Friday, February 22, 2008

Washington's Beer Recipe

[Portrait of George Washington... Digital ID: 815025. New York Public Library

Today is George Washington's birthday. To celebrate I present to you his beer recipe which is included in one of his notebooks, located in the Manuscripts Division at the Library.

If making beer is too difficult (amateurs!), why not just toast G.W with a round or two at Fraunces' Tavern - the historic inn where Washington bid farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution.

To Make Small Beer (from George Washington, 1757)

Take a large Sifter full of Bran
Hops to your Taste -- Boil these
3 hours. Then strain out 30 Gall.
into a Cooler put in 3 Gallons
Molasses while the Beer is
scalding hot or rather drain the
molasses into the Cooler. Strain
the Beer on it while boiling hot
let this stand til it is little more
than Blood warm. Then put in
a quart of Yeast if the weather is
very cold cover it over with a Blanket.
Let it work in the Cooler 24 hours
then put it into the Cask. leave
the Bung open til it is almost done
working -- Bottle it that day Week
it was Brewed.


Megan said...

Well done. This is great.

Deborah Dowd said...

So glad there are still people who remember the real Washington's birthday. I love the recipe, espcially "little more than blood warm".

Jason said...

Hmmm. Not sure this is the recipe for me. Check out the Fall 2005 Newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor for an article on Early American Beer.
Washinton's recipe is for "Small Beer", which was weaker than either strong beer or table beer, at < 2% alcohol.