hist-brewing: suger substitution

bjm10 at cornell.edu bjm10 at cornell.edu
Tue Jan 5 11:52:50 PST 1999

On Mon, 28 Dec 1998, Gary Henderson wrote:

> Hi, yes me once again and boy being new to brewing I have a milion
> questions. I was thinking that honey should not be the only form of suger.

You are most certainly right, my dear fellow.  Cane sugar was certainly 
used in brewing by the 19th century, both industrially and in the home.  
It also had some use in the 18th century.  Molasses was a vital component 
of brewing in the 18th century, and some recipes for "beer" consisted of 
nothing but molasses, water, yeast, and hops.  The standard military 
method of making "spruce beer" for the English army (cf various journals, 
including that of Knox) in the 1750s was to boil spruce branches, take 
the extract and add molasses and yeast, and ferment.  It was drunk 
scandalously young (a mere 5-7 days after fermentation started) and was 
seen as a cure for scurvy.

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