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George Washington’s personal beer recipe surfaces

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George Washington beer recipe

As every real American can tell you, the most important quality in a President is their desirability as a drinking buddy. As such, George Washington's historic cool points just skyrocketed with the New York Public Library's release of his personal recipe for brewing your own beer.

A modified version of the recipe — to be clunkily known as Fortitude's Founding Father Brew — will be served at the Library's Centennial gala later this month and brewed in partnership with the Coney Island Brewing Company, but you can check out the original version below, transcribed from Washington's handwritten notes. It may or may not contain the word "bung." Anyway, here it is:

"To Make Small Beer

Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses (sic) into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask—leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working—Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed."

Technical question: was "Blood warm" a common term for assessing temperature back in the day, or was George Washington just a lot more macabre than I thought he was?