hist-brewing: Hi

bjm10 at cornell.edu bjm10 at cornell.edu
Wed Jan 6 10:07:45 PST 1999

On Wed, 6 Jan 1999, Christopher R. Hebert wrote:

> what I make, but my (very) unlearned impression is that before Pasteur
> and knowledge of hygeine came along, a lot of what our forebears drank
> was pretty sketchy stuff. 

Well, going off my strong suit, the 18th century (pre-Pasteur, pre-Koch, 
etc.) they knew that good, clean spring water was better than standing, 
that moldy grain was a bad idea, that the brew needed to boil for a good, 
long time after mashing, that you wanted your kegs either already used 
for beer (or port) or have them properly seasoned (by burning) 
beforehand, and a lot of other practices that, when added up, turn out to 
greatly reduce microbial contamination.  They didn't know *why* these 
things worked, but they knew that it made for better beer.


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