Make Raw Beer or Ale
Up until the Middle Ages, beer, or gruit ale as it was called, was brewed raw. Long boiling didn't begin until hops were introduced in the 16th century because hops need to be boiled. Raw beer is real ale and does not have hops. Real ale is brewed raw and is good food.

(This recipe yields about a half gallon of ale)

Soak 60 grams of whole barley and 40 grams of whole wheat berries (or about 1/2 cup of barley and 1/4 cup of wheat berries) until they approximately double in size, or soak and rinse them until they begin to sprout. (See Sprouting).


Put the soaked grains into a blender and blend on high until it becomes smooth.

Add to the blender another cup of warm water and a 1/2 cup of raw honey or raw agave syrup, or 1 cup of unsulphered dried fruit (such as dates or raisins) which have been soaked overnight and continue to puree on high until smooth. (non-all raw alternative: sugar syrup)

Pour into a clean, 3-liter plastic soda pop bottle or glass jug. Top up with more warm water to within 3-4 inches from the top, or about 2 4/5 liters altogether.

Add a yeast starter, which for me is usually a half a bottle from a previous batch. If this is your first attempt and you don't have any live, active yeast, you can use a packet of store-bought beer yeast or even a spoonful of bread yeast. Bread yeast is the least attractive option, however. Use it now to get started but look for ways to get a more suitable yeast later. (Apple juice that has gone fizzy in the back of the fridge will do nicely. See my page on harvesting wild yeast. )

You may need to add a couple drops of lemon juice in the brew if the yeast is sluggish, especially if you started out with dry yeast.

Cover with an airlock (*see below). Put it in a warm place. Shake or turn it over every once in a while, at least once a day, to keep distributing the ground material throughout the liquid. Note when signs of fermentation (bubbles in the liquid) begin.

Decide how much alcohol you want it to have:
1.) As little as possible -- no more than needed to create carbonation. Go to blue box.
2.) Average American beer strength (6% or 12 proof) Go to lavender box.
3.) As much as possible, which is the amount of alcohol in wine (12% or 24 proof), double that of the average American beer. Go to beige box

(see Home Brewing boxes below for sources for ordering supplies online)
As little alcohol as necessary to carbonate soda pop and no more

   1. Strain the liquid mash through cotton flannel or 2 layers of cheesecloth/muslin [* see below] to remove the roughage. (Use it to make bread or a second batch of ale.)
   2. Pour the clean fitered liquid back into the 3-liter plastic soda pop bottle, or divide it into smaller plastic soda pop bottles. Leave a few inches of airspace.
   3. Put on plastic screw-on bottle top and tighten securely.
   4. Leave at room temperature.
   5. As soon as plastic bottle(s) becomes firm to the touch and cannot be squeezed, refrigerate and drink within 1 or 2 days.
 

Average beer strength alcohol

(This is the most difficult to achieve, and you will probably have to use some trial and error to determine what works best for your conditions.)

   1. Continue to cover the bottle with an airlock (see below). Leave at room temperature and let it continue to ferment for 2-3 days.
   2. Strain the liquid and mash through cotton flannel or 2 layers of cheesecloth/muslin [* see below] to remove the roughage. (Use it to make bread or a second batch of ale.)
   3. Pour the clean fitered liquid back into the 3-liter plastic soda pop bottle, or divide it into smaller plastic soda pop bottles. Leave a few inches of airspace.
   4. Put on plastic screw-on bottle top and tighten securely.
   5. Leave at room temperature.
   6. As soon as plastic bottle(s) becomes firm to the touch and cannot be squeezed, refrigerate and drink within 3 days


As much alcohol as possible

   1. Continue to cover the bottle with an airlock (see below). Leave at room temperature and let it continue to ferment for 6-7 days, or until fermentation has ceased.
   2. Strain the liquid and mash through cotton flannel or 2 layers of cheesecloth/muslin [* see below] to remove the roughage. (Add it to bread dough.)
   3. Pour the clean fitered liquid back into the 3-liter plastic soda pop bottle and add 1/2 cup of raw honey or other raw sugar(s), or sugar syrup.
   4. Top up with water to 3-4 inches from the top of the bottle so that total liquid is about 2 4/5 liters or quarts.
   5. Divide into smaller plastic soda pop bottles if desired. Leave a few inches of airspace in each bottle.
   6. Put on screw-on bottle top(s) and tighten securely.
   7. When bottle(s) are firm to the touch and cannot be squeezed, refrigerate and drink within a week.


Notes:
Barley and Wheat

If you can get sprouting barley, which isn't all that easy to come by, and sprout it, it would increase the nutritional value of your ale. The same holds true with the wheat. Soaking as instructed in the recipe is good, sprouting is better. You can sprout either the barley or wheat. Continue to rinse and soak the grains until they begin to sprout, and then continue with the recipe above. Pot barley that doesn't sprout is better than pearl barley and pearl barley is better than no barley at all.

Airlocks


Airlocks are anything that will keep out bugs but let gas escape from the fermentation. When I first started making wine, I used store-bought airlocks. When those broke, I found I could use a plain plastic sheet secured with a sturdy rubber band. When I lost those, I discovered it worked just as well to just close the plastic soda pop screw-on top and then loosen it every once in a while to let out the gas buildup. You can also make an airlock by brewing in a jug with a lid, and loosening the lid just the tiniest amount so air can get out but bugs can't get in. Use whichever of these methods that appeals to you, but if you use the sheet of plastic, make sure it is not bio-degradable.

airlock


Plastic or Glass?

You can brew in glass, but I carbonate everything in plastic soda pop bottles. The advantages to this are that plastic doesn't risk accidentally exploding, sending long pieces of sharp, pointy glass into your flesh, and it's easier to check on carbonation by squeezing a plastic bottle. If you intend to bottle in glass, pack them in sand to reduce the risk of explosion.

Filtering  Through Cheesecloth/Muslin or Cotton Flannel

Your choice of filter will determine the clarity of your final ale. Two layers of cheesecloth/muslin will produce an average, somewhat "cloudy" ale with a grain sediment. If you want to produce a "company beer" that is clearer (less nutritious, but looks more like regular beer), use a proper cotton flannel jelly bag. You could also use a cotton pillow case.


Squeezing to test for fermentation/carbonation


Squeeze bottle(s) to check if ale is carbonated. When bottle feels firm and cannot be squeezed, ale is carbonated.
This bottle is not ready.This bottle can still be squeezed and is not yet ready to drink.


..

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