SHEWING, What Care is to be taken in the Choice of Water, Malt, and Hops: And in what Proportions they are to be Mixed, and how Boyled and Fermented, for Making the best March, or October Beer, Strong Ale, &c.

In a Method never before Publish'd.

Useful for all such as are Curious in Malt LIQƲORS.

By a Countrey Gentleman.

WITH A SATYR upon BRANDY, By another Hand.

LONDON, Printed for J. Nutt, near Stationers-Hall. 1700.


THEY who are Curious in Malt Drinks, as it is fit every one shou'd be that uses 'em, (un­less their Circumstances be such that they must be contented with what they find) generally make out all their first Wort alone into Ale or strong Beer. Ale is the only word used in the North of Eng­land for strong Malt Drink: And was like­ly the only strong Drink our fore-fathers made of Malt. This was the English Bever­age Celebrated by our Poets, who yet cou'd [Page 2]not forbear to blame the foul Thickness of it. One says,

Men drink it Thick, and piss it Thin,
Mickle Faith by St. Eloy, what leaves it within?

Which seems thus Translated by another, un­less good Wits jump.

—Nil spissius illa,
Dum bibitur, nil clarius est dum mingitur; ergo
Constat quod multas faeces in ventre relinquit.

Indeed before the use of Hops, which began in England about the Year 1540, as I take it, it was hard to Brew Drink, which wou'd be Fine before it was Eagar. All good Ale is now made with some small mixture of Hops, tho' not in so great Quantity as Strong Beer, design'd for longer keeping: And is for that purpose usually Brewed in March or October.

He that will Brew well, must be care­ful in the Choice of his Water, Malt, and Hops, and in the manner of mixing and fer­menting them.

[Page 3] 1. As to Water, Pond-Water and other Standing Waters in fat Grounds, if clear and sweet, make a Stronger Drink with less Malt, then Well, Pump or Conduit Waters: Tho' any of these that are not hungry, and will bear Sope, and lather without breaking, are good. Rain-Water, which Lathers the best of any, if saved from Lead, or where it brings no Salt from the Mortar over which it may pass, is good to Brew Ale to be drank new, but is not proper for Drinks to be long kept: It being very apt to change, and unless kept cool and in great Quantities, as in the Leaden Cesterns in Cellers at Amsterdam, will corrupt and putrify the soonest of any Water. Thames-Water taken up about Green­wich at Low Water, where it is free from all Brackishness of the Sea, and has in it all the Fat and Sullage from this great City of London, makes very Strong Drink. It will of it self alone, being carryed to Sea, ferment wonderfully, and after its due Pur­gations, and three times stinking (after which it continues sweet) it will be so strong, that Several Sea Commanders have told me it wou'd burn, and has often fuddled their Marriners. Other Commanders have [Page 4]denyed this, which I thought I had Reason to impute to their want of Observation. However I conceive Thames-Water is by no means fit to Brew Strong Beer to keep, for that, let the Drink which is Brewed of it be never so clear, it is apt on any con­siderable and sudden change of Weather, to ferment and grow foul. And I take this for a Rule, That no Malt Drink is truly good, which is not perfectly fine. Upon the whole, the best Liquor to Brew with, is that which is taken from a small clear Rivulet or Brook, undisturb'd by Naviga­tion or Fording: And taken up in dry Weather, when no Rain has lately washed the Banks. My first two Brewings were made of such Water; which with all my Care and Experience I cou'd never equal since: Though I have been very curious and sent some Miles for my Water. Possibly much the best Water in England is that at Castleton in Derbyshire, commonly called, The Devils Arss, &c. Which Owzes from a great Rock, covered over with a shallow Earth and short Grass a top. It is in­credible that so much Water shou'd perco­late through so vast a Quantity of one Rocky Stone, were it not obvious to any one who goes into Pools Hole, where he [Page 5]will find the Water continually dripping through the Top, and running down the Sides, till it makes a kind of Chrystal Ri­vulet at the Bottom of that Prodigious Rocky Concave. I have seen the Ale made of Castleton-Water as clear in three days after it was Barrelled, as the Spring-Water it self, and impossible to be known by the Eye in a Glass from the finest Canary Wine. Brewers shou'd be as curious in the Choice of Water for their first Wort, as Cooks are for their Boyling of Yellow Pease. For as some Waters will never Boyle them soft; so will they never make good Ale or Strong Beer. However if the best Water be not to be had, but at too great a distance and charge, you may for your Second and Third Worts which are quickly spent, and used only for Table Drink, make use of such Water as you have near at hand.

2. As for your Malt. The North Country Malts from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicester­shire, Cheshire, Lancashire, &c. are the best, especially for Ale, but are generally too slack dryed for March or October Beer, which is to be kept at least half a Year before it be Drank. The Goodness of these Northern Malts proceeds partly from the [Page 6] Corn which grows on Grounds more rest­ed than in the Southern Countrys, where the Rents are more racked, and the Grounds more worn by continual Sowing; and part­ly from the making, in which they take more time then in other parts, and dry it leisurely with Pit Coal Charkt, called in some Places Coak, and in others Culm, which is sweet and gives a gentle and cer­tain heat. Whereas in the South East parts, they dry their Malt with Straw, which is hard to keep to a moderate and equal heat. And in the West Countrys with Wood, which gives a most ingrateful Tack to such as are not by Custom familiarized to it. Besides, in the North, they do not run out their Barley in Malting to such Lengths as in other parts: And in Grinding they set their Upper Millstone so high, that it breaks off only the Tops of the Clevel, which makes their Drink so fine. And Malt small ground will never make fine Drink.

There is possibly some Reason for the Observation, that Malt mixt of several kinds makes the best Drink: And that it ought to ly ground in the Sacks three or four days before it is used.

[Page 7] 3. Your Hops must be bright, well scent­ed, well dryed, cured and bagg'd; and generally speaking are best about a Year old. They are a very uncertain Crop, and consequently of a very uncertain Price, sometimes sold at about Six Pence, some­times at about half a Crown per Pound. And I believe it may be truly said, That better Hops have been sold for Six Pence or under, then ever were sold for Two Shillings per Pound, or upwards. Indeed all Fruits are best when they are cheapest. Those Years that are kindest for the Quality allways pro­ducing the greatest Quantity. So that it is certainly a wise way, on all accounts, to furnish one self well with Hops well cured in a cheap Year.

4. In your mixing and fermenting all these three together, That is in Brewing, after you have made a discreet Choice of your Matterials; You must first consider what sort of Drink you design to Brew, and accordingly proportion your Quantities. If you design your first Wort for strong Ale or March or October Beer; you must pro­portion five Gallons of Drink to every [Page 8]Bushell of Malt (that is to say avoiding Fractions) Eleven Bushells of Malt to an Hogshead of Ale or Beer. But it must be remembred, that in so great a disproportion of Malt to Drink, as Eight to Five, almost a Third of your Liquor in the first Wort will be absorped by the Malt, never to be return'd, and an allowance is to be made of about a Sixth Part to evaporat in Boyl­ing. So that if you expect to clear a Hogshead of Drink, that is fifty four Gallons, from your first VVort, you must put into your Mesch-Tub near Ninety Gallons of Liquor. But for your Second or Third VVorts, the Goods being wet before, you need put up no more Liquor then you in­tend to make Drink, except an allowance of about a Tenth part for wast, that not Boyling so long as your first VVort. And you may of your Second VVort make one Hogshead of good middle Beer or Ale, as Strong as the common Ale-house Drink in London. And your Third VVort will make one Hogshead of good Small Beer.

I propose in this Case the drawing of Three VVorts because of the great Quantity of Malt to a smaller of Liquor. Other­wise [Page 9]in Ordinary Brewings, where you de­sign not very strong Drink, six or seven Bushells of Malt will make one Hogshead of good strong, and another of small Beer. And in such case, two Moakses will as well take out the strength of your Malt, as three in the other.

It is certain that in either of these cases your Malt will not be run out as the Com­mon Brewers uses to be, so that if you take up an handful of the Graines you may blow them out of your hands with your Breath.

But it is hardly worth any Man's while, who is not indigent, to run it out farther for his own Family; for all the Drink you can after make of it, will be but like the washing of Graines, it will prove poor Stuff. and if not drank presently, it will be apt to stink, unless you mix it with some of the former Worts which it will but spoil. Be­sides, what you leave in your Graines, by the way proposed, is not lost. For if you live in the Countrey, they will nourish your Cattle and Swine, and if in a Town, the Poor will be gratified by letting them put [Page 10]up some cold Water to run through them, which they will carry away cold in Pails, and boyl at home without any trouble or charge to you; so that in effect you really relieve the Poor only with a little of your Cold Water which they themselves draw.

The Proportion of Hops may be half a Pound to an Hogshead of strong Ale; one Pound to an Hogshead of ordinary strong Beer to be soon Drank out: And two Pounds to an Hogshead of March or October Beer: And for the after VVorts, which are not to be kept long, what comes from the first VVort will serve well enough to Boyl again with them.

If you put into your first VVort a greater Proportion of Hops, and Boyl them all the while your VVort Boyls, you will make it too bitter: But I conceive it adviseable to double the Proportion, by taking out the first parcell when your VVort has Boyled half the time you design it, and then adding the same Quantity of fresh Hops to con­tinue Boyling till you take your VVort out of the Copper. This will somewhat en­crease your Charge, but that will be very [Page 11]inconsiderable, if your furnish your self in a cheap year of Hops.

By this way you will take out only the fine quick Spirits of the Hops, (which I take to be an useful and wholesome Vegetable) and will have a good Quantity left fit for the use of the Poor, if you give them the last run­ning from your Malt.

Hitherto of the Qualities and Proportions of your Materials. Now concerning the manner of putting them together.

After you have put your Liquor in your Copper, strew an handful two or three of Bran or Meal upon it, not so much to strengthen your Liquor, as to make it heat quickly, for simple Water alone will be long ere it Boyl. But you must take your Liquor out of the Copper when it begins to simmer, and not suffer it to Boyl: For though it were granted that the Boyling did no harm to your Liquor, by evaporat­ing the Natural Spirit of the Water (which it likely does) yet 'tis a needless expence of Fuel and Time, first to make it too hot, and after to stay till 'tis cooler again. For [Page 12]you must by no means mix your Malt with Boyling hot Liquor, which will make the Malt clot and cake together, and the most flowery parts of it run whitish, glewy and sizy, like Saddlers Paste, so that it will never mix kindly, and give out its Strength equally to the Liquor.

I had not dwelt so long on this Head, but that I know many put their Malt first in the Mesch-Fat, and then pour in their Liquor for the first Wort, which is indeed necessary in the Second and Third Worts.

The contrary Practice of putting in your Liquor first, has these Advantages.

First, You can never otherwise guess when your Liquor is just cool enough to be mingled with your Malt: But in this case, you have a certain Criterion and Rule to judge by, that is, you must let your Liquor remain in your Mesch-Fat till the Vapour from it be so far spent, that you can see your Face in the Liquor: And then pouring your Malt upon it, you have this farther Ad­vantage, that you keep your Liquor longer hot, and it sinks gradually, distributing it's [Page 13]strength to your Liquor equally, without matting, and if it does not descend fast enough of it self, you must press it down with your Hands or Rudder, with which you use to stir your Moaks. This must be done by degrees: Allways remembring, that you shake your Sacks before you re­move them over the sides of your Mesch-Fat, to get out the Flower of your Malt which sticks to them. And after all your Malt is settled, and your Liquor appears a­bove it, you must put up in your Mesch-Fat as much more hot Water out of your Cop­per, as will make in all Ninety Gallons, for one Hogshead. Then stir it almost with­out ceasing, till it has been in the Mesch-Fat about two hours from the first putting up your Malt, in which your Servants may help and relieve one another.

After this pull out your Rudder, and putting a little dry Malt a top, cover it close, and let it stand half an hour undi­sturbed, that it may run off clear, and the Malt being sunk to the bottom, the Liquor a top will run through it all again, and bring away the strength of it. After this, you must lift up your Tap-staffe, and let [Page 14]out about a Gallon, not into your Tub un­derneath or Under-back, which is to receive your Wort, but into your long-handle Jett, and put it up back again, stopping your Tap hole: This do two or three times, till you find it runs clear, which it will not do at first, though your Tap-hose be never so well adjusted.

Throughout the whole Course of your Brewing, you must be very carefull to do all you can to promote the Fineness and Clear­ness of your Drink.

In the North of England, where much the best Malt-Drink is made, they are so care­ful of making their Drink Fine, that they let their first Wort stand in their Receivers till it is very clear, all the gross parts being sunk to the Bottom, this they continue to do about Three hours in Summer, and Ten or Twelve hours in Winter, as occasion re­quires, which they call Blinking, after which, leaving the Sediment behind, they only lade out the Clear Wort into the Copper. Which Custom is peculiar to the North and wholly unpractised in other parts.

When all is run out into your Receiver or Under-Back, Lade or Pump out your Second Liquor, ordered so as to be just then ready to Boyl, on your Moaks: And put­ing your first Wort into your Copper again, let it Boyl reasonably fast (which Boyl­ing the Hops put on it will much accelerate) for about one hour and an half, for March or October Beer to be kept long: And one Hour for strong Ale, to be Drank new. I know that a longer Boyling is generally advised. But I shall answer that when I come to shew the Reasons why Common Brewers seldom or never make good Malt Drinks. I advise the VVort rather to be Boyled reasonable fast, for the time, then to stand so long to simmer, because common Experience shews it wasts less, and Ferments better, after so long Boyling, than Simmer­ing. And this Observation, grounded on Experience, will not seem strange to Philo­sophers; who know, that Six hours of a kindly insensible Perspiration shall make a Man lighter in the Morning, then so many hours of ordinary Sweating.

Possibly a less Fermentation and greater Evaporation is best for the Blood, and greater Fermentation and less Evaporation is best to prepare other Liquors for a new Fermentation.

Your first Wort, being thus Boyled, must be Pump'd or Laded off into one or more Coolers or Cool-Backs, in which leave the Sullage behind, and let it run off Fine. The more Coolers, and the thinner it stands, and the sooner it Cools (especially in hot Weather) the better: Let it run from your Cool-backs into your Tun very Cool, and set it not there to Work, in Summer, till 'tis as cool as Water. In Winter it must be near Blood Warm, at least the Bowl in which you put your Yest to set the rest on Working must have a mixture of VVort hot enough to make it all Ferment. When you find it begins to work up thick to a Yest, mix it again with your Hand Jett, and when it has workt it self a Second time to a Yest: If you design'd it for Ale and speedy Drinking, and hopp'd it accord­ingly, then beat in the Yest every five hours, for two days together, in the Summer time, [Page 17]or more, according as the Weather is; and for three or four days in Winter, covering your Fat close that it fall not in your work­ing Tun.

When your Yest begins to work sad, and upon turning the Concave of your Bowl downwards sticks fast to the inside, then, skimming off the Yest first, cleanse the rest into your Vessel, leaving all your Dregs in the bottom of your Tun, and putting only the clear up: After it has a little Fermented in your Vessel, you will find it in a few days fine, and fit for your Drink­ing. Though according to the Quantity of your Hops you may proportion it for longer keeping.

If you Brew in March or October, and have hopp'd it for long keeping, you must then upon its Second Working to a Yest (after once beating in) cleanse it into your Vessel with the Yest in it, filling it still as it works over, and leaving when you stop it up a good thick head of Yest to keep it.

In Brewing March and October Beer, it it is advisable to have large Vessels bound with Iron Hoops, containing Two, Three, or Four Hogsheads, according to the Quantity you intend to make, putting all into one Vessel. This sort of Drink keep­ing, digesting and mellowing, best in the largest Quantities.

Your Vessels must be Iron hoop'd, else your March Beer will be in danger to be lost or spoiled: Leaving your Vent Peg allways open Palls it, and if it happen to be fastned but Six Hours together in the Summer, a sudden Thunder or Stormy Night may happen next Morning to pre­sent you in your Cellar an empty Vessel and a covered Floor.

It is pretended that March is the best Month for Brewing, and the Water then better than in October: But I allways found that the October Beer, having so many cold Months to digest in, proves the better Drink by much; and requires not such watching and tending as the March Beer does, in opening and stopping the Vent hole on every change of Weather.

Many Countrey Gentlemen talk of, and magnify their stale Beer of Five, Ten, or more years old. 'Tis true more Malt and Hops than I propose will keep Drink long­er than I use to do: But to small purpose; for that it will not exceed mine in any thing desirable, except such an extraordinary Strength as few Men care for. I allways broach mine at about Nine Months end, that is my March Beer at Christmas, and my October Beer at Midsummer, at which times it is generally at the best. But will keep very well in Bottles a year or two more. Stop your Vessel close with Cork, not Clay, and have near the Bung-hole a little Vent-hole stop'd with a Spile, which never allow to be pull'd out, till you Bottle or draw off a great Quantity to­gether. By which means it is kept so close stopt, that it floushes violently out of the Cock for about a Quart, and then stops on a sudden, and Perles and Smiles in a Glass like any Bottled Beer, though in the Winter time. But if once you pull out the Vent-Peg, to draw a Quantity at once, it will sensibly loose this Briskness; and be sometime before it recovers it.

I propose no Directions for the Second and Third Worts: He that can manage the first well, can never fail in the rest. Your Third Wort, being poured on hot Goods, may be only Cold Water.

Now that I have given the best Directi­ons for Brewing that readily occur to my Memory. I come to shew the Reasons why Common Brewers very seldom or never make good Drink. This I know is general­ly attributed to their Underboyling their strong Worts, which to prevent, some Brewers to their Detriment, and no man­ner of Advantage to their Drink, have Boyled them three hours, which is thrice as long as needed; and all to no purpose.

In most (if not all) of the Northern Counties there are few or no Common Brewers. The Inn-keepers and Publick Ale Houses Brewing what they Retail in their own Houses. And Private Families for themselves. And in all these Counties 'tis as rare to find any ill Malt Liquors, as it is to find good in London, or the adjacent Counties.

This may serve to shew the Mistake of those, who ground their Computation of the Number and Proportion of Inhabit­ants, between some Southern and Northern Cities and Towns, on the Kings Revenew of Excise arising out of them. For that, in the Eastern and Southern Counties, a­bounding in Common Brewers, almost all the Inhabitants of Cities and great Towns there, and the meaner People of their Neighbourhood, take their Drink of the Common Brewers, clog'd with Excise; which few or none of all the Inhabitants of the Northern Towns do.

In the West of England, They have some Common Brewers, but not in Proportion to the East and South. In most parts of the West, their Malt is so stenched with the Smoak of the Wood, with which 'tis dryed, that no Stranger can endure it, though the Inhabitants, who are famili­arized to it, can swallow it as the Hol­landers do their thick Black Beer Brewed with Buck Wheat.

In Bristol they have considerable Quanti­ties of Malt by Sea from Wales, some dry­ed with Straw, some with Coak or Culm, much the best way of Drying. Yet have little good Drink made from it, which is generally imputed to the Brackishness of their Water.

In short, the Reason why Publick and Common Brewers seldom or never Brew good Drink is, That they Wet more Malt at once, then 'tis possible they can have Vessels and Servants enough to Work, and set it cool enough to Ferment kindly: And withall, Brew so often, that they cannot sufficiently, between one Brewing and another, cleanse and scald their Brew­ing Vessels and Barrels, giving them due time to dry, but that they will retain such a Rest as will always Char and Sour their Liquors. And the Mischiefs accrew­ing by such Neglects are incredible to Persons unexperienced.

My Brewers have been so cautious in this Particular, that if any Servants of the House, have by accident made use of any long handled Jett, hand Jett, or Pail, with cold Water during the Brewing; they have scalded it a new, and let it dry before they wou'd use it again.

This Practice of the Common Brewers Wetting such vast Quantities of Malt at once, and Brewing so often, puts me in Mind of the Story of Melibeus the Mantuan Shepherd in Boccalin, who tells the Roman Empire, that whilst he and Menalcas kept Five Hundred Sheep each, as they long did, they made a Crown a Head by the Wooll and Lambs, amounting to Five Hundred Crowns Per Annum. But when Menalcas, from Covetuousness doubled his Flock to a Thousand Sheep, expecting to get thereby a Thousand Crowns a Year, he made but Three Hundred Crowns; and when he trebled his Flock, and made them Fifteen Hundred Sheep, he got nothing.

This is but a Course APPLICA­TION of a STORY, fram'd with a great Contexture of Witt and Political Wisdom.


FArewel damn'd Stygian Juyce, that dost bewitch,
From the Court Bawd, down to the Country Bitch;
Thou Liquid Flame, by whom each firey Face
Lives without Meat, and blushes without Grace,
Sink to thy Native Hell to mend the Fire,
Or if it please thee to ascend yet higher,
To the dull Climate go, from whence you came,
Where VVit and Courage do require your Flame;
VVhere they Carouse it in Vesuvian Bowls,
To crust the Quagmire of their spungy Souls:
Had Dives for thy scorching Liquor cry'd,
Abraham in Mercy had his suit deny'd;
Had Bonner known thy force, the Martyrs Blood
Had hiss'd in thee, and sav'd the Nations VVood:
Essence of Ember, scum of melting flint,
VVith all the Native sparkles floating in't;
Sure the Black-Chymist with his Cloven foot,
All Aetna's simples in one Lymbeck put,
And double still'd, nay quintessenc'd thy Juyce,
To charcoal Mortals for his future use.
Fire-ship of Nature, thou dost doubly wound,
For they that graple thee, are burnt and drown'd:
As when Heaven prest th' Auxiliaries of Hell,
A flaming storm on cursed Sodom fell,
And when it's single Plagues would not prevail,
Egypt was scalt with kindled Rain and Hail.
So Natures feuds are reconcil'd in thee,
Thou two great Judgments in Epitome.
God's past and future Anger breath in you,
A Deluge and a Conflagration too.
View yonder Sott, I do not mean Shr—Sh—
Grilled all o're, by thee, from head to foot,
His greasie Eye-lids shoar'd above their pitch,
His Face with Carbuncles, and Rubies rich,
His Scull instead of Brains supply'd with Cinder,
His Nose turns all his Handkerchiefs to Tinder;
He breaths like a Smiths Forge, and wets the fire
Not to allay the flame but raise it higher.
His Stomach don't concoct, but bake his Food,
His Liver even vitrefies his Blood;
His trembling hand scarce heaves his Liquor in,
His Nerves all crackle under's Parchment Skin;
His Guts from Natures drudgery are freed,
And in his Bowels Salamanders breed.
He's grown too hot to think, too dull to laugh,
And steps as tho' he walkt with Pindars staff.
The moveing Glass-house lightens in his Eyes,
Singes his Cloaths, and all his Marrow frys,
Glows for a while, and then in Ashes dyes.
Thus like a sham Promethius we find,
Thou stol'st a Fire from Hell, to kill mankind.
But stay, least I the Saints dire Anger merit,
By stinting their Auxilliary Spirit;
I am inform'd, whate're we wicked think,
Brandy's reform'd, and turn'd a godly Drink.
E'er since the Publick Faith for Plate did VVimble,
And Sanctifi'd thy Gill with Hannah's Thimble,
Thou'st left thy old bad Company of Vermin,
The swearing Porters, and the drunken Carmen,
And the new drivers of the Hackney Coaches,
And now tak'st up with sage discreet debauches;
Thou freely drop'st upon Gold Chains and Fur,
And Sots of Quality thy Minions are.
No more shalt thou foment an Ale-house brawl,
But the more sober Riots of Guild-Hall;
VVhere by thy Spirits fallible Direction,
The Reprobates once pol'd for an Election:
If this trade hold, what shall we Mortals do,
The Saints Sequester even our Vices too.
For since the Art of VVhoring's grown precise,
And Perjury has got demurer Eyes,
'Tis time, high time to circumcise the Gill,
And not let Brandy be Philistian still.
Go then thou Emblem of their torrid Zeal,
Add flame to flame, and their stiff tempers kneal,
'Till they grow ductile to the Publick VVeal.
And since the Godly have espous'd thy cause,
Don't fill their heads with Liberty and Laws,
Religion, Priviledges, Lawless Charters,
Mind them of Falstaff's Heir-Apparent-Garters,
And keep their outward man from Ketches quarters.
One caution more, now we are out of Hearing,
Many have dy'd with drinking, some with swearing:
If these two Pests should in conjunction meet,
The Grass would quickly grow in e'ry Street:
Save thou the Nation from that double blow,
And keep thy fire from Salamanca T. O.

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