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Beer Seeds

On 8 Dec 2005 at 16:38, Gary wrote:

> Hi.
> About 40 years ago my grandfather received a bulky envelope in the
> mail. He sat me down at the kitchen table and opened the envelope and
> a small packet of waxed paper was wrapped in a letter explaining how
> to make home made root beer with the little packet of "Beer Seeds". We
> opened the waxed paper and there was about 2 tablespoons of small
> whitish granules about the size of very small aquarium gravel. My
> grandfather paid about 2 dollars for these "seeds" and he seemed
> excited to get them.
> We took these "seeds" and put them into a clean canning jar along with
> some water and sugar. We place the sealed jar on the kitchen table and
> watched as the "seeds" changed the sugar water into root beer. The
> seeds would float then drop to the bottom and repeated the dance of
> the "Beer Seeds" until the water took on a caramel brown color. And
> the 2 table spoons of seeds became about a half a cup of new seeds. We
> scattered the seeds out on some waxed paper to dry and we used them
> over and over. The crop of seeds grew with every batch of the home
> made brew.
> The flavor of the home made beverage left a lot to be desired, however
> I remember making this mixture with my grandfather and would like very
> much to share this experience with my own grandsons.
> Any idea of what these "seeds" were or where I could find some.
> Thanks
> Gary 

Hello Gary,

A thorough combing of the Internet revealed very little.

Apparently, at one time there was a company called "California Beer Seeds" which marketed these. There is a 1960's "Farm & Ranch" magazine with one of their ads here:

Farm & Ranch

I found this on a message board: > Has anyone out there ever heard of something called "Vinegar Bees" or > "California Multiplying Beer Seeds"? Very sweet patron believes that > this item is made our of sorghum cane "beads" found on the joints of > the stalks. Stuff is added to water to make a fizzy drink....any help, > as always would be appreciated.

See also:

Tennessee Yesterday

in the section about sorghum it states that "beer seeds" form if you don't clean the sorghum mill after making molasses. "Many years ago" they were used to make a non-alcoholic drink.

Whatever "beer seeds" were, There doesn't seem to be any way to get any commercial ones today. If they were a by-product of sorghum molasses making, you might try visiting one of the few remaining sorghum mills in the southern U.S. during molasses-making time. The people there might be able to tell you more.


Beer Seeds, from December 2005
I dont know if you are still interested in the subject, but this was just 
so interesting a request that I absolutely HAD to look for the answer!  
After much research, I finally came to the conclusion that "Beer Seeds" from 
a question back a few years ago were actually kefir grains!  Yep, you can make 
your own water kefir with sugar and water and the grains (of course you probably 
have heard of milk kefir, but there is a water variety, also).  They do multiply, 
so you wind up with more grains all the time that you can share.  
Heres a pic of it being made....
Water Kefir
From what I read, the "beer" actually does have some alcohol content 
(no wonder Grandpa was so excited to get them...LOL) and it has a somewhat 
lemony fizzy taste.  It is a natural probiotic, and is noted to be quite 
good for you, and I have heard it recommended for kids with autism 
(coconut water kefir, but good luck getting my kid to drink that!)
You can google "water kefir grains" and get the grains all over, even on Amazon...
but the price is a lot higher than when Grandpa paid his two bucks!
Heres a good site:  Water Kefir Grains
Hot damn, that was tough!  I am pretty proud of myself!  Hope I paid you back 
for the help with my Monument Valley Salad request I made (I know you didnt have 
any luck either, but I do appreciate the effort!)
Best wishes,


On 7 Dec 2005 at 8:50, Mary wrote:

> Thank you so much for giving this a shot.  Many years ago I had a
> small, delicious lemon pastry from Holland and forgot all about them
> until I saw them in a catalog to order.  I'd love to make them as a
> gift to my husband.  It looked like a very short cupcake, and was
> filled with lemon curd.  They are called "Boterkoeks" or "Babycakes"
> Here is the description in the catalog and the site if a visual
> picture would help you at all.
> "Buttery-rich shortbread pastries are adored in Holland, where they're
> known as boterkoeks." 
> chType=keyword&NRS=1&RS=1&keyword=14728
> Thank you so much for your time and energy on this.  I really, really,
> really  appreciate it. Mary 

Hello Mary,

See below.


BoterKoeken (Dutch recipe) 

The name translates to "Butter Cakes". 

200 grams flour (approx 1.5 cups) 
125 grams butter (approx 1/3 cup) 
150 grams sugar (approx 1 cup) 
1 egg 
Rind from one lemon, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 

Mix thoroughly butter and sugar. Add flour. Beat egg and mix half 
of it into the flour mixture. Add the lemon rind or almond extract. 
Press the mixture into an 8" square pan. 

Bake at 350oF for 25 minutes. After 12 minutes, brush cake with 
remaining egg. When done, cool 10 minutes then cut squares and take 
out of the pan. 
Lemon Buttermilk Baby Cakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Beat butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar. 
Beat until well blended. Add egg and mix until well blended. Stir 
in the buttermilk, lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla. 

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually 
add to the butter mixture. Chill dough at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 F. 

Drop small rounded teaspoons of the dough onto a lightly greased 
cookie sheet. 

Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Sprinkle 
a pinch of sugar over each cookie. Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Yield: approxmiately 5 dozen cookies.


On 7 Dec 2005 at 7:51, Bonnie wrote:

> i'm looking everywhere for a Cheregi receipe. can you find one for me?
> Thank you so much !!
> bonnie 

Hello Bonnie,

See below.


Cheregi (Ruysn Doughnuts) 

1 cup milk or half-and-half 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup cream or half-and-half 
1 tablespoon salt 
1/2 of a large cake compressed yeast or 1 envelope active dry yeast 
4 large eggs, beaten 
6 cups all-purpose flour 
Vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, or vegetable oil, for frying 
Confectioners' sugar 
Heat 1 cup milk until scalding hot; do not boil. Add the butter,
granulated sugar and salt. 
Stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup cream to cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast.
Stir in the eggs. Gradually add the flour and mix well. Refrigerate

Knead the dough. Roll it out and cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips, 
using a pastry wheel. 
Each should be about 3 inches long. Cut a slit in the middle of each 
one. Take one end of the dough and pull it through the slit to make 
a "bowtie." 

Heat about 1 inch of shortening or oil in a shallow frying pan over
medium heat until hot. 
Add the cheregi one by one -- do not crowd -- frying one side until
golden brown, then flip and fry the second side. 

Serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar

My-T-Fine Fudge

On 9 Dec 2005 at 14:05, Ellen wrote:

> Hi,
> My name is Ellen. Years ago, there was a fudge recipe on the back of
> My T Fine chocolate pudding box. I can not find that recipe any where.
> Can you help?

Hi Ellen,

See below.


My-T-Fine  Chocolate  Fudge

 Ingredients :
 1 pkg. My-T-Fine chocolate pudding mix
 1 c. sugar
 1/2 c. milk
 1 tbsp. butter

 Preparation :
    Mix contents of package with sugar and milk.  Cook to 238 degrees
 or until drop of mixture forms soft ball in cold water.  Remove from
 heat; add 1 tablespoon butter without stirring.  Cool slightly.
 Beat until thick and creamy.  Pour into buttered 9 x 9 inch pan.
 Cool completely.  Cut into squares.  Makes 3/4 pound.


On 6 Dec 2005 at 10:37, ALBERT wrote:

> Dear sir. I would like to find the receipt for panattoni. I
> would tell you that it has candied fruit. pistacios lot of
> eggs,yeast,sugar .It is always sold in a large loaf
> form,wapped   in paper very tight to insure freshness. I don't know
> much else,it does have a very shinny crust. It reminds me of stollen
> bread.
> Thank-you 
> Albert 

Hello Albert, See below for several recipes. Phaed

Panettone  (Italian  Easter  Bread)

 Ingredients :
 4 c. flour
 5 tbsp. sugar
 1 pkg. dry yeast, dissolved in warm water
 1/4 c. melted butter
 3/4 tbsp. sunflower oil
 1/2 c. scalded milk - cooled
 3 beaten eggs at room temperature
 1 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract
 1 1/4 c. seedless raisins (white)
 1/2 c. chopped dried citron

 Preparation :
    Place flour and sugar on board or counter top.  Blend.  Make a
 well.  Add dissolved yeast.  Blend by rubbing mixture between palms
 of hands until texture is fine.  Add sun oil and butter blending in
 the same manner.  Make a well.  If sticky, sprinkle some flour on
 board.  Place dough in a large bowl.  Cover with wax paper and
 towel.  Set aside in a warm place.  Allow to rise 1 1/2 hours or
 until double in bulk.  Then punch down.  On board, add and work in
 raisins and citron, a small amount at a time.  Knead until fruit is
 evenly distributed. Divide dough in half.  Knead each portion for 30
 seconds.  Place in 2 buttered high sided bread tins.  Let rise again
 until double in bulk.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15
 minutes.  Lower temperature to 325 degrees.  Cover tops with brown
 paper.  Continue baking for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Italian  Panettone

 Ingredients :
 2 pkgs. dry yeast
 1 c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
 5 to 5 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
 1/2 c. sugar
 3 eggs
 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/2 c. chopped mixed candied fruit
 1/2 c. raisins
 1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
 Honey (optional)

 Preparation :
    Cut a piece of aluminum foil long enough to fit around an 8-inch
 cakepan, allowing a 1-inch overlap; fold lengthwise into thirds.
 Lightly brush one side of foil with oil; wrap around outside of
 cakepan, oiled side against pan.  Allow foil to extend 3 inches
 above rim of cakepan, forming a collar.  Secure foil in place with
 freezer tape; set aside.  Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large
 mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup butter,
 sugar, eggs, nutmeg, and salt; beat at medium speed of an electric
 mixer until smooth.   Stir in candied fruit, raisins, and enough of
 the remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Turn dough out onto a
 floured surface; knead until smooth (about 5 minutes). Place dough
 in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise
 in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until
 doubled in bulk. (Or, to let dough rise in the microwave, set bowl
 [non-metal] in a larger shallow dish; pour hot water to a depth of 1
 inch in bottom dish.  Cover dough loosely with wax paper.  Microwave
 at MEDIUM LOW [30% power] 2 minutes; let stand in the microwave 5
 minutes.  Repeat microwaving and standing 3 times or until the dough
 is doubled in bulk, giving the dish a quarter-turn after each
 microwaving period.  Carefully turn dough over in bowl if dough's
 surface appears to be drying out.  Remove from oven.)  Punch dough
 down; turn out onto floured surface, and knead 1 minute.  Roll dough
 into a smooth ball; place in prepared pan.  Brush top of dough with
 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Gently cut a small X about 1/2 inch
 deep in top of loaf.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from
 drafts, 1 hour.  Uncover dough, and bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 55
 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  (Shield bread with
 aluminum foil after 20 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.)
 Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove foil and pan. Brush lightly
 with honey, if desired.  Yield: one 8-inch loaf

 Ingredients :
 4 1/2-5 1/2 c. unsifted flour
 1/2 c. sugar
 1 tsp. salt
 2 pkgs. Fleischmann's dry yeast
 1/2 c. milk
 1/2 c. water
 1/2 c. (1 stick) margarine
 3 eggs, room temperature
 1 egg
 1 tbsp. water

 Preparation :
   In large bowl thoroughly mix 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and
 yeast.  Combine milk, 1/2 cup water and margarine in a saucepan.
 Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (margarine doesn't need to
 melt). Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium
 speed, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add enough additional flour to
 make a soft dough.  Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until
 smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes).    Place in a greased bowl,
 turning to grease top.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place
 until double in bulk (about 1 hour).  Punch dough down.  Cover; let
 rise again until almost double (about 30 minutes).  Punch dough down
 again; turn out onto lightly floured board.  Divide in half; form
 into round balls. Place on opposite corners of greased baking sheet.
  Cut across 1/2 inch deep on top of each ball.  Cover; let rise
 until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).  Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon
 water.  Brush tops of Panettone.  Bake at 350 degrees about 35-45
 minutes or until done.  Remove from sheet and cool on wire racks.

 Ingredients :
 2 deep well greased pans
 1 pkg. yeast, dissolved in 1/4 c. warm water
 1 c. butter, melted
 1 c. sugar
 1 tsp. salt, or less
 5 1/2 c. flour
 1/4 c. milk, scalded & cooled to lukewarm
 2 eggs
 4 egg yolks
 1 c. seedless raisins
 1/4 c. chopped citron
 1/2 c. additional flour

 Preparation :
    In large bowl, beat melted butter, sugar and salt.  Gradually
 beat in 2 cups flour and lukewarm milk.  Add yeast mixture and beat
 well.  In another bowl, thoroughly beat eggs and yolks.  Add to
 batter and beat well.  Gradually add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour
 alternately with fruit.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over a cutting board
 and knead dough until flour is absorbed.  Cover with wax paper and
 cloth to set for 10 minutes.  Sift remaining 1/4 cup flour over the
 dough and knead until all is absorbed.  Place into a greased bowl,
 grease top of dough.  Cover with waxed paper and cloth and let stand
 in a warm place for 2 1/2 hours.  (It will rise slightly but not
 double.)  Punch down and allow to rise for another hour, covered.
 Divide in half and shape into 2 round loaves and place into greased
 pans.  Brush top generously with beaten egg with teaspoon water.
 Cover with waxed paper and cloth; let stand 1 hour in a warm place.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Phaedrus