Bailey’s mum keeps her eye out for books on beer and brewing and pops them in our Christmas stockings as little extras. Suffice to say, they are often among the most interesting gifts we receive.
Following on from yesterday’s post about reckless, thrill-filled world of elderflower champagne making, here are some hints and tips from Home Brewing Without Failures by H.E. Bravery (1965; our edition 1969).
1.“For fermentation purposes, a polythene dustbin bought especially for the purpose is ideal… [A] thick polythene bag… may be used quite well for fermenting beers provided it has suitable support… [such as] an old barrel.”
2. “Where there must be no flavouring from the sugar and where darkening must be practised… gravy browning may be used, but go easy with it.” (B&B’s emphasis.)
3. “How does the trade get the yeast out of bottles? The fact is that they let them ferment right out, and then siphon the still beer into bottles… and then charge them with gas. The word used is ‘carbonated’. Maybe one day there will be a means by which any home operator will be able to do this; until then, the commercial brewer has the advantage over us.”
4. “Mild Ale recipe ingredients: 4 lb crystal malt, 3 lb demerara sugar, 1 lb. flaked maize, 5 oz hops, small level teaspoonful salt, ¼ oz citric acid, dessertspoonful caramel.” (B&B’s emphasis.)
5. “Brown Ale I recipe ingredients: 4 lb roasted malt, 1 lb black patent malt, 4 lb demerara sugar, 4 oz hops, 1 level teaspoonful salt, ½ oz citric acid, yeast, nutrient.” (B&B’s emphasis.)
6. “I have come to the conclusion that France and the Frenchman do not know what good beer really is… Beers in France are more like thin lager and I have a suspicion – probably false – that some of them are produced from the remnants of the grape crops.”
7. If you decide to make beer with black grapes “use only the juice… otherwise you will have a pink lager owing to the colour coming from the grape skins. Pink Lager – well, why not? The die-hards will be at my throat for this one!”
Doesn’t that last one sound like Count Arthur Strong?