Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Recipes of Yesterday

The one thing that is nice about older recipe books both food and drink-wise is the recipes you haven’t heard of before such as Cock Ale and the things you learn because of them. Now, I always had assumed that this was misnamed ale like Milk Stout which is not named because it contains milk but because it contains lactose which is the sugar found in milk. However it does actually contain the remains of a cock which has been parboiled, flayed and stamped so the bones are broken, I do notice that the brewer from Sharp’s was as part of his 52 brews making an offal beer and from this recipe I can see now it is not as original or disgusting as I thought (1).

The book Home Brewed Beers & Stouts by CJJ Berry has a few suggestions in this tight economic time such as my favourite Nettle Beers although that has always proven…….. rather ‘lively’ shall we say (2) and a recipe for Parsnip Stout but no Peapod Lager one. But I now have recipes for Oatmeal Stout one of my favourites from the Sam Smith’s Brewery and I am seriously considering this as my second batch of beer once I succeed in using a beer kit first. I seriously doubt my brew will be a patch on the Samuel Smith's version but it will be an interesting recipe to do.

There is advice in the book for getting your own yeast from a shop brought bottle; purchase a bottle of bottle conditioned beer/stout and let it rest for 48 hours, then pour out the beer/stout making sure to leave the sediment in the last one and half inches in the bottom of bottle. Make up a solution of ¼ pint of hot water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of malt extract and a pea sized lump of citric acid, when it is cool pour into the bottle, plug with cotton wool and stand in a warm place such as an airing cupboard. ‘The next day it will be “going like a bomb,” fermenting well, and ready for use’ according to the book. I have to admit this strikes me as a good idea or at least it is a cheap idea for using the sedimenty remains for a purpose.

(1) Actually, I still find it fairly disgusting..sorry
(2) More like volatile and likely to explode if you so much as think about looking at it.


  1. I remember using the CJJ Berry books, but when they weren't old, so thanks!

  2. It's his prices for things that get me stumped as I'm too young to remember old money. :)

  3. We've managed to use yeast cultivated from bottle-conditioned beers but, unless you're completely skint, or doing it as an experiment, it's a bit of a faff: much easier to order the nice neat little test tubes off the internet.

  4. I had the feeling ordering yeast from the internets would be easier although I may still try it out of curiosity maybe brewing two batches of the same beer but one with 'homemade' yeast and one with the brought. A grown-up science experiment :) with the advantage of having something to drink at the end. :)