Kellerbier//18th Century New England Farmer Ale: Help Needed

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by isthisanighttimeipa, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. isthisanighttimeipa

    isthisanighttimeipa Initiate (100) Jun 11, 2018

    I am interested in making a beer that is a mix between a Kellerbier and an 18th Century New England farmer ale... in doing this I do not want to age this or use wood chips... this would be more of a combination of both styles ingredients while fermenting it like an ale. What do I need to make this? any suggestions?
     
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (9,517) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    If you're not going to research anything historical I'd assume that what was being made in New England in the 18th century was basically English ale. There's that half for you right there. A keller beer is simply a "cellar" beer that has been stored cold and served unfiltered. The majority are lagers, and most are in the Munich helles vein, or sometimes what I think of as southern German pils which are just a little more hoppy. Keeping in mind that what was served in the 17th century New England was also cold conditioned and served unfiltered you're almost there. Your only questions are whether you'll use lager or ale yeast, and how true you want to stay to your malts on the 18th century farmer side as they were probably doing their own maltings and most likely could not produce Munich malt. Vienna would probably be much closer. Additionally, there was probably a good amount of sugar involved. That might be historical but I've always found it produces inferior beer. Also, historically, they would not have had lager yeast so ale would really be the way to go.
     
    #2 NeroFiddled, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    “I am interested in making a beer that is a mix between a Kellerbier and an 18th Century New England farmer ale...”

    My suggestions for the Kellerbier part of the hybrid beer is that the beer be unfiltered which is ‘normal’ for homebrewing.

    For the 18th Century New England farmer ale I suggest that you use an English ale yeast strain and use a portion of Molasses as part of the fermentables.

    Colonial American homebrewers (e.g., farmers) would utilize non-barley malt ingredients to augment their beers since barley malt was for the most part an imported product (read: expensive). Colonial American homebrewers would use alternative sources of starch (e.g., pumpkin, parsnip,…) and sugars (e.g., molasses) to produce their beers.

    Best of luck with your beer.

    Cheers!
     
    Mothergoose03 and MrOH like this.
  4. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,227) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium Member

    Maybe the first question needs to be... how do you define this beer style? @JackHorzempa has suggested typical 'colonial' ingredients in his post above, but does this fit your needs? I think a 'farmer ale' could mean a lot of things.
     
  5. isthisanighttimeipa

    isthisanighttimeipa Initiate (100) Jun 11, 2018

    In some ways I mean a Saison but in a colonial way... as in using ingredients that would have been used in 18th century new england
     
  6. isthisanighttimeipa

    isthisanighttimeipa Initiate (100) Jun 11, 2018

    Honestly I just want to combine both styles and see what happens...
    thanks... I do not mind if the beer comes out with a low abv if that's what you mean by inferior... what malt should I use for say a New England malt that would have been used at this time? I might want to use both malts...
     
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Yes, you are discussing a Colonial American (New England region) farmhouse ale. You have a number of options to use 'indigenous' ingredients like those I made mention of in post #3.

    Cheers!
     
  8. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (9,517) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    By inferior I mean the the beer seems a little bit hollow. The sugar adds fermentables, and some flavor, but for me it seems to lack a bit of middle once the whole brew is fermented. Molasses for example, is great in the aroma, but then leaves the beer with an odd taste - this is just my experience.

    Historically these ales would have been loaded with sugars, mainly molasses which was the cheapest, but the brewers were only using the stuff to save money on ales that were cheap and could get you drunk and didn't have to compete with wine and whiskey. And as Jack has noted, alternate sugar sources were the norm.

    Forgetting that, I think that what you might be getting at is a 50/50 mix of English or American pale ale and German Munich or Vienna malt. If I were trying to be more "historical" I'd go with the Vienna malt as my second half, not Munich. For hops... there's no way to tell historically. You might want to try some Cluster mixed with some German noble hops.
     
    #8 NeroFiddled, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Most Colonial New England farmers were not wealthy (e.g., they did not own plantations) so economics played a role in all of their vocations (e.g., farming, brewing, baking, building fences, etc.). If a person is looking to homebrew like the New England farmers of the 18th century then using fermentables beyond barley malt is a necessary thing.

    Cheers!
     
    NeroFiddled likes this.
  10. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (9,517) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This is very true, and unfortunately, most likely did not lead to very good beer.
     
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    The malt would have been imported from Great Britain and during the 18th Century three different types of malt would have been produced there (see in bold below):
    • Brown Ale - brown malt
      • Common Brown Ale
      • Strong Brown Ale (Stitch)
    • Amber Ale - amber malt
    • Pale Ale - pale malt
    http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2008/08/early-18th-century-british-beer-styles.html

    I would suggest that you use English Pale Malt as your base malt.

    The hops that would have been imported from Great Britain may likely have been Goldings hops of some sort: https://www.beeradvocate.com/articl...story-of-englands-two-greatest-hop-varieties/

    If you prefer to utilize ‘indigenous’ hops than Cluster would be your choice.

    Cheers!
     
    MrOH likes this.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,545) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    May have been very good beer for that time period?

    If the OP is looking to just make "very good beer" then perhaps just brew a modern day beer style instead?

    Cheers!
     
    MrOH likes this.