The Yeast Ring

This year, I am adding a somewhat archaic bit of brewing equipment to the gear brought out by the Regimental Brewmiester.  The yeast ring or gjarkrans is a piece of traditional brewing gear from medieval Sweden and Denmark.  This tool resembles a complicated wreath of small pieces of whittled wood.  Yeast harvested from one batch …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. July 30, 1742       Faneuil Hall erected Built as a gift to the city by Peter Faneuil, Boston’s wealthiest merchant,  Faneuil Hall is a meeting hall and marketplace. Boston was in …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. July 28, 1779                       Americans defeated at Penobscot The British sent about 700 men aboard three small warships to land in Penobscot Bay. They intended to establish the province of …

Congress establishes the State Department, July 27, 1789

The Constitution of the United States, drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 and ratified by the states the following year, gave the President responsibility for the conduct of the nation’s foreign relations. It soon became clear, however, that additional resources and formal structures were necessary to support President Washington in the conduct of …

Of Government in Petticoats!!!

The provision on suffrage in the New Jersey state constitution of 1776 granted the right to vote to “all inhabitants” who were of legal age, owned property worth 50 English pounds, and resided in a county for at least one year. No one is sure what was meant by “all inhabitants” since the New Jersey constitutional convention …

Birth of the US Post Office

On July 26, 1775, the Second Continental Congress declared “…that a Postmaster General be appointed for the United States, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1,000 dollars per annum…”  Benjamin Franklin was not, however, the first Postmaster in America nor was this the first time he would …

Beer Recipe: Common Sense Cherry Pils

Although little used today, pamphlets were an important medium for the spread of ideas in the 16th through 19th centuries. Before the era of radio communication and television, when you wished to convey a message to a large audience, you published it. Originally published anonymously, “Common Sense” not only advocates independence but explains how the …

Basic Colonial Brewing #13 — Keeping Track of Time

I have a pretty good internal clock but like all brewers, keeping track of time, especially when talking to the public can be a challenge. Boil and mash times are relatively long and it is easy to get distracted. It is, therefore, important to objectively measure not just experience and guess about time. Unfortunately, like …

The Invention of the Thermometer

Every time I give a brewer’s presentation, I must remind the various homebrewers who come to these events that a thermometer would have been an EXPENSIVE and rare instrument in the 18th Century.  Today they are ubiquitous, even my car has a built-in thermometer, but in 1750 these would have been delicate and hard to …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. July 15, 1779       Stony Point taken by General Wayne In a well planned and executed nighttime attack, a highly trained select group of Continental Army troops under the command …