Historic Aussie Recipe

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My mum has just dug up an old recipe of my great-uncle's from the war era. Apparently, beer was in short supply during the war and so he brewed his own. Until the 1970s homebrewing was illegal, and living on the North Shore of Sydney, they only brewed when there was a southerly that would blow away the smell. So here is the recipe.


4oz Hops
1lb Barley (optional)
4lbs white sugar
2lbs Extract Malt
1oz of yeast

Put hops and barley in bag, place in kerosene tin about 3/4 full of water. Bring to boil and boil for 1/4 hour, then add sugar. Boil another 1/4 hour. Add malt. Boil further 1/4 hour. Remove bag of hops. Cool off quickly by placing tin in bath of cold water.

Fill tin to about 1 1/2 inches from top with boiled water. When cooled to blood heat rise yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar in 3/4 cup of brew. Allow to stand till finished working, skimming off frequently. (About 4 or 5 days.) 24 hours before bottling dissolve 1 dessertspoon of gelatine in boiling water, and add to brew. This jellies sediment.

Syphon off brew. Strain well. Put 1 teaspoon sugar in each bottle, cork tightly and leave about 7 days before using.

Will make 21 to 24 bottles. Do not fill bottles.

The beer itself does not look like a winner, with the huge quantities of sugar, presumably mostly due to what was available at the time. I'd like to brew it anyway for interest, family and historic, and would appreciate a few bits of advice on the type of hops and yeast to use to be fairly authentic. I guess I will have to scale down the amount of hops as the alpha acids of modern hops may be higher than those used in this recipe. Any other suggestions?

Hops would be Golden Cluster or Pride of Ringwood. Yeast most probably Bakers Yeast. Make it if you want, however I can promise you it's not going to be too pleasant at all. :ph34r:

Keep a packet of panadol on standby for the next day's fusel attack. :blink:

Warren -
I know it will be a rough brew. No happy :chug: with this beer. I may just make up a small batch so I am wasting less ingredients, but my mother is really into her family history at the moment and it's more for her benefit than for my taste buds.

I don't think POR are the right hops as they were only introduced in 1965. Were Golden Cluster used at this time?
I have a customer who still brews with a pre-1970's recipe.
3lb Sugar
3lb Malt Extract
3oz Hops flowers
He prefers something around the Fuggles style as it is used all at once I think. Give me a call and I will put you in touch with him if you like.