hist-brewing: George Washington Porter

JazzboBob at aol.com JazzboBob at aol.com
Fri Dec 14 18:19:41 PST 2012

I am looking for assistance to translate and make a recreation for  the 
George Washington Porter recipe that is often cited.  Links on Goggle  show a 
wide variety of interpretations for the ingredients and gravity from  
professionals and home brewers.  What is meant by Bran Hops?  Was it  grain or hop 
flowers? A  man of Washington's stature and wealth could have  made malt 
beer and not be limited to only using molasses unless his homebrew  recipe was 
simplified to make a low gravity molasses based small beer while he  enjoyed 
Philadelphia Porter made by Robert Hare. Certainly, the colonial  era 
brewers knew how to mash and wouldn't have boiled their grains for  three hours.  
Is the quantity and mashing of the malt not  mentioned in this quotation?  
Digbie has British recipes that pre boil hops  in water..."boil Hyde-park 
water with hops, clean off the froth or whatever  rifeth of the water".  
Was the Small Beer in Washington's recipe made from the last runnings of a  
party gyle brew with the addition of molasses or was it truly a molasses 
beer  without malt?  Was Washington's small beer equivalent to the British 
Mild's  of the period which were made at a gravity of approximately 1.060 or 
was it  a table beer of low alcoholic strength?  
Thomas Jefferson established a brewery at Monticello.  Did Washington  have 
a brew house on his grounds?
thanks,  Bob Grossman living across the Delaware River from Philly in  
historic Haddonfield, NJ
_JazzboBob at aol.com_ (mailto:JazzboBob at aol.com) 
"To Make Small Beer"

Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of  Bran Hops to your Taste. -- Boil 
these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into  a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] 
Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather  draw the Melasses into the 
cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling  Hot. let this stand till it 
is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart  of Yea[s]t if the Weather 
is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let  it Work in the Cooler 24 
hours then put it into the Cask -- leave the bung open  till it is almost 
don[e] Working -- Bottle it that day Week it was  Brewed."

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