Home Brew

Taken from a recipe given to Rose & Bruce Marshall, from an old couple in Wharfedale. First Brewed by John Hodkinson in August1968 and continually ever since. Never yet run dry.

Ingredients for Beer  (One Gallon)

1 Ib of Malt Extract
1 oz of Hops (I usually use Northern Brewer)
Yeast (for brewing) (I presently use Safale)
1 gallon of Water
Half Pound of Sugar (I use one 2 Kilogram Bag of sugar for a 4 to 5 gallon Brew)

Double these quantities for two gallons, and so on...


1. Boil hops and malt in four pints of water for 45 minutes. Add a good pinch of salt, and one teabag (for tannic acid, which gives added smoothness) Boil longer for a darker beer, shorter for light - I usually simmer for one hour.

2. Strain on to sugar, stir until dissolved. Make up into one gallon with cold water, a plastic dustbin makes a good fermentation container.

3. Cool to blood heat, add yeast. (amount as directed by the yeast manufacturer.)

4. Ferment in a warm place (4 to 5 days) fermenting time largely depends on average temperature. As scum forms on the surface. it should be skimmed off. When the mix has largely stopped working, with just a few bubbles at the centre and has begun to drop clearer at the top, then it is ready for bottling. If in doubt, leave it
for an extra day. It is usually better to bottle too late, than too early.

5. Put in air tight bottles - syphon it to avoid disturbing the sediment. use screw topped bottles with a good seal or crown cork bottles with metal caps or plastic re-usable stoppers. These can be purchased quite cheaply per dozen. Add one level teaspoon of sugar per pint. Mature at 65 degrees F. (approx) for 3 days. Then store in a cool place for four days.

It improves with keeping!

It has probably peaked by 3-4 months and is still ok after 12, although I have never managed to keep one undrunk any longer than this. On the other hand, it can be drunk with safety after 7 days in bottles, and when pressed, I have drunk it after three with no ill effect other than a slightly closer relationship than usual with the loo during the following morning...

Further Techniques:

When the bottle is opened, carefully pour into a large jug until the sediment begins to near the neck of the bottle. This should leave about half an inch of liquid in the bottle, consisting of a yeasty sediment. Then pour from the jug into glasses. If poured direct from bottle, to glass to glass, the sediment in the bottle will cloud the beer, as it rises when the bottle is tilted back again.

This is the basic recipe. The quantities of the ingredients and the method can be varied to suit the taste of the individual.

Hints and Tips...

The basic guide is: Sugar for strength, Hops for flavour, Malt Extract for body, Tea bag for smoothness and Salt for thirst to encourage the next pint...

Warning! This beer can be very strong. Do not drive or operate machinery after imbibing. It strikes without warning!

© John Hodkinson 2015