The Private Brewer's Guide to the Art of Brewing Ale and Porter, Particularly Adapted to the Use of the Families of the Nobility, Gentry, Farmers, and Private Brewers, with Complete Instructions for Country Victuallers who Brew at Home. Also, An Account of Drugs, Tables of Duties, Laws of Excise, The Art of Sweetening Casks, Instructions for making up Spirits, Purchasing Wines, &c. On a plain and entire new plan. - John Tuck 1822 - W. Simpkin and R. Marshall, London - Second Edition [Published same year as first edition] A rare, important and oft quoted work, in particular in relation to the history of Porter. This second edition, which was published the same year as the first edition, has been enlarged, revised and additions made.

With tables including one folding [opposite pages 84 and 85].
  ‘It is curious to note that Tuck was actually considered advanced in his day, for he recorded all of his recipes with specific gravity measure, which were determined through the use of the hydrometer’ - Promash, The History of the Sikes Hydrometer.

‘Interesting in particular for Tuck's attacks on Accum's Treatise, which he considers to be full of mistakes and misapprehensions a practising brewer would not have put his name to.’ - J.B. Sumner.

‘In the literature of brewing, we find robust contributions from such figures as John Tuck, a bookbinder turned brewer active in the 1810s and 1820s. Tuck inverted the conventional hierarchy of the theory/ practice divide, savaging chemical theorists who formulated rules through ‘science instead of practical acquirement.’ -
Brewing Science, Technology and Print, 1700-1880.

In the ‘Preface to the First Edition’ Tuck states that this publication arose from the to write down his instructions to the proprietor of a brewhouse, and that they would be instructive to young brewers’ he goes on to say that the original has been enlarged upon, and written at various times, in the years 1818, 1819, and 1820.

In 1820 he published a private publication (pp. vi [2] 184) by ‘A Practical Brewer’ as ‘A guide to young brewers, particularly adapted to the families of the nobility & gentry, farmers, and private brewers, who brew largely; also, complete instructions for country victuallers who brew at home, both as to porter and ale. With an account of drugs, tables of duties, laws of excise, the art of sweetening casks, instructions for making up spirits, purchasing wines, &c. &c. On a plain and intire new plan. By a practical brewer.’

Charlie Pavitt provides a good article on this work [
Trivial Beer-Suits, Charlie Pavitt - Aug 2009, Brewers United for Real Potables []]

‘I made mention of Johann Gottfried Hahn’s 1804 admonition that many commercial beers of that time included “poisons and narcotics” to provide the appearance of drunkenness “without having to make relatively expensive alcohol,” along with the bribery and complacency of law officers. This issue is discussed in some depth in a book written by English brewer John Tuck in 1822 with the complete title “The Private Brewer’s Guide to the Art of Brewing Ale and Porter, Particularly Adapted to the Use of the Families of the Nobility, Gentry, Farmers, and Private Brewers, with Complete Instructions for Country Victuallers who Brew at Home” (back then, a book’s title really told you what it was about). Throughout the book, Tuck responds to what he believes to be errors in a previous book written by a Mr. Accum, beginning in the preface to the second edition when he answers Accum’s claims about the “various and extensive frauds which are daily practiced on the unsuspecting public” by brewers, and that “the intoxicating qualities of some Porter arises from stupefying ingredients used in it.” Tuck retorts that of a million and a half barrels produced by public breweries annually, a total of only 34 had been seized by authorities over the past six years combined.

The one guilty party, Meux, Reid and Company in 1813, was fined one hundred pounds for their infraction. Mr. Meux apparently had complained to a Mr. Wheeler of the sour taste of this product, with Mr. Wheeler recommending the use of salt of tartar as a remedy. Tuck insists that this is an isolated incident, caused by the brewer’s error in listening to the suggestions of a “Chemist” (pharmacist), who, in a couple of places in the book, Tuck insists are too ignorant in the ways of brewing to be trusted. In fact, the excise laws then in effect included fines for the use of improper ingredients by commercial brewers, which Tuck describes in detail. They read along the lines of the German purity laws. Meux’s fine was for using anything other than malt and hops (and I supposewater and yeast), including sugar, molasses, and honey; in fact, victuallers (innkeepers) were fined a hundred pounds merely for having more than 10 pounds of these sweeteners on their premises. The punishment for using a substitute for hops was 10 pounds.

Nonetheless, Tuck includes a chapter entitled “On Drugs” in which he describes the effect of various additives for use by homebrewers that were forbidden to commercial brewers. Many herbs are extolled for their qualities (coriander, caraway seed, orange peel, and ginger, among others). At another place in the book, he recommends malted beans as a useful additive to porter. However, despite Tuck’s earlier admonition, salt of tartar is now described in neutral terms as a method to reverse acidity in older beer. Several others are for good reason strongly frowned upon. I didn’t know what cocculus indicus (shown to the right) was until now; it is a “poisonous narcotic and stimulant” according to, and Tuck describes it as such in no uncertain terms, as producing “drunkenness without any real strength of the beer, creating the most violent head-aches and other diseases,” and “deserving the reprobation of the public, and the just punishment of the legislature, whenever discovered at a brewery.” Opiates apparently had been recommended by some unnamed chemists as a substitute for malt; “they are justly prohibited, and cannot be too much condemned.” Tuck heard tobacco being extolled, but he presumes it provides “a very unpleasant flavor” and would avoid it. And finally, capsicum, “another stimulative, very hot, and pungent; much better left out.” You don’t say. I’ve personally had the displeasure of sampling that commercial beer with a red pepper in the bottle; its name is justly forgotten.

There are some other bad ingredients. “A most nefarious custom prevails in the west of England, where the maltster never treads or screens his malt, so that roots and shoots are all measured and ground in… giving his article a most abominable flavour.” Water from the River Thames too putrid for brewing in the fall due to the vegetation that has fallen into it over the months, but is fine in February and March. I might also mention that, in a glossary, Tuck calls the wort from a third running “the blues”; what would B. B. King think of that?

I’ll come back to this book in a future beer-suit. In summary, it mostly consists of detailed instructions on brewing various styles popular at that time. At one point, Tuck describes in detail a brewing day beginning at 4 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. including the mashing, boiling, and yeast pitching of three runnings of ale, including time set aside for breakfast and dinner, and “if the exciseman is a good fellow, be sure to tell him the time the first wort will be out, and get him a handsome lunch and a cup of ale.” Upon completion, “if not tired, take a walk.”’

References: Not in Simon,
Bibliotheca Vinaria or Bibliotheca Gastronomica, Sotheby’s Crahan sale, Cagle, A Matter of Taste, or Bitting, Gastronomic Bibliography.
8vo. pp. xiv [2] 262 [1 advertisement] [1].
  Bound in later quarter burgundy morocco over cloth boards   Condition: A very good copy, large light watermark to first half of books pages, scattered light foxing to second half getting a little heavier towards the last pages. Number 150536 in contemporary hand to page 163   Ref: 104722   Price: HK$ 8,000