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Author Topic: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760  (Read 7256 times)

Offline Kyle

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Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« on: April 11, 2011, 10:42:47 PM »
(original is below)

Scaled for 2 gallon batch (In case its awful)

7.25oz living spruce branch
1.6 US pints Molasses
water to two gallons
following 1st boil, bring up to boil again, for a while, say 10 minutes
add yeast
ferment for a fortnight



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Take 7 Pounds of good spruce & boil it well till the bark peels off, then take the spruce out & put three Gallons of Molasses to the Liquor & and boil it again, scum it well as it boils, then take it out the kettle & put it into a cooler, boil the remained of the water sufficient for a Barrel of thirty Gallons, if the kettle is not large enough to boil it together, when milkwarm in the Cooler put a pint of Yest into it and mix well. Then put it into a Barrel and let it work for two or three days, keep filling it up as it works out. When done working, bung it up with a Tent Peg in the Barrel to give it vent every now and then. It may be used in up to two or three days after. If wanted to be bottled it should stand a fortnight in the Cask. It will keep a great while.
http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/d ... cebeer.htm
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Fermenting: --
Conditioning: --
On Tap: --

Offline Richard

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 11:35:31 AM »
been interested in trying some for a while now, so count me in for tasting this please ;)
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Offline Gil Breau

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 01:55:22 PM »
Why do I got a feeling that'll taste like gin & Beer combined, not that I'm necessarily complaining.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 02:12:02 PM »
how'd you go from spruce to gin? I thought gin was mostly juniper berries.
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 02:14:47 PM »
just hoping the historical society will get back on historically accurate yeast strains.

if not, I'll try S-04, since  I assume in 1760 that the yeast would have had English origin
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 02:23:00 PM »
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Offline Richard

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 02:30:25 PM »
Quote from: "Kyle"
just hoping the historical society will get back on historically accurate yeast strains.

No way they're going to know that; not even slightly. I'm pretty sure that back then they didn't even know what yeast was, as Pasteur's work was in the 1800's


Quote from: "Kyle"
if not, I'll try S-04, since  I assume in 1760 that the yeast would have had English origin

I suspect if you wanted trueness to style a medley would be in order, as there sure wasn't pure culture technique in 1760. Maybe a mixed slurry of S-04 and something 1214-ish?
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 02:34:25 PM »
now I'm thinking a mix of S-04 and bakers yeast might be a good approximation,

yeah, I thought they had no understanding of yeast, but the recipe calls for "yest" what else could that be referring to?
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Offline Richard

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 02:38:41 PM »
Aye I meant as a micro-organism (with different strains); clearly there was some understanding that it was a part of the process.

I like your S-04 and bread-yeast idea tbh; probably a closer match to the original.
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Offline Gil Breau

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2011, 07:47:28 AM »
I always found juniper to taste like spruce :/
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Offline Brian_S

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 06:23:32 PM »
I'm thinking this would be more of a spontaneous fermentation based on what I've read...you know, just add the new batch to the same barrel that still has a bit of the old batch and bobs' your uncle.

I'd be curious enough to try some as well....I'm sure the effects would be a bit like having your head bashed in with a gold brick wrapped in spruce bows.....and who doesn't like spruce?

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Offline Madavascus

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2012, 02:47:46 PM »
Kyle! Thank you SO much for posting this! I have been looking for a historical Spruce beer recipe for a while now. My paternal grand-father's old recipe has sadly been lost to us (because he hadn't made a batch in almost a decade before he died).

Also, that pretty much sounds like the kind of Spruce beer Benjamin Franklin described in his writings.
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Offline HappyHax0r

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2012, 03:28:53 PM »
Kyle, when this is ready, I would like to try a small amount of it (perhaps a half-glass).
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2012, 03:32:46 PM »
I'd like to feed it to my pet squirrel :D

Offline HappyHax0r

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Re: Spruce Beer recipe from 1760
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2012, 03:34:14 PM »
Quote from: "ChrisCraig"
I'd like to feed it to my pet squirrel :D


You dirty, dirty man you.

Remember, alcohol + pet squirrels == new brood of baby rodents ;)
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