hist-brewing: Spruce Beer

Michael D. Manning darke at inetworld.net
Tue Sep 14 14:14:20 PDT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen Wilson <Stephen.Wilson at jcu.edu.au>

> I'm doing some research into spruce beer, specifically the use of spruce
> essence.
> If anyone has any information on this, I'm very interested.

These are the only old recipes I have for spruce:

    (c. early 1700's, British North America)  General Amherst's Spruce Beer
>From the journal of General Jeffrey Amherst, governor-general of British
North America

    "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. "

    (c. late 1700's, USA)    Benjamin Franklin's Spruce Beer , Translated
from the french while he was stationed in France.

A Way of making Beer with essence of Spruce

    "For a Cask containing 80 bottles, take one pot of Essence and 13 Pounds
of Molases. - or the same amount of unrefined Loaf Sugar; mix them well
together in 20 pints of hot Water: Stir together until they make a Foam,
then pour it into the Cask you will then fill with Water: add a Pint of good
Yeast, stir it well together and let it stand 2 or 3 Days to ferment, after
which close the Cask, and after a few days it will be ready to be put into
Bottles, that must be tightly corked. Leave them 10 or 12 Days in a cool
Cellar, after which the Beer will be good to drink."

Hope this helps,

darke at inetworld.net      _^..^_
"Veni, Coqui, Bibimus"

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