Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Solid Beer.

Now here is a new (to me) idea – solid beer! Who would have thought it? Just the thing to wash down your  portable soup and meat biscuit. From The Food Journal Volume 1 (London, 1871), I give you the following enlightening information:

“The age produces some queer paradoxes, and none more so than in the results of manufacturing science. In former days it was the custom to buy bread, and even beef, by the yard; but we believe that it is only in the present day that we can get our beer by the pound. By a very simple process, introduced by Mr. Mertens, the wort, after being made in a mash-tub of malt and hops in the usual manner, is sucked up by a pipe into a large vacuum (exhausted by an air-pump), and then persistently worked round and round, while the moisture is evaporated. The wort emerges from its tribulations with a pasty consistence, and is allowed to fall from a considerable height into air-tight boxes, in which it reposes, like hard-bake. It soon gets exceedingly tough, that it has to be broken up with a chisel and mallet, and, in that condition, is easily sent abroad, or to any part of the world, for people to brew their own malt liquor. We have had the wort subjected to analysis, the results of which, in 100 parts, who that there is almost absolute purity:- Gum 64.219; sugar, 20.664; lupulin (the active principle of hops), 2.000; albumenous matter, 0.600; mineral matter, 1.500; moisture, 11.017.”

There is another way to make solid beer (or ale). From the same journal, I give you:-

Ale Jelly.
Put an ox-foot into three quarts of water; boil it till it leaves the bones quite bare; strain the stock, and when it is cold and the fat removed, cut it into four, and put it into the pan with 1lb. of Lisbon sugar, the juice of three lemons (with the rind, pared very thin) seven cloves, a small teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon, and three-quarters of a pint of very weak pale-coloured beer (say a pint of Bass’s ale); when these are all in the pan, add, lastly, two eggs well beaten, the whites and shells of three others; boil for five minutes, quickly, stirring all the time; when it has risen up well in the pan, take it off the fire, and set it on the ground without stirring it. While settling, the jelly bag will be found quite clear by the time a pint has been run through, so that another vessel must be in readiness; and as soon as it runs clear, the finest must be put back very gently into the bag, so as not to shake it. The clearness depends on its quick boiling, and the quantity, on having the material that surrounds the bag well heated, so as not to chill it. A metal mould should be used, as the jelly will not turn out of earthenware.

Quotation for the Day.

I have fed purely upon all; I have eat my ale; drank my ale, and I always sleep upon ale.
George Farquhar (1678-1707)

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