From the HBD Archive
From: (Eric Pepke)
Subject: "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy"
Date: 1990-05-20 17:08:05 GMT

John Polstra writes:

> The problem is that it is an English book, and the recipes call for all
> sorts of strange ingredients that just aren't readily available here in
> the USA. (E.g., invert sugar, barley syrup, brewers caramel, demerara
> sugar, black treacle ...) Also, many of the recipes call for "brown
> sugar", which is not the same here as it is in England.

It's not as bad as all that! One of Dave Line's other books, _Beer Kits
and Brewing_, explains the ingredients somewhat better. Quotes are in
quotes; my comments aren't.

"Invert sugar (sometimes labelled CORN SUGAR or DEXTROSE) can be regarded
as regarded as the standard brewing sugar. Ready made invert comes in the
form of a crystalline mass containing approximately 10 per cent water."

Dextrose is readily available, usually in the amorphous form as a
powder. So, multiply by 0.9 and use powdered dextrose.

"Malt extract is manufactured, as we know, from _malted_ barley grains.
Barley syrup on the other hand is made from _raw_ barley chemically dosed
to change its natural starch store into fermentable extract...The flavour
it imparts in beer is not so strong as malt based syrups, as the latter
tends to possess a characteristic tang of over maltiness."

Considering that even the lightest English malt extracts tend to be a bit
on the malty side, a very light Holland extract makes qute a good
substitute for barley syrup.

"Sold as BREWERS CARAMEL or BEER COLOURING it does what the latter
suggests. Basically it is just a concentrated solution of burnt sugar and
will be used in recipes from the darkest stout to even the most delicate of

I guess one could make caramel, but the question is what the proportions
would be. However, if it can be used in the most delicate of lagers, it
must not have an appreciable effect on the flavor, only on the color.
Leave it out and close your eyes when you drink.

Demerara sugar should be available in any food co-op or "health" food store.
It's even sometimes sold in ordinary grocery stores. Ask for "raw" sugar.

Black treacle is molasses. The variety in flavor between readily available
American molasses is greater than the flavor difference between an
"average" American molasses and an "average" English black treacle. I have
found that the molasses which comes out of the five gallon drum at my local
food co-op is a very good match. This is of no use to anybody else, who
will have to experiment. The same can be said for brown sugar.

Flaked maize is corn flakes. The kind with the stupid pictures of people
on the front works fine. Flaked rice is also easily available. Flaked
barley should be carried by any reasonably well equipped brew store.
Torrefied wheat is puffed wheat. Torrefied rice is the stuff with the ads of
the three annoying little men jumping around making noise. Torrefied barley
is also available.

Glucose chips are a bit hard to find, but you can find powdered amorphous
glucose fairly easily. Again, multiply by 0.9. Finally, remember that
when Dave Line say 5 gallons, he means 5 of his gallons, not 5 of yours.
If you use 5 of yours, the difference between your O.G. and 1.0 will be
about 20% too high.

So, converting is not much of a problem. I have had as good or better
results with Dave Line's recipes than with most American recipes. As
always, beer recipes only give you a place to start, and you still need
copious common sense and skill and a little bit of experimentation if you
are shooting for a first-class beer.

The major problem I have with the book is that it says "brewer's yeast" or
"lager yeast." Of course, the characteristics of the yeast have a lot to
do with the result. It would be nice to know what kind of attenuative
characteristics are required by each recipe. On the other hand, when you
ask restaurants for recipes they will usually leave out one secret
ingredient. Perhaps the characteristics of the yeast are what
breweries do not give out.

Eric Pepke INTERNET:
Supercomputer Computations Research Institute MFENET: pepke@fsu
Florida State University SPAN: scri::pepke
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4052 BITNET: pepke@fsu

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