Thursday, 27 December 2012

To bottle beer

Handy instructions for bottling beer when the cask is getting a bit stale. I'm not sure I'd recommend following them.

Leaving the bottles uncapped for 12 hours after filling sounds like asking for trouble to me. And what size are the botttles? A nutmeg-sized lump of sugar is quite a lot.I hope that they are quarts.

"To bottle Beer.—(No. 468.)

When the briskness and liveliness of malt liquors in the cask fail, and they become dead and vapid, which they generally do soon after they are tilted,—let them be Bottled.

Be careful to use clean and dried bottles; leave them unstopped for twelve hours, and then cork them as closely as possible with good and sound new Corks; put a bit of lump sugar as big as a nutmeg into each bottle: the Beer will be ripe, i. e. fine and sparkling, in about four or five weeks; if the weather is cold, to put it up, the day before it is drank, place it in a room where there is a Fire.

Remember there is a sediment, &c. at the bottom of the Bottles, which you must carefully avoid disturbing, — so pour it off at once, leaving a wine-glassful at the bottom.

If Beer becomes Hard or Stale, a few grains of Carbonate of Potash, added to it at the time it is drank, will correct it, and make Draught Beer as brisk as Bottled Ale."
"The Cook's Oracle" by William Kitchiner, 1827, pages 349-350.

The recommendation about putting in a room with a fire might be hard to follow for most people. Who has a fire in their house in the age of central heating.

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