Cleanliness In The Cellar
Care should be taken to keep the cellar clean, (especially those who
are situated near the south aspect; or shallow, where the sun has any
power,) by scraping the yeast from the bung-holes of the casks; else in
warm weather it will smell offensive, and insects will breed therein,
which must be injurious to the beer, if the bung-holes are open.
The dropping of the cock, tap tubs, &c. will cause fulsome smells in
the cellar, which frequently require to be washed down; for washing and
cleaning your cellar often, will keep your beer in a cool state, and
will be the means of preventing mild ale from becoming stale.
Put some hops into your ale and small beer casks a few days before you
want to tap them for use; even those hops that have already been used
in brewing will be found serviceable in fining your beer, and will not
cause it to be too bitter, but will prevent your small beer from
becoming sour. Notwithstanding their being used in brewing, they will
be found by experience to be very serviceable for the purpose before
mentioned. Another advantage will arise, they will serve the use of
fresh hops, which, when dear, will be found to be a considerable saving.
Note. They are recommended for beer that is for present
drinking, as they cannot be expected to be sufficient for beer
intended for a long standing.
Another advantage will be found when a length of ale is brewed, and no
small beer made, the hops will then be found of greater utility, as
they will contain the same quality as the ale they were brewed with;
consequently the ale and small beer they are put into will receive a
greater advantage therefrom.
This may not seem consistent, as mild ales and small beer seldom have
any hops put into the casks; but when a cask of beer is a considerable
time at tap, it will certainly want something to feed on; this is one
cause why small beer generally turns sour when it is nearly out; now by
using the before mentioned hops it will be found to be a considerable
remedy to prevent both mild ales and small beer from being hard and
The reader will observe, these hops having performed their duty, they
are of no expense, only the trouble of putting them into the casks. The
small beer must derive a considerable advantage from those hops when a
guile of ale was only brewed from them. Take care to put them into the
casks as soon as they are cold, for by being too long exposed to the
air they will lose their virtue.
I should not have said so much concerning small beer, but the price of
malt is so considerably advanced, to what it was formerly, that small
beer is become an expensive article, where there is a numerous family.
If you observe the before mentioned directions you will not have your
small beer so unpleasant, particularly when your cask is nearly out.
The most wholesome small beer is made from an intire guile of small,
for then you have the whole of the spirit and sweetness of the malt; it
will keep better and drink much fresher than if it were to be made from
the goods after a length of ale.
If you rack your beer, fail not to put some hops into the casks,
wetting them first with some of the same beer, or rather wet the hops
with some wort when brewing. If you want to hasten your beer for
drinking, put the hops into the casks when they are warm; if your beer
is for a long standing, put the hops in your casks when they are cold,
giving them a stir to separate them in the beer.
Take care not to be under the necessity of tapping your ale or small
beer before it has actually done working, for by so doing you will
prevent it from becoming fine: new beer may be classed with new bread;
for the newer you draw your beer the more there will be consumed; new
beer is not so satisfying as it is when come to a more mature age.
Beware, lest you forget to pay attention to your beer which is at tap;
for, "as the eye of the master maketh his horse fat," so the head of a
family, now and then giving a look into his cellar, may be the cause of
beer drinking more agreeable to his palate, by taking care the
vent-holes are kept closely stopped, and the cocks secure.
Do not fail to stoop your cask when the beer is about two parts in
three out; this should be done whilst the tap is spending, for then you
will not disturb the sediment. By stooping the cask when the beer is
about two parts in three out will prevent it from becoming flat and
sour; when, on the other hand, it is too frequently to be observed when
a person is drawing a pot of beer, the stream is impeded; for the beer,
being so nearly out, will not run till it is stooped. Now before this,
the cock discharging the beer but slowly, the air is admitted into the
cask, which causes the beer to drink flat, and, perhaps, turn sour:
therefore this will enforce the necessity of stooping your cask before
it be so nearly out.
This is a fault with many publicans, not paying attention to their
cellars; even many of those who brew their own beer are neglectful,
notwithstanding their own interest and credit is concerned. Tis not
uncommon for the vent-peg, and even the bung, to be left out of those
casks which are actually on draught.
Publicans, who retail common brewer's beer, and neglect their cellars,
have this excuse, if their customers find fault with the beer, by
saying "tis such beer as my brewer sends me," so it may be; but let a
publican be served with beer of the first quality, it entirely depends
on the management of the retailer thereof, whether the beer shall be of
a good or bad quality. This is proved by persons in the same town, each
being served with beer from one and the same brew-house; there will be
generally a disparity in the quality after it comes into the stock of
the respective retailers thereof, which proves it to be the good or bad
management in the cellar.
I am convinced I shall not offend the attentive publican by what I
have said respecting the cellar; but should this fall into the hands of
the inattentive, it may offend; but that I will excuse, if, by the
reading of this, he should be convinced of his error, and pay more
attention to his cellar; that he may be enabled to draw a pot of beer
to please those useful and valuable men, the labourer and the mechanic;
and where they used to drink but one pot of beer with him, they may,
from finding his ale much better than usual, perhaps, drink two.