hist-brewing: Herbs

Mike and Laura Angotti angotti at world.std.com
Fri Sep 25 18:05:28 PDT 1998

At 03:53 PM 9/24/98 -0400, Jeff Renner wrote:
>You all may remember that I am going to brew a Domesday Ale," for which I
>malted my own oats, since I couldn't find any, inspired by the following:
>"The monks of St Paul's Cathedral brewed 67,814 gallons of ale using 175
>quarters of barley, 175 quarters of wheat and 708 quarters of oats,"  The
>Domesday of St. Paul's of the Year M.CC.XX.II by William Hale Hale [sic]
>I will, for the purpose of practicality, use equal weights of each grain.
>We don't need to go into all of the computations we did last winter on
>deciphering the measures.  

Last week someone else commented on this - that earlier discussion had led
to the conclusion that 2/3 oats was probably an error and too high.  I would
have previously been inclined to agree, but I have run across some other
information that makes me believe the 2/3 oats is correct.

In her excellent book 'Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England', Judith Bennet
for her economic analysis if early 14th century brewing costs (in Oxford)
uses examples of ale made from 2/3 oats and 1/6 each wheat and barley, as
well as 1/3 each oats, barley, and wheat.  Unfortunately she does not detail
why she chose these proportions, but I am willing to believe that they are
based on the information in the primary sources which she has viewed.  Thus
I would conclude that an ale of 2/3 oats is representative of the time
(trusting the judgement of someone who has seem far more sources than I).
BTW, oats were cheaper...

By the way, her book, published by Oxford  University Press 1996, gives
excellent insight into the brewing trade in england in these periods,
including such perennial questions as when beer came to England.  I heartily
recommend it for the serious beer historian.

-Laura Angotti-

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