In February 2012, the Daily Mail, a British paper, published this article about a recently discovered beer recipe. I came across the recipe about a month ago, and actually made plans to try to copy it. Figuring that the first try would be my most expensive – and the attempt most likely to stink in some way – I cut the recipe down considerably from its original 9 gallon plan to something a bit more manageable.
Unfortunately, the guys at the local brewing supply store weren’t particularly helpful. I won’t trash them as they meant well. But have you ever pictured something in your mind’s eye, then set out to do exactly what you’d envisioned, only to have some third-party question you at every opportunity because they either don’t get what you’re doing or lack the ability to “see” what you see? That’s what happened here. I told the guy assisting me what I wanted and what I’d planned to do. He, however, couldn’t understand why I’d want “to do so much work,” when I could simplify things with a few “handy-dandy” solutions. When I explained that I wanted to make this batch of beer as close as I could to how the original author made his, the sales clerk gave me a goofy “You’re nuts” look while he shook his head. Ordinarily, I’d have gotten mad and stormed out, but his faux pas gave me the perfect opportunity to excuse myself from the scene to do a bit more research.
I’m hoping to start this strange mixture by the end of June. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but that’s my plan. My biggest issue is in finding out what type of barley would have been available to Britons in 1825. I’m not interested in some “super strain” of vegetation developed twenty years ago; I want something that’ll be reasonably accurate to early 19th century Great Britain. I also have not been able to find any treacle locally – which is weird, given how it seems I can find just about anything else that I might want. I was, however, provided with an interesting substitute that’s essentially the same thing. So there will be some concessions to modernity, but hopefully not many.