hist-brewing: another thread

bjm10 at cornell.edu bjm10 at cornell.edu
Thu May 7 07:01:53 PDT 1998

On Wed, 6 May 1998, Andrew M. Hartig wrote:

> When the early English recipes call for "Oats" can one just substitute (or 
> use) an equal amount of "Quaker's Oats" (the breakfast cereal) or do the oats 

I do not know what you mean by "early".  In a 16th-century description of 
brewing that appears in "Description of England", the oats are "ground" 
along with the malt, which tells me that, at least for this guy's wife, 
they are actually un-hulled oats rather than the "rolled" or otherwise 
hulled varieties.  Without the hulls, they would likely just pass through 
any mill pretty much unaltered.

Of course, this same guy claims that his wife "boiled" her mash.  Mind 
you, he was giving his *impression* of what his wife did when she 
brewed.  It doesn't appear that he actually brewed, himself.

> have to be processed in any particular way?  I have asked my local 
> brewing supplier and he has never had any requests for oats and doesn't 
> seem to know anything about it...  Any help would be greatly appreciated 

Now, when I did a redaction of a different 16th-century recipe that 
called for oats, I didn't have any un-hulled oats on hand.  So I used an 
appropriate volume of rolled oats, which I pre-cooked so as to gelatinize 
the starches.  I later discovered that King Arthur Flour also sells whole 
un-hulled oats.

Now, as to whether or not those oats were historically malted, that's 
another question, for which I have no answer.

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