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Prohibition Chicago Style

Classification: historical, prohibition, 1920s

Source: Bruce T. Hill, (dannet!bruce@uunet.UU.NET) Issue #788, 12/23/91

My sister-in-law's mother gave this following recipe to me. It dates back to the 1930's. They grew up in a predominantly Polish part of Chicago where it was traditional to make home-made beer for festive occasions (like Christmas!). The recipe is pretty rough by our modern homebrewing standards, but it shows that the homebrewing spirit was alive and well several decades ago.



Bring one gallon water to boiling point using a pan large enough to hold water, malt syrup and corn sugar. Add malt syrup and stir until mixed. Stir in corn sugar slowly until dissolved. Settler should be mixed in with sugar at this time for best results.history:prohibition recipes

Place crock on box or chair (not on floor), pour in three gallons of luke warm water, then add hot ingredients. Now add sufficient luke warm water to make 5 and 1/2 gallons of liquid in the 6 gallon crock.

Dissolve yeast in cup of luke warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow mixture to stand until yeast starts working, usually within 1/2 hour. Add the working yeast to mixture in crock and stir until mixed throughly.

Chill before serving. When pouring, slant bottle and glass and pour slowly to prevent clouding.

If it is cloudy or tastes gritty, you have disturbed the sediment by shaking it up or by pouring too fast.

If it tastes "flat" you either bottled it too late, or did not allow it to age long enough.

If it tends to foam up or tastes "airy", you bottled it too soon. The mixture had not completed.

Use of tester. Tester is accurate when it is kept at uniform 65 or 70. The tester will settle the first day between 3 and 6. This is the approximate alcohol content. When the tester settles to 1/2% or the red line "B" it is ready to bottle. If the test settles to "W" it means it is too flat. Taste to determine if it has turned sour. If not, then add one teaspoon of sugar to the quart of 1/2 teaspoon to the pint before capping, to restore life to it. In the event it has soured, it is spoiled.