Author Topic: Carbonating historical beers  (Read 1984 times)

Offline RBC0503

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Carbonating historical beers
« on: October 05, 2017, 03:38:02 PM »
I'm working on a small batch of Washington's Small Beer recipe (one gallon). It occurred to me that any carbonation in the original product would be incidental to the process itself (18th century) and likely not deliberate. I could be incorrect though. I want to be authentic in the process (using modern hardware,etc.) but also want a palatable beer. Since I'm not using forced CO2, I could bottle it still, add a low priming mixture or prime it to the average ale or stout level. Any thoughts or experience with this? Thanks in advance.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3173
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Carbonating historical beers
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 05:37:02 PM »
If you want to be most authentic in taste but not methodology, why not freeze a little of the wort prior to pitching any yeast, enough to prime the beer once it is ready to bottle?  It might take some mathematics and some practice to get the amount just right, but this would add no ingredients to the beer that shouldn't have been there in the 18th century.

Hope this helps.  Cheers and enjoy.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6834
    • View Profile
Carbonating historical beers
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 05:47:01 PM »
They likely packaged with some sugar remaining or added more fermentables from another batch.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 03:09:34 AM by Stevie »

Offline Kevin

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • Free from the Style Police!
    • View Profile
Re: Carbonating historical beers
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 06:33:40 PM »
Beers of that era were often stored for very long periods of time in wooden casks/barrels/hogsheads etc. Also the yeasts used were very low attenuating so there were likely plenty of fermentable sugars remaining. Just how much carbonation occurred however I don't know. I am guessing it was fairly low.
“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
- Plato

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3173
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Carbonating historical beers
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 07:48:05 PM »
I'll bet the carbonation ranged very broadly, and maybe somewhat randomly even, anywhere from zero to thar-she-blows!
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline RBC0503

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Carbonating historical beers
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 03:08:23 AM »
If you want to be most authentic in taste but not methodology, why not freeze a little of the wort prior to pitching any yeast, enough to prime the beer once it is ready to bottle?  It might take some mathematics and some practice to get the amount just right, but this would add no ingredients to the beer that shouldn't have been there in the 18th century.

Hope this helps.  Cheers and enjoy.

Great idea! Thank you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline RBC0503

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Carbonating historical beers
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 03:10:33 AM »
I appreciate the thoughts and advice. I'm sure their finished product was far from consistent. I'll err on the side of low carbonation for now and experiment in future attempts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk