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George Washington's Personal Beer Recipe Surfaces

"To Make Small Beer

Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses (sic) into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask—leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working—Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed."

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I've actually tried to duplicate this stuff. I call it stuff cause it's sure not beer as we know it today. In George's day beer was generally ALE and it was sweet as opposed to bitter. His Small Beer recepe results in something I would have called good when I was in High School trying to make something to get drunk on. But now-a-days I am a little more discerning and don't think I'll be making this again. You'll notice he doesn't a specific a Hop variety and doesn't specify a specific strain of yeast. Im guessing he was using the same yeast he made bread. Bread yeast doesn't make very good beer but it will make alcohol. He doesn't use grain like barley or wheat but rather Molassas. He also doesn't talk about carbonation so I assume it was uncarbonated. The reason he's not too specific on the vairiety of hops & yeast and used Molassas instead of barley is that the concoction was made when there were not a lot of choices. Still, it also means the "beer" would be likely be pretty bad by today's standards.It sure wouldn't taste much like modern day beer. I'm sure glad for the progress that has been made in the making of beer in the new world over the past 215 years
awesome - thanks for sharing!

very cool, where did you get the recipe


I local friend in the historical society gave it to me but I'm sure he got it from the internet.




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