Milk-warm. Is that hotter or cooler than blood-warm? You have to admire anyone who would take on mashing without being armed with a thermometer.
Do some of the descriptions look a little familiar? Where have I seen them before?
Of brewing In general.
Let the farmer have his malt ground ten days before brewing. This is most essential to the brown malts, because it takes off the fiery taste they got in their high drying ; but it is of great use to all. The ground malt must be kept in a dry place, and it always mellows in lying. The paler the malt the less time it needs lye after grinding. In the London way of business it is not easy to give malt this advantage, because they brew so frequently and in such quantities : therefore the family brewer has an advantage. About eight days mould be allowed to the pale malts, and from ten to twelve or fourteen to the brown. The malt thus ground and kept is ready for use, and we mail lead our farmer into the practice, by giving him a general idea of the method in London, where there are perhaps the most understanding brewers in the world.
Four kinds of beer are brewed in London, stout, common butt-beer, ale, and small beer. Stout is the strongest beer, brewed from brown malt; and is fold for forty shillings the barrel, or six pound the butt, from the wholesale cellar. To brew this, the water in the copper for the first marsh is made to heat soon, by pouring in a couple of bushels of husky malt, just to spread over its top. The degree of heat to be given this is the utmost that the hand can endure, but it must not boil.
When it is in this condition the fire must be damped, and the best way is by throwing on a good quantity of fresh coals. Then cold water is to be let in till the whole is just blood warm. The malt is then to be worked in with oars, half an hour, and this is called the stiff mash. While this is beating up more water is to be boiling in the copper. This Is to be let in : and the whole being mashed again, and well mixed, some baskets of malt are to he thrown over it, and it stands an hour. At the end of this time it is to be let out into the under back ; and is then boil'd an hour and half. This, with the due quantity of hops, is the stout.
The common brown ale, or as they call it starting beer, is made in the fame manner as the stout; but a larger quantity is brewed from the fame portion of malt. After the stiff and second mash they cap the whole with fresh malt and boil it an hour; and after this small beer is made of it. The difference between brown beer and brown ale is only that less beer is made, and it is boiled longer and has more hops, proportioned to the time it is intended to be kept. The pale beers are brewed in the fame manner, only pump water is used, and it is made hotter at first, and lowered to be almost cold afterwards.
The small beer in London is made thus. They heat the first water with some hully malt over it, and when it is of a due heat they let in some cold, and run it into a tun milk-warm. The malt is mashed in this ; and then the second quantity of Water is let in, which is scalding hot. It is to stand an hour, and then be run off into the under back. This makes one copper of the first wort without putting any fresh malt in. The next liquor is to be blood-warm, then hot, and then lastly, cool.
This is the great secret of the London brewing. Their beer has a great advantage from the quantity that is brewed together; and there is a great deal of art in putting in the first: water blood-warm, and the rest hot: for this warm water opens the malt beyond any other practice, and makes it ready to receive, and yield all its strength to the hot.
The allowance for stout beer is a quarter of malt to one barrel; and this is fold from the tap at thirty shillings. The proportion for the common brown ale is a quarter of malt to a barrel and half. For entire small beer the allowance is a quarter of malt to six barrels: tho’ some allow a quarter to five. The allowance for pale and amber ale is a quarter to a barrel and a firkin.
Thus have we laid before the country farmer the general proportions and method of working in the London brewhouses for their various kinds of drink ; and from this and the particulars of the several kinds premised before, he will be able to comprehend the whole theory, art or mystery of the business, and may safely and successfully enter on the practice.
Source: "A Compleat Body Of Husbandry" by Thomas Hale, 1758, pages 322 - 324.