10 November 2005

Colonial Small Beer

Table (or common) beers throughout the colonial period were low in alcohol and lightly hopped. Called Small Beers, they served as a form of nourishment and at the same time made the water used in preparing the beer "safe" for drinking. Recipes were often corrupted, based upon what the settlers had available for brewing. molasses and other fermentables frequently substituted for malt.

3 lb light malt extract
1 lb molasses
1 1/2 oz Northern Brewer hops
Ale yeast

Add 1 gallon of warm water to brewpot. Pour in malt extract and molasses, stirring until dissolved. Add water to usual brewing depth. Bring to a boil, add hops and continue boiling for a total of 60 minutes. Cool wort and add water as necessary to make 5 gallons. Ferment with ale yeats at 68°. Prime and bottle, or keg, in the usual manner.

This recipe was in Zymurgy Vol 23 #5, Sept/Oct 2000, page 24. I would, in a heartbeat, link to an authorized online recipe, but there isn't one available.

I brewed this in 2000. It was nice little beer. I want to brew it again.

posted by hiikeeba at 19:55


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice!

I've recently put up a small photo tutorial about brewing molasses small beer using a similar recipe.

I'll have to add you as one of the people who has tried doing this as well. So far it is a pretty small list! :)

5:16 PM  

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