The Best Advice A Brewer Was Ever Given

The winner hands down is Joseph Coppinger, from his book The American Practical Brewer and Tanner from 1815:

The common mode of keeping malt is in bins situated on upper lofts, often injured by leaks from the roof, and at all times liable to the depredations of rats, which in the other way can be effectually guarded against, and is a highly important object of precaution to be taken by the brewer. Should weevils at any time get into, or generate in your malt, which is common when held over beyond twelve or eighteen months, the simplest and easiest way of getting rid of them, is to place four or five lobsters on your heap of malt, the smell of which will soon compel the weevils to quit the malt, and take refuge on the walls, from which they can be swept with a broom into a sheet or table cloth laid on the malt, and so taken off.

Not three. Not six. Only four or five will do. Best advice. Ever.

One thought on “The Best Advice A Brewer Was Ever Given”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Ed – November 27, 2015 2:56 AM

    Steve – November 27, 2015 4:29 PM
    How do you get rid of the smell of lobster from your malt then?

    Alan – November 27, 2015 9:25 PM
    Who would want to? It’s craft!

    Gary Gillman – November 28, 2015 5:49 PM
    Maybe he was being ironic.


    Alan – November 28, 2015 7:17 PM

    Gary Gillman – November 29, 2015 9:58 AM
    In other words Alan maybe he is saying once you have weevil infestation any cure is worse than the ailment so don’t keep malt so long. It’s probably ascribing too subtle an intention to the writer of a manual, but who knows.

    The only other thing I can think of is, maybe the spoiling fish wasn’t left there that long and didn’t in fact communicate a bad taste to the malt.


    Alan – November 29, 2015 1:39 PM
    I expect it’s a real thing that is beyond our modern set of expectations – like preindustrial country folk saving their pee to make ammonia byproducts.

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