This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
Definition Of Small Beers. - Fermentation. - Definition of Ferment and its Essential Condition. - Condition of Yeast. - Preservation of Yeast. - Ex-amination of Yeast. - Preparing Various Kinds of Yeast. - Sugar: Its Substitutes and Proportions Employed. - Kind of Water to be Used. - The Extracts for Small Beers. - A Proper Temperature Important. - The Quantity of Yeast Required. - Time to Ferment. - Killing of Yeast. - Ar-resting Fermentation. - Clarifying Small Beers. - Preservation of Small Beers. - Employing Herbs, Barks, Roots, etc. - Coloring and Foaming Matter. - Preparing and Bottling Small Beers. - Preservation of Barrels or Tanks.- Alcoholic Strength of Small Beers. - Birch Beer. - Corn Beer. - Cottage Beer. - Ginger Beer (four formulae).- Ginger Beer and Ginger Wine. - Hop Beer. - Horehound Beer. - Koumiss. - Lemon Beer. - Mead. - Scotch Mead. - Methegelin. - Molasses Beer. - Nettle Beer. - Persimmon Beer. - Root Beer. - Sarsaparilla Beer.- Sarsaparilla Mead.- Spruce Beer. - Tonic Beer.
The term small beer is a common designation for the light fermented beers, better known as root, spruce, tonic, birch, ginger, lemon, Peruvian and other similar beers. The trouble and care of making these drinks are greater than when produced by means of apparatus. The richness of flavor, delicate aroma and body of the liquid, obtained by fermentation, cannot be approached by the liquid prepared by carbonating, and therefore great care should be taken in the manufacture of these fermented beers, as they are, when well prepared, pleasant and invigorating. Small beers as above are usually put up in opaque, glass or stone bottles, for obvious reasons. They will keep usually about a week under ordinary circumstances, a change of temperature or other atmospheric influences, however, will change them or prove troublesome to their preservation. The principles of fermentation should be well understood, and we, therefore, append the principal information pertaining to it.