Method

After removing bread from the oven, sweep out the floor of the oven thoroughly. Sprinkle 8 lbs of good barley or oats on the oven floor and dry out the grain, constantly mixing it with a wooden shovel. Take care that the grain does not burn or roast even slightly. Then pound the grain, pour it into a kettle or any dish, and cover with 1⅓ pails hot water (65 degrees).* Mix thoroughly, let stand for 3 hours, and carefully pour off the liquid. Pour another pail of hot water (72 degrees) over the pounded barley in the kettle and pour it off after 2 hours. Then pour on a pail of cold water and pour it off after 1½ hours. Mix together the waters poured from the grain in these 3 soakings. Dilute 15 lbs treacle with pails warm water and pour it into the prepared liquid. Add ½ lb of the best hops and bring to a boil, stirring. After 2 hours, when the liquid has cooled, add 2 glasses good yeast, mix as well as possible, and set somewhere where the temperature will not fall below 15 degrees. When the beer ferments, pour it into a barrel. Let it stand uncovered for 3 days, then drive in the bung, and after 2 weeks, you will have an outstanding beer.

Remarks: By the way, it is necessary to watch that the water poured on the grains is not too hot, for it has already been mentioned that strongly boiling water is bad for the beer.

Sprig of hops. From W. Baxter, British Flowering Plants, vol. 5 (Oxford, 1840), by permission of the Library of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University.

*Thermometers did not loom large in Molokhovets’ cooking; she mentioned the Reaumur scale a few times in her recipes, but centigrade only once. She baked bread at 60 degrees Reaumur and heated milk for cheese at 40 degrees Reaumur, but she stored grapes over the winter in a room kept at a temperature between 1 and 7 degrees centigrade. Most likely, Molokhovets was referring to degrees Reaumur for preparing the beer. The Reaumur scale, devised by René de Reaumur in 1730, set the freezing point of water at 0 degrees and the boiling point at 80 degrees.

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