George Washington was a beer-loving homebrewer. Preserved in the manuscript collections of the New York Public Library is a notebook kept by Washington, and in that notebook is his hand-written recipe for "Small Beer"- a table beer for the home.
"To Make Small Beer"...
"Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your taste. -- Boil these 3 hours, then strain out 30 Gallons into a cooler. Put in 3 Gallons molasses while the beer is scalding hot, or rather draw the molasses into the cooler and strain the beer on it while boiling hot. Let this stand till it is little more than blood-warm, then put in a quart of yeast. If the weather is very cold, cover it over with a blanket & let it work in the cooler for 24 hours, then put it into the cask -- leave the bung open till it is almost done working -- Bottle it the week it was brewed."
While malted barley and hops were available from England, the brewers in the new world relied on what they had readily available and so his recipe for "small beer" certainly did that. Unfortunately, that "small beer" probably would not be particularly tasty to beer connoisseurs of today. Luckily for us, George Washington was known to be fond of porter, and rumor has it that he insisted it be kept in Mt Vernon for himself and his guests. This is the beer that George would have made and enjoyed, if he could have. Since the malted grain and hops came from England, the base of this beer is UK base malt. As a nod to our Founding Fathers, we've used an American cultivar of British hops for our recipe. They are very similar in flavor and aroma to the English hops, but an American original as well.
Because malted grain was expensive and in low supply, the Americans had adjuncts available to them, and this recipe tips its (tri-corn) hat to the American ingenuity and includes some adjuncts.
Be an American original, while paying homage to the Founding Fathers by brewing this beer. Think of George Washington tipping one back with you, and patting you on the back and saying, "Well done!"
All of our original kits are true 5 gallon kits
* Select your preferred yeast option, along with whether you want your malts milled or unmilled.
All orders containing Liquid Yeast will be shipped with a complimentary ice pack to ensure safe shipping!
Colonial Porter - All-Grain Recipe Kit Instructions
This recipe calls for molasses which isn't included.
- Mash at 154 degrees
- Est. Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
- Est. Final Gravity: 1.012 - 1.016 SG
- Est. Alcohol by Volume: 5.8 - 6.3%
- Bitterness: 29.0 IBUs
- Est. Color: 24.5 SRM
- Ferment at 65 Degrees
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