Cats Meow 3
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Col. George Washington's Small Beer

Classification: historical, 1700s

Source: Thomas Manteufel, ( Issue #748, 10/25/91

I made this after two Civil War beers (bay leaf/ginger and the spruce beer). I had molasses and the barm from the second Civil War beer, so I brewed this. I used 2 ounces of hops. (It really doesn't make much difference what kind. The water is pretty bitter after boiling for an hour.) I let it ferment a week before bottling. It is undrinkable by modern standards. The only flavor is the bitterness of the molasses, followed by the hop bitterness. The flavors never melded; there is just the distinct double bitterness. One pound of molasses is about one pint in volume. Most of these historical beer recipes can be found in Brewed in America, by Stanley Baron.


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 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.