Waste Not, Want Not

Tap report tomorrow

frugalhousewifeAfter posting about my soured beer last week I began thinking about what good all this spoiled beer is and interestingly the answer came from the early days of this fine country. Back in the early days of the United States brewing could be hit and miss. Often wild yeasts, fungus, and bacteria could easily spoil a batch of beer. Couple that with the sanitation practices of the time and it’s a wonder that any beer made it to the point of consumption without tasting like gym socks. The reality of the situation though is that these early Americans grasped this problem better then we often think. In The Frugal Housewife published in 1830, Lydia Maria Francis Child says that spoiled beer is good for diluting strong vinegar, works well in flapjacks, and can be used in place of wine. In fact many historical recipes that call for flat beer may be calling for spoiled beer since the bacteria removed the sugars needed for the yeast to carbonate the beer. Now that I think about it spoiled beer would be an excellent substitution to a Sunday roast, or Welsh Rabbit. That is if it has a sweet spoiled taste, and not the gym socks one. Also if the PH is right it can be used in a marinade as a meat tenderizer. The possibilities are endless, and essentially I have 5 gallons of culinary experimentation to do. In fact I may take a page out of Chef Steve Corry’s book and make a fruit tincture out of a few of these bottles and see what I can do with it. The fun part of this experiment will be keeping track of the recipes, and posting them on here. Who knows, there may be a once a week thing coming on until I use up these beers. Anyone else out there have any ideas on ways to use spoiled beer? If so let me know please. Also if you live in the Salem/Keizer area of Oregon and want to use some in your cooking and let me know how it works just drop me a line in the comments.

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