- using soft pond water
- brewing in March
- no thermometer - mash temperature determined by seeing reflection in water.
- 100% brown malt
- multiple infusion mashes
- making mild beer from l;ater runnings
- the author can't spell the word "choose"
Here's the text:
"A Letter to the Editors, from a Gentleman in Hertfordshire, recommending his Method of brewing good Brown Beer, in some Counties called Brown-Stout.
I am one of those singular men, who love to keep up some remains of the old English hospitality in my house ; and for this particular purpose, I am never without a few hogsheads of good brown strong beer in my cellar, for the benefit, not of my own immediate family alone, but of such comers and goers as are worthy of it.
You must know, I have many years been particularly curious in the brewing of this beer, insomuch that, if I am well, I am generally copper-man myself, and superintend the boiling part.
I have taken a fancy to communicate my method in this operation to the public, and thought I could not hit upon an easier method of doing it, than by writing you the account in a letter.
If you find no inconsistencies, I hope inaccuracies will be overlooked.
I am very curious about the water I use, which is the softest I can get; and on this account I always take it from a clean neat pond, I have at the back of my house.
My time of brewing this beer is in March, which I reckon the best season ; therefore, in the beginning of that month, I make my preparations in the following manner.
The first thing I do is to take as much water as I shall want in all my brewings, (for I brew now for the whole year) and boil it in my copper. After it is boiled, it is put into large tubs for the purpose, and exposed to the air, to cool and purge itself for at least a week.
I then begin my first brewing, having previously procured a sufficient quantity of the best brown high-dried malt, which is ground three or four days before it is used, that it may have time to mellow and dispose itself for fermentation.
When a copper of water is heated so as to boil, about three quarters of a hogshead is laded into the mash-tub, and the copper immediately filled again, and made to boil. When the water in the mash is come to such a state that you may see your face in it, I have, by degrees, nine bushels of ground malt emptied out of the sack into it; this is to be well mashed, and stirred about with the rudder for near half an hour, till the malt is all thoroughly wetted, arid incorporated with the water: another bushel of malt is then lightly spread over the surface, and the whole being covered with the empty sacks to keep in the steam, it is left undisturbed for an hour.
At the end of the hour, the water in the copper being boiling, the fire is damped, and the water is left till you can see your face in it, after as much as is necessary is laded on to the mash, till the whole together will yield, when it runs off, a hogshead of wort; and this the workman is soon able to determine to a great nicety.
The first wort is then let out in a small stream into the under-back, and another hogshead of hot water is laded on the mash, which, after being well stirred with the rudder, is again covered, and suffered to rest for two hours.
In the mean time the first wort is returned into the copper, and six pounds of fine brown seedy hops are put into it, being first rubbed betwixt the hands. A brisk fire is then made under the copper, till the liquor boils, which is continued till the hops sink, after which the fire is damped, and the liquor strained into the coolers.
When it is come to be only as warm as milk from the cow, some yeast, or barm, is mixed with it, and it is left to work till all the surface appears in curls: it is then all stirred, and well mixed together with a hand-bowl, arid again left to work: this stirring with the bowl is repeated three times, after which it is tunned, and left to work in the hogshead : when it is nearly done working, the cask is filled up and bunged, but the vent-hole is left open.
When managed after this manner, the beer I am writing about will keep for years, but it will be good drink the succeeding harvest.
As to the second wort, which I mentioned above, it is set by for the next brewing, to be used in manner following.
For my second brewing, as far as wetting my mash, I proceed in the fame manner as at first ; but afterwards, instead of water, I heat the second wort of my first brewing, and lade it on my mash, the new wort by this means acquiring a very considerable addition of strength and softness.
The second wort of this second brewing I make with water, and save it to form the first wort of my third brewing, and so on for as many brewings as I chuse.
I must observe that I take off a third wort from my first brewing, which I heat, and lade on my mash of my second brewing, after taking off the second wort; and by this means, out of two brewings, I get, besides, a hogshead of very good mild beer.
I do not pretend that my method of brewing, above described, is better than any other ; but I am well convinced it is no bad way, as every body likes my beer, which, though high-coloured, is as clear as rock-water, and must be wholesome, as it is made of the pure and genuine malt and hops, without any other unwholesome mixture to adulterate it.
I shall be glad to see this account speedily inserted in your Museum Rusticum, and I may, perhaps, now and then send you a line or two, for I find, by your proposals, you would be glad of an extensive correspondence. I rest, for the present,
Your most obedient servant, Hoddesdon, Nov. 8, 1763."
“Museum rusticum et commerciale” 1763, pages 201 – 204.
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