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Malt Liquors

Classification: historical, 1700s

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

From the letters of Joseph Clarke, general treasurer of the Rhode Island colony, sometime around 1775.

You are first to have ready the following Implements, a mash Vat, to put your malt in; a Vessel under this to receive the Wort in; a Copper to boil in; a Rudder to stir your malt with, and Vessels to cool your Liquor in; First then fill your Copper with water, take then 6 Bushels of Malt and put into your mash Vat, leaving about a Peck to sprinkle over the Liquor when in, Let your water simper, and be in the next degree of boiling but not boil; lay it on upon the Malt well ground, and when you have laid on such a quantity as you can draw off a Barrel of Wort, stir the malt well together with your Rudder; and then sprinkle the remaining Peck of Malt over all covering it up with Cloths to keep the heat in; for three hours; only when it have stood an hour and half draw off a pail full or two; and lay it on again to clear your tap hole. This done the next Business is to boil a Copper of Water, to scald your other Vessels with; always taking care to have a Copper of Liquor hot to lay on, upon the malt when you draw off the first Wort, and this will be for small Beer. The three hours now expired; let go (as the Term is) which is let the first wort run off, putting into the Vessel which receives it a pound of Hops; when all drawn off lay on the hot Liquor for your small Beer, clean out your Copper and put the wort, Hops and all into the Copper and boil it for two hours; strain it then off thro: a Sieve into your Vessels to cool it; and put your small Beer into Copper and the same hops that come out of the first Beer and boil it an hour. When both are almost cool add Yeast to them; to set it to work, breaking the head in every time it rises; till it works itself clear and tun in; Bung it up with Clay and keep it in your Cellar, in three months you may bottle the strong Beer, the other in a weeks time will be fit to drink.