

BrewerBrad82

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Blue Ribbon malt has not been made for quite some time, so just substitute golden light LME. That little extract with 20 lbs of sugar will yield a very unflavorful product. It will be very thin, likely have an overwhelming yeast aroma and flavor and will barely taste of beer. But I understand, making a recipe done long ago by family is intriguing indeed.
 

Snuffy

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My dad brewed the same beer minus the rice in 5 gal batches. He used a can of Blue Ribbon and a pound of sugar per gallon. Yeast was dry Fleischmann's bread yeast. Apparently the company still makes it but no longer calls it Blue Ribbon. This is the answer posted to someone else who asked if it was still available:

"Yes Blue Ribbon Malt is sold at www.eckraus.com, but it isn't called Blue Ribbon Malt anymore. Premier Malt Limited has always produced what we know as Blue Ribbon Malt. They have since dropped the name Blue Ribbon Malt and just starting calling it by their own name. My grandmother used to brew beer as I do today and that's what I use. In the 60s and 70s there weren't many brewing stores and the options on brewing supplies were limited. So, you pretty much used whatever was available to you and at the time the most popular was Blue Ribbon Malt Dark. So go to this website order you some up and brew or bake away."
 
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myndflyte

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Your dad liked his beer light, to be sure. I guess that all depends on how big of a can the malt was. I'd go light on the hops because so much sugar will dry it out and I'd think anything over a few IBUs will be quite bitter.
 

Snuffy

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My dad brewed the same beer minus the rice in 5 gal batches. Apparently the company still makes it but no longer calls it Blue Ribbon. This is the answer posted to someone else who asked if it was still available:

"Yes Blue Ribbon Malt is sold at www.eckraus.com, but it isn't called Blue Ribbon Malt anymore. Premier Malt Limited has always produced what we know as Blue Ribbon Malt. They have since dropped the name Blue Ribbon Malt and just starting calling it by their own name. My grandmother used to brew beer as I do today and that's what I use. In the 60s and 70s there weren't many brewing stores and the options on brewing supplies were limited. So, you pretty much used whatever was available to you and at the time the most popular was Blue Ribbon Malt Dark. So go to this website order you some up and brew or bake away."
After searching that site - I still don't find it by either Blue Ribbon or Premier. You may need to call them and tell them what you are looking for. They may be able to suggest something similar.

Found this on Premier:
 
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JMUV

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Thanks for all he info! I am in the process of gathering enough bottles and doing a final wash. Poppa used White Rock bottles but I am going to use champagne bottles and cap them. Thanks again!
 

Beermeister32

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You might want to run a 1-2 gallon pilot batch first to satisfy your curiosity. It might not be exactly what you had in mind, and 5 to 20 gallons is a lot of beer to suffer through in search of your brewing heritage. My Dad also ran mystery brews back in the day. My Stepfather made bathtub beer, he said it was horrible. Grandpa nearly lit his house on fire with a distillation process once. So, this insanity must run in families.
 
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JMUV

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That's good advice and I will take it. I guess that reminded of the hardships that some of those folks lived through and the crude methods ( compared to modern methods and equipment) they used, I am being nostalgic. If it turns out good I will count it as a blessing, if it turns out bad I will take it as a lesson. Thanks so much for advice and taking the time to answer my questions. I truly am grateful.
 

Snuffy

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I have mentioned on other threads here that my dad made "homebrew" in the 70s using Blue Ribbon Malt. It's how I got exposed to brewing in the first place. That and wine brewing. He brewed more wine than beer. The first beer I ever drank was stuff we swiped from his stash and it was malty, nearly flat and pretty awful. I may brew some of his favorite Muscadine Wine in the Fall, but that malty grog of his can remain a memory.🤢 Your recipe with rice might be decent if you lightly hop and carbonate it. Good Luck!
 

InspectorJon

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I made beer in the 1970s with Blue Ribbon, corn sugar, noble hops and some generic "ale yeast". It was bad enough that I stopped brewing for the next 35 years. A few batches with different malt extract turned out ok but I felt obligated to drink those that did not hit the mark. I'm still not sure if it was a process issue or a yeast profile I did not like or a combination of those.
 

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