hist-brewing: suger substitution

BurrLoomis at aol.com BurrLoomis at aol.com
Wed Jan 6 06:44:40 PST 1999


In a message dated 1/5/99 2:53:34 PM EST, bjm10 at cornell.edu writes:

<< The standard military 
 method of making "spruce beer" for the English army (cf various journals, 
 including that of Knox) in the 1750s was to boil spruce branches, take 
 the extract and add molasses and yeast, and ferment.  It was drunk 
 scandalously young (a mere 5-7 days after fermentation started) and was 
 seen as a cure for scurvy. >>
	That may be pretty good.  I don't know what the vitamin C content of spruce
branches is, but they would certainly be cheaper and more available than
citrus fruits in much of the British Army's area of responsibility.  Of course
the molasses was there to ferment, and the alcohol to kill the taste of the
spruce.  Rather like using gin to kill the bitter taste of the quinine in a
gin and tonic (The seltzer came later).

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