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Other (less tasty) Historic Recipes

Barclay Perkins Milk Stout 1933

This recipe was used for Fuggled's International Homebrew Project of 2011. This was one of my first brewing adventures. I discovered it after the event had concluded, however other homebrewer's gave rave reviews of this historically popular stout. Although milk stouts are considered to be some of the easiest brews, the taste which derived from my adventure showed I had more work to do to develop a perfect product.

Tasting Notes: Jet black in color, rich and creamy in texture - thick black chocolate milk. Chocolate and coffee taste. Bitter dry ending that taste of black metal, which could have been caused by the use of extracts.

History: The mid nineteenth century was a popular time for Milk Stouts. It's been noted that milk stouts were actually recommended to nursing mothers because they contain nutrients beneficial to the baby. This recipe was brewed by Barclay Perkins & Co. He acquired the London brewery in 1781 and its ownership stayed within the family until 1955. In 1835 it was the world's largest brewery, producing 330,000 barrels a year. During the 19th century in England. The brewery became a London tourist attraction. The brewhouse was not only the largest produced at that time, but also one of the largest breweries in Europe. Similarly to the Brewery which Brown owned, it suffered a tragic fire in 1832.

9.6-10.2 % ABV

91 IBU

1.110 OG

Swankey Ale

History: Originally brewed in Western Pennsylvania, Swankey Ale is a refreshing and relatively low alcohol ale with a strong licorice flavor. It was the favorite of many townsmen because it yielded such low alcohol yet refreshing taste and was loosely based on English Mild Ales of its time.

Tasting Notes: My Swankey Ale had a strong licorice flavor probably from two distinct anises and from pure turbinado sugars that kept the original gravity low. While keeping the body and flavor profile robust, my Swankey Ale offered a low alcohol content beer with a flavor profile consistent with high gravity ales without sacrificing any aspects to this historical brew.

3-4.1% ABV

15 IBU's

1.032 OG

Poor Richards Ale

History: This traditional ale has been brewed for hundreds of years and recently to honor Benjamin Franklin. It uses traditional ingredients including corn and molasses as cheap sources of sugar to supplement the barley. Poor Richards Ale offers a quick yet tasteful blast from the past.

Tasting Notes: While using traditional brewing techniques and ingredients, my attempt at Poor Richards Ale captured the high (dark malts) and the low (pale malts) of the revolutionary period. With the addition of hops near the beginning of the boil, they left plenty of bitterness while lacking the nose of any hop aroma. Overall, my Poor Richard's Ale introduces itself as what we know as an Oktoberfest Style ale with plenty of Malt and sweetness yet offers a surprisingly 28 IBU's, which shines through the finish of the beer. A must try for the beer connoisseur.

5.4-5.9% ABV

28 IBU's

1.060 OG

London Porter

History: Traditionally porter was made from a 1:1:1 mixture of pale, brown and amber malts. It recieved its name for the people who drank it in the 18th century, Porters. Originally, the beer was a blend of three different threads but soon there after, this technique was changed and the beer began to be made in the same barrel to save time for the workers. It was also noted that this beer was more likely than not drank by the redcoats.

Tasting Notes: To begin the batch, I caramelized some of the sweet wort to add color and flavor to the beer. Historically, hops were added only early in the boil and not at the end in order to maximize the bitterness they contributed. Overall, this beer is full-bodied and only gets better with time. The initial profile is a bit bitter but after sometime in the barrel it mellowed out and allowed the roasty and coffee flavor to expand into a very robust and roasty porter.

5.0-6.0% ABV

36 IBU's

1.051 OG

Future Projects

Plug Nickel- Thomas Jefferson's Pale Ale

I recently came across this recipe in Randy Mosher's book "Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World Altering Meditations in a Glass." I definitely plan on it being my next brewing project!


History: The Jefferson's began brewing early in their marriage. Martha brewed 15 gallons every two weeks to satisfy the household. Following his retirement, Jefferson's interest in brewing expanded, as he had more time for hobbies and favorite past times. While Jefferson enjoyed brewing beer because of his love for indulging in the finished product, he also had a passion for the scientific methodology involved. He malted his own grain at his brewery in Monticello, using wheat and corn rather than barely which was typically used in this time period. While researching Jefferson's brewing methodology and style, I enjoyed learning that he used a bushel of malt for every 8-10 gallons. At the time, local breweries were using a bushel malt for every 15 gallons. Jefferson clearly preferred a stronger brew, criticizing local beer as "weak!".

5.2-6.2% ABV

~44 IBU's

1.069 OG