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Prohibition Pilsner

Classification: historical, prohibition

Source: Robb Holmes ( Issue #805, 1/20/92

One crock can be eliminated if the liquid is siphoned directly into the bottles from the fermented crock. In this case, place 1/2 teaspoon sugar in each pint or one teaspoon in each quart bottle. Best consistent results can be obtained if a five gallon bottle is used instead of a crock for the fermenting vessel, using a water seal. All vessels and tubing should be entirely clear and sanitary before use. A 2-3% warm lye solution is an excellent one for the purpose. Rinse with water after the use of lye solution. Use of Hydrometer is not necessary if the above directions are followed. The specific gravity at the time of bottling will however, be 1.012 - 1.016.

This is the third and final installment of traditional "Prohibition Pilsner" recipes received anonymously, presumably from the makers of Blue Ribbon malt syrup, in the mid-1970's. Previous installments of Historical Homebrew appeared in Homebrew Digest # 795 and # 800. This is posted here purely for historical interest, and not as a recommended recipe, although the techniques called for here seem to be much closer to currently recommended procedures for beginning brewers, than in the earlier historical postings. The format of the original is retained as much as possible.



Dissolve syrup and sugar in boiling hot water---pour into cold water to make five gallons---allow to further cool for two hours, then add one cake yeast. Cover crock or other fermenting vessel with clean cloth. Keep in a cool, dark place. Watch carefully and when bubbles of gas cease coming to surface fermentation has been completed and liquor should be quite clear (approximately four days).

Now siphon off clear liquid to another clean crock, leaving the thick sediment behind. To the liquor in the second crock add 1/4 pound granulated sugar and stir until dissolved. Fill into bottle by siphoning or pouring. Cap and immediately store in a cool dark place. The beverage will be ready for use when clear---requires one to two weeks.