hist-brewing: Converting Corn and Potatoes

Bob Skilnik toddlintown at mediaone.net
Wed Jun 21 08:45:50 PDT 2000

As I discuss in my recent book, The History of Beer
and Brewing in Chicago, 1833-1978, the use of adjuncts
such as corn and rice 
(gelatinized and flaked, it was called Cerealina) was a 
result of the unfolding practice of bottling beer. Prior to 
the use of clear glass for bottling and drinking vessels, 
six-row malted barley was used as is,
that is, without adjuncts. Drinking draft beer from 
a non-see through stein, no one questioned the 
clarity of the beer...
freshness and availability were its most admired attributes.

The initial use of adjuncts in American beer corresponded
with the move towards a more portable product, bottled beer.
In the years slightly before the entrance by the U.S. into
WWI, grain restrictions forced the hands of American brewers
to reformulate their brews once again with more adjunts
to abide by these wartime grain restrictions.

After National Prohibition, brews were once again lightened 
in character and sweetened in taste as brewers tried to not 
only win over a new market of beer drinking women, but also 
to accomodate those Prohibition-era drinkers that had become 
so accustomed to bathtub gin and cheap Scotch that had been 
mixed with sweet mixers such as cola and ginger ale.

So as you can see, there has been an evolution of American
towards the product that is offered today.

If you'd like a real pre-Proh beer formula, contact the
Chicago Historical Society. The papers of E.J. Siebel are
here with some interesting beer recipes included or
send me a SASE envelope. I'll send a copy out to you.

Bob Skilnik
Chicago Beer History
P.O. Box 793
Plainfield, IL 60544

NATHAN T Moore wrote:
> Both of these can be added to a mash, after proper prep (gelatinization by heat or flaking), just like Bud adds rice to their beer, and with a similar effect.  Actually a lot of starchey vegies and such can be used, peas and beans have been historically used (their is a beer from Lithuania commercially available in the US made with peas).
> Corn brewing is being revitalized in the home brewing community through the Classic American Pilsner, a pre-prohibition style.  I have judged several extraordinary examples of this style and am a big fan.  In this style flaked corn is used.  For more info check out http://www.brewery.org/brewery/library/ClassAmPils.html or the BT article at http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.3/fix.html  For info on potatoes and other adjuncts, check out the Brewery's Library under Adjuncts, this link will take you straight there, http://www.brewery.org/brewery/Library.html#Adjuncts.
> Nate
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