Home Brewing Without Failures

Home Brewing Without Failures by H.E. Bravery

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?

12 thoughts on “Home Brewing Without Failures”

  1. I’ve nev­er seen that one before! Do tell me what the bot­tle prim­ing rec­om­men­da­tion is please.

    Isn’t gravy brown­ing Caramel? Loads of brew­eries use caramel to colour their beer. It’s not a very ‘craft’ ingre­di­ent though.

  2. I’m sure I saw a bot­tle of gravy brown­ing with instruc­tions for use in home brew­ing recent­ly, it is indeed just caramel.

  3. He sug­gests bot­tling before fer­men­ta­tion as end­ed; if you ‘want to make a draught beer into a gaseous beer you will have to add sug­ar’ at a rate of ‘not more than three ounces to the gal­lon’. If too much sug­ar is added ‘your pre­cious beer will have to be licked off the ceil­ing’.

    He lists caramel and gravy brown­ing as dis­tinct ingre­di­ents; I seem to recall gravy brown­ing being salty and slight­ly ‘uma­mi’ – more like dark soy sauce than any­thing else.

  4. Okay, I can’t resist. I apol­o­gise.

    85g per 4.5 litres? Let’s see, 416g per 22 litres…that’s 191.36g of CO2 per 22 litres. That’s 8.7g/l, or about 4.35 vol­umes of CO2. Assum­ing that the ‘old school’ home­brew was at 20C after fer­men­ta­tion, that would give the bot­tles of beer 5.25 vol­umes of CO2.

    5.25 vol­umes of CO2 in every bot­tle.

  5. Very Ken Shales. I have to check my old Ama­teur Wine­mak­er books from the 60s to see if I can find com­pa­ra­ble recipes.

    1. A pinch of salt boiled with the hops, and a few crys­tals of cit­ric acid per gal­lon will also assist fer­men­ta­tion.”

    1. The moan­ing about the French and their weird lager goes on for sev­er­al pages: “One prac­tice I hope will not catch on over here is that of wip­ing the head off fresh­ly poured beer with, above all things, a lol­ly stick. In Paris, Lyons, Dijon, Mar­seilles, Toulon – every­where we went the bar­keep­er duti­ful­ly per­formed this deplorable act. My French being bet­ter than my Russ­ian it need­ed only half an hour of ges­tic­u­lat­ing to make clear that the Eng­lish do not like their beers guil­lotined.”

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