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Prohibition Pilsner

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yankee brewer

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Most recently, I made a wine out of Welch's grape juice concentrate diluted by half as much as it said on the label fermented with baker's yeast. I did this as an experiment to see if I could have made something drinkable if I had lived during prohibition. Results? Better than you think! The baker's yeast fermented the wine all the way to 12% alcohol in three days flat, flocculated out crystal clear in no time (2 days) and left no off flavors! My brew buddy actually asked for another glass! Tastes like a mid-priced merlot. This got me to thinking. What next?

Next I'm going to make a one or two gallon "prohibition pilsner" along the same lines. What to use for bittering? Pine needles perhaps??? I know Pabst brewing company survived the hideous oppression of prohibition by making and selling malt extract syrup for "baking purposes". Of course, pragmatic beer lovers found another use. I'll guess that Pabst LME was produced using a similar grist bill as an American "pilsner" of the day. Probably up to 30% of the grist being corn or rice. Of course pre-prohibition American beer was slightly maltier than it is today and slightly hoppier, more closely resembling the grist bill and hop profile of some of today's better Aussie and Canadian brews-- althought all of these pale fizzy urine beers have become more dumbed down over the decades.

Anyway, here is my plan: one 3.3 Lb can of Cooper's unhopped, 1/2 kilo rice syrup, add H2O until the gravity hits about 1.045, boil it with some spruce needles or hybiscus tea, pitch the same baker's yeast I used in the Welch's wine and see what happens.

Any suggestions???? I bet it turns out better than Bud Light...OK, so that's not such a high mark to hit but hey! It was prohibition!
 

yankee brewer

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I guess none of you could survive? Or is my plan so perfect that no one can think of any improvements???C'mon mates, offer me some help here. I am flying blind, exploring uncharted territory, going where no man really has any desire to go! ;)

Just keep in mind that I have to stick to ingredients available to your average Joe Shmoe in the 1920s in the USA. I know you Aussies have some experience with this type of brewing because as I understand it homebrewing was illegal in Oz until 1975 or something like that?? But I'll wager that some of your dads and granddads brewed anyway. I hear it all the time, "My _______ used to brew 'that homebrew stuff' back in 19xx".

C'mon dogs, throw me a bone.
 

kook

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You could try all sorts of things for bittering, I think pine needles would be best for a first try though.

Maybe wormwood? cannabis? lemon balm? spruce? nettles?
 

yankee brewer

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Cannabis! hey now there's an idea. cannabin-ale. Get drunk and stoned in one fell swoop. Darned expensive. Dry hopped.. er.. uh..dry potted???
 

kook

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*Theoretically* if you "dry hopped" with it, it might work. THC is absorbed into alcohol.

Costly exercise though :p

Plus It'd be *very* costly for bittering :p
 

Linz

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The "Rumour" I've heard of when using "Hooch" in beer making(bittering) is that it leaves a taste/mouthfeel that is supposedly similar to toothpaste...not too fun sounding for me to fork-out for to find out if the rumour is true. Although, Kook can confirm, is we have tried a Hemp filtered beer at the Australian hotel(April 03)and is on sale at Northmead cellars ATM.
 

kook

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For flavouring/dry hopping, its actually not that bad. Tastes mellow like noble hops, yet slightly stale/earthy. Reminded me of fuggles actually :blink:
 

Batz

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I'll have one


And Yankee , my Dad made beer way back then , I know he bought hop flowers from someplace , I remember the family going off about the smell of old socks !
 

jayse

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batz
that'll be the good ole pride of ringwood.
They certainly do seem to have the ol sock smell.

Anyway.
in australia it is the invention of the supermarket kit that tottaly destroyed the craft brewing scene which still remained a very dodgey home brew scene untill resent years.
Before the introduction of these cans in the 50-60's apparantly their where several brewers who brewed in much the same way as us now. ie unhopped malt extract was somehow availible and some very good yeast strains etc. plus malted grains and all sorts of stuff.

then it became legal to sell products such as the hopped can in supermarkets and brew beer at home.

so basically home brew was great in oz before the ministers' at the time changed the laws to allow the sale of home brew kits.


Graeme sanders talks about this on is lastest radio show availible on the craft brewers site.
http://oz.craftbrewer.org/Library/
 

jayse

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sorry my posts stuff up
 

jayse

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So its coopers fault home brew has had a bad name in australia for so long.
 

Murray

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Go the triple post.

I've talked to my parent's in law about brewing and it turns out that they brewed all grain back in the '60s. They even had a full-blown stainless 50L boiling vessel (which they sold many a year ago, damn them to hell). They moved around a bit and stopped brewing.

I recall with amusement my father telling them how much more advanced brewing was these days as you could get everything you needed in a tin :D
 

jayse

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Advance, hahaha.
it seems from all records that the tin was the biggest factor in destroying home brewing in oz.
 

GMK

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Yankee Brewer

I suggest you use some brown sugar or maple syrup.
Also, try adding Oak Chips - simulate brewing, storing in barrels from the old days and perhaps spices.

I know taht spices were used befor e hops - eg Juniper berries was used in England before hops. Later they made Gin out of Juniper Berries.

Hope this helps.
 

Choos

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Instead of hops use mugwort - extract from somewhere in cyber space "Historically, this herb was used in beer before the acknowledgment of hops. This herb is still used but not as widely as it used to be."
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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hmm bread yeast (same species as ale yeast) is supposed to give lots of fusel alcohols: read megaheadaches next day. I would use ale yeast myself. Have you thought of doing some pre-prohibition brews? Classic American Pilsner etc?

And only a few oakchips: the barrels used by breweries are pitchlined so no wood flavor gets into the beer, so you want the merest suspicion of oak







Jovial Monk
 

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