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A Treatise On Brewing Beer 1796
ATREATISEON THEBREWING OF BEER,WHEREIN IS PROVEDThat one Bushel of Malt will produce a Gallon of Beermore than another Bushel of an equal Strength, althoughboth Malts be made of one Sort or Species of Barley.In this work will be found some profitable and necessarydirections to Maltsters.Improvements in the Brew-house, andBrewing Utensils.Showing the cause what makes hard and sour Beer.Directions for preventing Beer from becoming sour or foxed,even if used in the warmest Season.ALSODirections in what State to cleanse the Beer, so as to haveit fine without using any art or device whatsoever; andfor the Management of the Beer in the Cellar.Some Observations in the Choice of HOPS;Proving that they are useful after they have been used inbrewing.The different Experiments are from Twenty Years Practice. .BY E. HUGHES. . Some very useful and necessary directions to the Publican who retailsCommon Brewer's Beer. .SECOND EDITION. .UXBRIDGE:PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR, AND SOLD BY T. LAKE.SOLD ALSO BY E. NEWBERY, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD,LONDON,AND ALL BOOKSELLERS IN TOWN OR COUNTRY.1796. .PREFACE.The first edition of this treatise met with encouragement enough toflatter me that I had left no room to improve it: but, encouraged bythe satisfaction my friends was pleased to express of its utility tothe public, I have been induced to make every improvement I couldcollect.Before I presumed to offer this small treatise to the public, thedifferent modes and methods, here recommended, I have proved bydifferent experiments, which I flatter myself will be found of utility,particularly to private families, especially farmers, because theirservants have very little knowledge of brewing, their time being so muchemployed in other business, and so frequently are they changing theiremploy that they are rendered incapable of being competent in brewing.I do not presume to dictate to those who are proficients; but it mustbe acknowledged that good malt is frequently marred in brewing bypersons who have very little or no knowledge of brewing, and I flattermyself that by a perusal of this treatise it will enable them to bemore competent in making the best of the malt intrusted to their care,to the greater satisfaction and benefit of their employers.Waters having a great predominance in brewing, I have given directionsin the choice and improvement of them.The improvements in the brewing utensils will be attended with someexpense, but the utility arising therefrom will soon make amends.I have taken the liberty to admonish the retailer of common brewer'sbeer, because, from their inattention in managing the beer after itcomes into their stock or possession, the blame, if any, is imputed tothe brewer but I am fully convinced to the contrary, from the almostdaily practice of the common brewer, and their malt being of the firstquality, as country brewers generally make their own malt, and thatfrom the best barley, together with the conveniency of their utensils,enables them to have the advantage of most private families that brewtheir own beer; therefore it principally depends on the conduct of thepublican as to the quality of the beer, after it comes into his stock,or possession.I have taken the liberty to give some directions in the choice of malt,not that I mean to challenge the maltster, or give him directions inthe management of his corn, except in the drying. I presume if malt isnot attended to on the kiln and perfectly sound dried, it never willproduce good and wholesome beer.E. HUGHES.Sep. 3, 1796 .A TREATISE.On Waters.Waters differ in their quality, that is to say, in extracting thegoodness from the Malt; it is, therefore, very necessary for every onewho professes the brewing of Beer, to be well acquainted with thenature and quality of the Water he brews with; for as the quality ofthe water is, so depends the brewing of beer. I am fully persuaded thatwaters so differ in quality, they will very much add or diminish thequantity and quality of the beer.Well Waters ought not to be used only in cases of necessity, whenwaters of a softer quality cannot be procured: the well water should bepumped into tubs, or any convenient vessel that is clean and sweet. Itis a custom with many to fill the copper a day or two, and sometimeslonger, before they begin the operation of brewing, but this I stronglyforbid; for a liquid cannot be too short a time in the copper, exceptit is in a boiling state; my reasons for this I shall point out inanother part of this treatise. I would recommend fresh bran to be putinto the well water whilst in the tubs, and now and then give it astir, this will cause a sort of fermentation, and will likewise softenthe water.The time for keeping water in the tubs must depend upon the season ofthe year: if in winter, or moderate cool weather, a week will not betoo long; but if in summer, two days will be sufficient.Spring or River Water is far preferable to Well Water, but river orspring waters differ very much in their softness, and that which willlather best with soap is a convincing proof, and is to be preferred forbrewing; for,First,--It will leave the grains dryer than well water of a harsherquality.Secondly,--The beer will come to a quicker fermentation in the tun;and,Thirdly,--It will also fine itself much sooner in the cask, than ifbrewed from well water.Rain Water, such as runs off tiled roofs, is, undoubtedly, to bepreferred before well or river water in brewing, being of a simple andsoft nature.There is one very great object to the interest of the brewer;--Beer,brewed with rain or river water, will be stronger than beer brewed withwell water from an equal quantity of Malt, because it will have a freeraccess to the Malt; and, as I said before, it will leave the grainsmuch dryer than well water, which is convincing, the dryer the grainsare, the better will be the beer.Many persons very much prefer Pond Waters, such that are frequentlydisturbed by horses and other cattle, which generally causes it to bein a thick muddy state; but the sediments of this thick muddy watermust be found prejudicial; for when the wort is emptied out of thecooling tubs into the working tun, or running from the coolers into thetun, a part of the sediment, from the foulness of the water, willfollow the wort into the tun, consequently the yeast will be in a foulstate and cannot be of that utility in baking, as though the brewinghad been from pure clean water.There is a great difficulty often happens in making beer come to afermentation in the tun; this, I verily believe, is principally owingto the hardness of the water it is brewed with.Some Observations on the Grinding of Malt.Much depends on the grinding of Malt. Many people give directions tohave their malt ground small, having an idea that the water will mixitself with, and have a more free access to it, than when ground in amore coarser state; but this idea is very erroneous. Malt should beonly broke in the Mill, that is, if possible, every corn should be onlybruised; malt ground in this manner will discharge the wort in a finestate throughout the whole brewing.I have known many persons neglect giving orders for their malt till theday before they intend to brew; but malt should be ground four or fivedays, or a week would not be too long for brown malt, but great caremust be taken to keep it in a dry place.Malt, ground a reasonable time before it is used, loses the heat whichit receives in grinding, and reduces it to a soft and mellow state; itwill receive the water more freely, and a greater quantity of wort maybe made than if it was brewed immediately after it was ground. The beerwill also work much better in the tun and in less time become fit foruse than if brewed as soon as it comes from the mill. This is proved bygood housekeepers, who have their wheat ground two or three days beforethey use it; for by losing the heat it receives from the mill ingrinding, the flour will be lighter, and receive the yeast and watermore freely, than if used immediately from the mill.Brewing is generally left to the care of servants, particularly in farmhouses, who frequently have at the same time other business to perform,which too frequently causes the brewing to be neglected, particularlyin its first stage. The mash in this first stage determines the wholeof the brewing, for the malt ought to be well mixed up with the water,which will cause some time and labour; therefore the person employed inbrewing should not, on that day, have any other business to perform, soas to engross any time or attention from the brewing, for any partneglected may mar the whole, which is too frequently the case.Improvements in the Mash Tun.Mash Tuns should have false bottoms, to take up as occasion mayrequire;--they should be about two inches clear of the fixed bottom,with holes therein, about a sixth part of an inch in diameter. Thefalse bottom answers two good purposes;First,--You may be more expeditious in mashing, by having a free accessto all parts of the mash tun, which, with a tap vase or some such likeinstrument being in the mash tun, will impede the stirring of the mash,therefore some part of the malt will not be mixed with the water.Secondly,--The false bottom will drain the grains dryer than the tapvase, and in the fixed bottom there will be a sediment left, which,with one bottom only, would have passed through the tap vase, and apart of it accompanied the wort down into the tun. This will answeranother good purpose; for the sediment not accompanying the wort intothe copper, it will want less boiling, as it will break sooner and fineitself. Note. Where the false bottom is used the tap must spend through a cock at the bottom of the tun. The holes in the false bottom may be about three or four inches distance from each other.Fail not to boil your water six or eight minutes, then let it into themash tun; if time will permit, do not put your malt in for mashing tillthe steam has escaped and you can see your face in the water; but iftime will not admit of this, add about one gallon of cold water toeighteen gallons of hot. Whilst you put your malt into the tun, let aperson stir it to prevent its clotting, then well mash it, and let themash stand two hours at least. The second mash need not stand so longas the first. If convenient, always make use of hot water for yoursmall beer, for by boiling the water a few minutes it will soften it,and will cause it to have a more free access to the malt, and the wortwill require less boiling.Boiling of the Worts.Many brewers boil their worts from one to two hours; this is very muchpractised in private families;--a great part of the time the wort is ina simmering state the fire perhaps is not attended to, the person whohas the care of the brewing is, as I said before, frequently employedin some other business, therefore this very material part is neglected:As soon as the wort is in the copper it should be made to boil as quickas possible, and a brisk fire should be kept under the copper to causethe wort to boil as fast as possible, for fast boiling will cause thewort to break and fine itself much sooner than it would if kept in aslow boiling state. Thirty or forty minutes will be sufficient to boilale, and one hour if strong beer. This quick boiling will cause asaving of one gallon in twenty, at least, which must be acknowledged agreat advantage, considering the present high price of malt.I will presume to say there will be a saving in the wood or coal byboiling the wort, as is commonly said, a gallop, when it rises itselfconsiderably above the copper.The copper should have a curve made of wood, fixed round the brim, toprevent the wort from being spilt when boiling; or the copper should beso hung, with a sheet of lead fixed round the brim in a slopingposition, that when the wort is hastily boiling, it would fall on thelead and immediately return into the copper, therefore it would preventthe wort from wasting or boiling over.Cooling of the Worts.As soon as the wort is out of the copper the next thing is to get theheat out as soon as possible, and to get it in a state forfermentation. Most private brewers, and many victuallers, separatetheir worts into tubs, bowls, pans, &c. for cooling; I have seen wortin no less than twelve or sixteen different utensils; worts being of asticky quality, it must be acknowledged that a loss is sustained byhaving the wort in so many utensils, and also very inconvenient to pourthe wort from the tubs and pans into the working tun; for in each ofthe before mentioned utensils will be a sediment, which too frequentlyfollows the wort into the working tun.Now to prevent the use of all these small utensils, a brew-house,though ever so small, will admit of two coolers being erected; for twocoolers will take up nearly the same room in the brew-house as if onlyone were to be erected; for one cooler should be nearly underneath theother, so that the second cooler may receive the wort from the first.Care must be taken in fixing the coolers, so as to admit the workingtun underneath the coolers, to receive the wort: but this need not beconsulted where there is a conveniency to convey the worts and workthem in the cellar. Note. A victualler is compelled by law not to alter the position of his coolers without giving notice to the excise officer;--now private families have the advantage,--they may have their coolers fixed in the brew-house, or to lay on trestles, and move them to any part, as occasion may require.The size of the coolers must so correspond with the quantity of maltbrewed, that in warm weather the worts do not exceed two inches indepth in the coolers; for in summer brewing the heat cannot too soonescape from the worts; and this is the evil--not having a conveniencyto separate the worts in a thin state, the brewer has not been able toget the heat out,--he has let the wort down into the working tun in awarm state, which has often brought on the fox, in a short time becamesour, and rendered unfit for drinking.The reader will observe that brewing in warm weather ought to beavoided as much as possible; for the coolers or tubs in warm weatherbeing in a very dry state, and the worts being a long time cooling,that, at least, one gallon in forty will exhaust itself.I shall point out one more improvement for cooling the worts moreexpeditiously: In many brew-houses there is no conveniency, when theworts come out of the copper, for the steam to escape out of thebrew-house, but will continue for a time in a thick cloudy state, tothe great detriment of the worts:--to remedy this, I would recommendflap shutters to be erected in as many parts of the brew-house asconvenient, and the building will admit; the flap shutters will permitthe steam to escape and very rapidly cool the worts. These shutters areas convenient in the winter, or when the weather is moderately cool,for they are so contrived that you may set them to what centre youplease.From these improvements the brewing will be more expeditiouslyperformed, as the worts will, of course, from this conveniency, muchsooner make way for the small beer, and totally prevent its being leftin the copper all night, which is too often practised, to the injury ofthose who drink it, as it will not be fine, but remain in a thick weycolour, which is owing to its being in the copper too long, and notbeing kept in a boiling state; for if a copper has been in use twentyyears it will at times show symptoms of the verdigris, which is asufficient voucher that the wort cannot be too short a time in thecopper, except when boiling.Coolers will last many years without repairing; when, on the contrary,cooling tubs, &c. are frequently out of repair, and are as lumber,being of little or no use, except when used in brewing.From the before mentioned improvements you will always finish yourbrewing before a late hour at night, which will enable you to pay themore attention to the worts in the tuns, &c.Care should be taken to keep the brewing utensils as clean and as sweetas those used in a dairy; for without cleanliness it is impossible tohave your beer in a good and wholesome state.The copper should be cleaned after each brewing, as it will keep itbright; when it is used but seldom, and in wet or damp weather, theverdigris will appear, but care should be taken to examine and cleanit, previous to the warier's being put in for brewing.It often happens, where the mash tun is not used for a working tun, thegrains are left in the mash tun till the next morning, they will thenbe in a sour state; therefore the tun should be scalded before the nextbrewing. If in very warm weather, some quick lime, that is, lime notslacked, will be necessary, by adding some water to dissolve it to thesame consistence as used for a white-wash; then with a mop or brush wetthe tun with the lime like unto white-washing; after the lime has beenon about a day it may be washed off.Much care should be taken to keep the coolers and working tuns in aclean state, by frequently scalding; it will be necessary in warmweather to lime the coolers and working tuns;--this is an excellentremedy where the coolers and tuns are tinged with the fox, as also apreventative against that fulsome complaint. Experience will inform youthat the use of lime is excellent in cleaning the utensils.When you soak the coolers, &c. previous to brewing, add some lime tothe water, as it will search and purge the joints of the coolers andtubs, by cleaning them from disagreeable smells.Particular attention should be paid to the cooling of the worts, byhaving coolers as before mentioned. You may let your worts down intothe tun as quick or as slow as you please and as the season mayrequire; in very cold weather it should go down into the tun from thecooler by a good stream, as the worts require to go down into the tunin a warm state, particularly when there is but a small quantitybrewed. In summer brewing your worts will require to go down into thetun in a cold state; however it will be much the best for them to becold than too warm, therefore you should set the cock or plug todischarge the worts from the coolers into the tun but slow anddribbling; for by going down slowly it will prevent a hastyfermentation, and consequently will have the good effect to preventyour tun of beer from being foxed; therefore it must be allowed to beconvenient and necessary to have coolers erected, as the worts will godown into the tun in almost one regular degree of heat.On the contrary, when worts are cooled in tubs, pans, &c. they areemptied into the working tun in different degrees of heat, one afteranother; perhaps in some of these cooling tubs or pans the worts aretwo or three inches in depth; in others, six or seven inches; thereforethe worts will be of different degrees of heat, and by having part ofthe worts let down into the tun much warmer than those already down,and which, perhaps, are in a fermentation, those worts will, of course,cause a fermentation too hastily,--will frequently cause the tun ofbeer to be foxed, and will always be in a heavy state, for the yeastwill not separate itself from the beer; this renders the coolers morenecessary and convenient.Attending the Working Tun.Attention should be paid to the beer when in the tun. It is a customwith many brewers to put their yeast for that brewing into the tun atone time: I will prove that practice to be very erroneous; for byadding the quantity of yeast you intend to use at one time, may cause afermentation too hastily, and then you have no remedy. You should feedyour tun with yeast by adding a little at a time, as occasion mayrequire, for by so doing you will always be master of your tun of beer,by having it in what state of fermentation you please; as the qualityof malt and waters differ, it will require more or less yeast toferment it, and by adding the yeast at different times you will beenabled to form such a judgment as never to over-yeast your tun. Everytime you add more yeast you should stir your beer with a bowl orbucket.Cleansing.It is a practice with many people to keep their beer in the tun fromfour to six days; by that time the yeast will fall to the bottom of thetun, and the beer will be in a flat, dead state; it will always beheady beer, being kept so long before it is cleansed; it will not beinclined to work in the casks, nor will it drink with a pleasant,lively taste. There is no coming at any exact time, with respect tohours, when your beer will be ready to cleanse, therefore this must bedone by attention, in frequently examining when your beer is at itsfull head of working, or what is commonly said, rather inclined to goback; when it is in that state it should be cleansed immediately. This,I say, should be attended to, notwithstanding it should happen attwelve o'clock at night; for this is the evil, by neglecting the propertime to cleanse your beer it will not be able to fine itself in thecasks, and then some device must be used to fine it, which is too ofteninjurious to the beer.A very necessary Caution.It is a common practice, when casks are scalded or cleansed, to exposethem to the sun and wind to dry, and there leave them till the time ofcleansing, then they are placed in the cellar, &c. and the beerimmediately cleansed into them; when the sun, in warm weather, haspenetrated through the wood and become so warm that you cannotconveniently lay your hand upon them; this is often done unthinkingly,but the casks being thus heated by the sun causes the beer to work toohastily; after all the care and pains before taken, it here receives amaterial injury, by having, as may be said, undergone a secondfermentation, and will reduce its strength by working too hastily outof the casks, and very probably may be the cause of its not being softand pleasant; however, care should be taken to get your casks perfectlydry, previous to the cleansing into them; in hot weather place them inthe cellar, &c. some time before you have occasion to cleanse your beerinto them.Attention should be paid in keeping your casks filled up aftercleansing, to enable the yeast to discharge itself from the beer, forby so doing there will be the greater probability of your beer beingfine; if the casks are not kept filled up when working, the yeastcannot discharge itself from the beer, which, in change of weather,will be purging and hissing in the casks, and will cause it to be harshand unpleasant; this is the principal cause why we have so many muddyales. Attending your beer when working, by filling up the casks, willbe found to be of the greatest utility, as you will have no occasion touse any device to fine your beer, which will only attend toadulteration.Small Beer.As I said before, small beer is too frequently neglected, because themaster or mistress of a family drink but a small quantity of it. Iverily believe there would be less _good_ small beer consumed in afamily of servants and workmen, than if it were inferior and bad in itsquality. It may be thought strange by adding the name of _good_ tosmall beer, but it must be acknowledged that there is a great disparityin the quality of ales, and why not in small beer; on the one hand, itcertainly depends on what length you draw from quantity of malt.Small beer should be let down into the tun much warmer than ale; and assoon as it shows an inclination to work it should be cleansed; it willthen work well in the casks, and will have a quick, lively taste. Smallbeer, not having a sufficient strength, cannot support a longfermentation in the tun: for if it is worked cold, and left too long inthe tun, it will drink flat and unpleasant.Now, as I said before, there will be no more _good_ small beer consumedin a family, than if it were ever so _bad_; for when a workman orservant has occasion for a pot of small beer, if bad, he will, perhaps,drink a part of it, and throw the remainder away, and, very likely,carelessly leave the cock dropping, in order to get rid of such a badcommodity the sooner. Now, on the other hand, if the small beer wasgood, the consumers would take care to leave the cock, &c. secure,well knowing they should not have a better substitute.Cleanliness in the Cellar.Care should be taken to keep the cellar clean, (especially those whoare situated near the south aspect; or shallow, where the sun has anypower,) by scraping the yeast from the bung-holes of the casks; else inwarm weather it will smell offensive, and insects will breed therein,which must be injurious to the beer, if the bung-holes are open.The dropping of the cock, tap tubs, &c. will cause fulsome smells inthe cellar, which frequently require to be washed down; for washing andcleaning your cellar often, will keep your beer in a cool state, andwill be the means of preventing mild ale from becoming stale.Put some hops into your ale and small beer casks a few days before youwant to tap them for use; even those hops that have already been usedin brewing will be found serviceable in fining your beer, and will notcause it to be too bitter, but will prevent your small beer frombecoming sour. Notwithstanding their being used in brewing, they willbe found by experience to be very serviceable for the purpose beforementioned. Another advantage will arise, they will serve the use offresh hops, which, when dear, will be found to be a considerable saving. Note. They are recommended for beer that is for present drinking, as they cannot be expected to be sufficient for beer intended for a long standing.Another advantage will be found when a length of ale is brewed, and nosmall beer made, the hops will then be found of greater utility, asthey will contain the same quality as the ale they were brewed with;consequently the ale and small beer they are put into will receive agreater advantage therefrom.This may not seem consistent, as mild ales and small beer seldom haveany hops put into the casks; but when a cask of beer is a considerabletime at tap, it will certainly want something to feed on; this is onecause why small beer generally turns sour when it is nearly out; now byusing the before mentioned hops it will be found to be a considerableremedy to prevent both mild ales and small beer from being hard andunpleasant.The reader will observe, these hops having performed their duty, theyare of no expense, only the trouble of putting them into the casks. Thesmall beer must derive a considerable advantage from those hops when aguile of ale was only brewed from them. Take care to put them into thecasks as soon as they are cold, for by being too long exposed to theair they will lose their virtue.I should not have said so much concerning small beer, but the price ofmalt is so considerably advanced, to what it was formerly, that smallbeer is become an expensive article, where there is a numerous family.If you observe the before mentioned directions you will not have yoursmall beer so unpleasant, particularly when your cask is nearly out.The most wholesome small beer is made from an entire guile of small,for then you have the whole of the spirit and sweetness of the malt; itwill keep better and drink much fresher than if it were to be made fromthe goods after a length of ale.If you rack your beer, fail not to put some hops into the casks,wetting them first with some of the same beer, or rather wet the hopswith some wort when brewing. If you want to hasten your beer fordrinking, put the hops into the casks when they are warm; if your beeris for a long standing, put the hops in your casks when they are cold,giving them a stir to separate them in the beer.Take care not to be under the necessity of tapping your ale or smallbeer before it has actually done working, for by so doing you willprevent it from becoming fine: new beer may be classed with new bread;for the newer you draw your beer the more there will be consumed; newbeer is not so satisfying as it is when come to a more mature age.Beware, lest you forget to pay attention to your beer which is at tap;for, "as the eye of the master maketh his horse fat," so the head of afamily, now and then giving a look into his cellar, may be the cause ofbeer drinking more agreeable to his palate, by taking care thevent-holes are kept closely stopped, and the cocks secure.Do not fail to stoop your cask when the beer is about two parts inthree out; this should be done whilst the tap is spending, for then youwill not disturb the sediment. By stooping the cask when the beer isabout two parts in three out will prevent it from becoming flat andsour; when, on the other hand, it is too frequently to be observed whena person is drawing a pot of beer, the stream is impeded; for the beer,being so nearly out, will not run till it is stooped. Now before this,the cock discharging the beer but slowly, the air is admitted into thecask, which causes the beer to drink flat, and, perhaps, turn sour:therefore this will enforce the necessity of stooping your cask beforeit be so nearly out.This is a fault with many publicans, not paying attention to theircellars; even many of those who brew their own beer are neglectful,notwithstanding their own interest and credit is concerned. Tis notuncommon for the vent-peg, and even the bung, to be left out of thosecasks which are actually on draught.Publicans, who retail common brewer's beer, and neglect their cellars,have this excuse, if their customers find fault with the beer, bysaying "tis such beer as my brewer sends me," so it may be; but let apublican be served with beer of the first quality, it entirely dependson the management of the retailer thereof, whether the beer shall be ofa good or bad quality. This is proved by persons in the same town, eachbeing served with beer from one and the same brew-house; there will begenerally a disparity in the quality after it comes into the stock ofthe respective retailers thereof, which proves it to be the good or badmanagement in the cellar.I am convinced I shall not offend the attentive publican by what Ihave said respecting the cellar; but should this fall into the hands ofthe inattentive, it may offend; but that I will excuse, if, by thereading of this, he should be convinced of his error, and pay moreattention to his cellar; that he may be enabled to draw a pot of beerto please those useful and valuable men, the labourer and the mechanic;and where they used to drink but one pot of beer with him, they may,from finding his ale much better than usual, perhaps, drink two.On the drying and qualities of Malt.I shall here give a few observations on malt, which was my principalreason for introducing this work to the public, well knowing that manywho profess the art of brewing have very little knowledge of the natureand quality of the malt and hops they brew with.Malt is dried with coke, coal, wood, furze, and straw. The best andsweetest malt is dried with coke, or welch coal; because the coke, orcoal, gives a regular and gradual heat. Malt dried with coke, or coal,will be of a bright, clean colour, because the fire is free from smoke.It is also to be observed that malt dried with coal, or coke, isgenerally well cured, that is, sound dried, because the coke or coalfire is fierce and strong.If malt is dried with a wood fire it greatly depends on the wood beinghoused in a dry season; for if the wood is dry it will produce a clearfire, free from smoke, and the malt will be of a bright colour; but ifthe wood is wet and sugged, the fire will not be fierce, but will besmoky, and will certainly cause the malt to be of a dull colour; andthe beer brewed from such malt will consequently have a smoky taste:therefore it depends on the attention of the maltster, in housing hiswood in good order, for without that attention he cannot serve hiscustomers with good, bright, well cured malt.I have seen very fine malt dried with straw, it being less subject tosmoke than malt dried with wood; but this mode of drying is verytedious, because a person must always attend the fire. In thosecountries where it is straw-dried, wood and coal is dear, thereforestraw is used as a substitute for coal, &c. However, if care be taken,malt may be well cured with a straw or wood fire, but not to equalwelch coal, or coke, because the fire may always be kept up so as toproduce a regular heat.Fuel being much dearer than formerly many maltsters are too sparing oftheir fire; and here arises the principal cause why we have so much badbeer; for if malt is not well cured, that is, sound dried, it will notproduce good and wholesome beer.Malt may appear to be of a fine amber colour, and this may be done bymaking a strong fire a few minutes before the kiln is shifted,therefore the colour is not at all times a rule for its being welldried. No malt should be used till it has been off the kiln a month, atleast; at the end of that time, if the malt bites quick and crisp, youmay conclude it is well dried.It will be very necessary when you give orders for a brewing of malt,to request your maltster to send the malt well dried; this caution mayinduce him to pay more attention in the drying of his malt.When a brewing of malt is ordered by private families, perhaps no orderis given respecting any particular sort, that is to say, whether pale,amber, or brown, for these are the three sorts of malt; but many retailmaltsters in the country have but one sort of malt, and, in fact, onesort is sufficient, provided care is taken to dry their malt sound, ofa fine amber colour.Now I again repeat that the principal reason of our having so much hardand sour beer, is owing to the malt being under dried; for malt is thefundamental article in brewing. If a guile of beer is made from underdried malt it will not be of a fine bright colour, and an extra boilingof the worts will not have the desired effect: then you are under thenecessity of using finings and other nostrums, which are onlytemporary, for no other ingredients whatever can be so beneficial tobeer as malt and hops, and if those two commodities are in a good andgenuine state, you will not have occasion to seek for any other art ordevice whatever. Another considerable advantage will arise, for eachbushel of sound dried malt will produce a gallon of wort more thanslack or under dried malt; this is proved by brewing two sorts of malt,that is, malt perfectly dried will discharge the wort freely, and thegrains will be dry and light; when, on the other hand, if a brewing ofbeer is made from under dried malt, the grains will be clammy andheavy, owing to the raw state of the malt, therefore a part of the wortcannot discharge itself, which is a sufficient voucher that theperfectly dried malt will produce a greater quantity of wort of anequal degree of strength.I hinted before that malt should not be brewed till it has been off thekiln a month; but if malt is six or seven months old it will be thebetter, because it will become mellow, and your beer will be muchsofter and better than if used immediately from the kiln.Between Michaelmas and Christmas the retail maltster's stock of oldmalt generally lays in a small compass, and will be slack; I should atthis season recommend part old and part new, for the one will help theother.On Hops.Many professed brewers are particularly attached to the colour of thehops, that is, they are partial to those of a fine green colour; theseare certainly to be preferred, if they were ripe when gathered:--toprove their goodness, rub them between your fingers, if they are infull condition they will stick to your fingers, will have a good strongscent, and the seeds will appear full and yellow.Brown spots are frequently to be seen on hops; these are, in general,hops that came to a full ripeness before they were gathered. High windsand rain frequently happen about the middle or latter end of the hopseason, which will disfigure them in their colour in a few hours, sothat the colour is not at all times to direct you as to their goodness.In the hop countries most hop-planters keep those hops which are mostdisfigured in their quality, separate and apart, when picking, fromthose of a brighter colour; those which are of an inferior colour arekept for their own use, and disposed of to their neighbours, it beingtheir opinion that they answer the purpose in brewing nearly as well asthose of a brighter colour, provided they are in full condition, thatis, if they are full of seeds; for in the seeds is the virtue andstrength of the hop.The quantity of hops used in brewing is generally half a pound to abushel of malt, and so in proportion to a greater quantity; if mildale, for present drinking, a lesser quantity will do; but this must beleft to the discretion of the brewer, or master of a family, as someare more partial to the taste of the hop than others.Hops are found to be of such excellent utility in the bittering ofbeer, that common brewers and innkeepers are forbidden by law to useany other bitter ingredient whatever in brewing of beer and ale. I havetaken the liberty to insert this as a caution to the unwary.As to the quantity of beer each bushel of malt should produce, it mustrest on the option or circumstances of the brewer, or the head of afamily. A bushel of malt will produce ten gallons of good ale; but thegreater the quantity of malt, brewed at one time, the better will beyour beer.
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