Unfiltered Beer is Good for You!

For thousands of years beer served as food and medicine; it had antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.  The health benefits of beer not only come from the grains and yeast but also the hops. Hops contain a flavonoid called xanthohumol that strongly suppresses CYP1A2 (suppressing is good), a liver enzyme that metabolizes various environmental procarcinogens …

Basic Colonial Brewing #5 –Why use Copper?

Go to almost any brewery or distillery and you will see lots of gleaming copper. This is not some quaint historical holdover nor is it there for show. We use copper in brewing for real and practical purposes. The reasons for using copper were well understood by the Colonial Brewer but why it worked has …

How was Colonial Beer Different

We recently held a brewing class at Fort Mifflin and one question was asked that deserves clarification in this blog: “How were beers of the 18th Century different from what we drink today?” I hope the table below adds some clarification. Colonial Beers vs Modern Beers:  Key Differences  Colonial BeerModern BeerMaltMixture of malted grains including …

Beer Recipe: Air and Exercise — Rattleskull

“Air and Exercise” = being whipped with a Cat-o-Nine-Tails. Prior to the arrival of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, American officers often imitated their British peers. In a rather startling example, George Washington once lobbied congress for permission to allow 500 lashes — “Air and Exercise”– as punishment to maintain discipline the Continental soldiers! Congress …

Moonshiners @ Fort Mifflin

March 13 — All Day We survived! There were times I was not sure this would come off. Not the best planned event but we survived. I want to express a very special thanks to: Chuck Faust and the Donegal Township Riflemen, 6th PA Regt, 3rd NJ, and 1st Delaware.Wendy Lucas and the 1NJVGreg O’BrianSandi …

Moonshiners @ Fort Mifflin

I just spent the morning with the producer for Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners” at Fort Mifflin. They want to learn to brew Spruce Beer and we’re going to teach them. March 13 — All Day I have it on good authority they will spend at least part of the day in shackles. They will attempt to …

Basic Colonial Brewing #4 — Minding your “P’s” and “Q’s”

Which weighs more, a ton of lead or a tun of feathers?  Sounds absurd today but in the 18th Century this is actually a legitimate question.  How many feathers can you pack in a 256-gallon cask?  A lot more than 2000 pounds!  In Colonial America, minding your “P’s and Q’s” isn’t about etiquette, its about …