hist-brewing: Period Questions

m_shapiro at bigfoot.com m_shapiro at bigfoot.com
Thu Jan 21 06:49:28 PST 1999


Bearing in mind that you are covering a LARGE time span, and several
different cultures, the following answers should be fairly accurate, IMHO.

On 21-Jan-99 Chris J. Caronna, R. Ph. wrote:
> 1.  Was period wine making  a two stage process as today with a rapid
> fermentation followed by a slower air lock process or were air locks
> even used?

Single stage -- no airlocks.
> 2. What were used as period fermentation containers?  Ceramic? Wood?
> Metal?

Within the Medieval period -- wooden barrels.  The bung holes were
sometimes stuffed with various materials to keep insects out, but an
airlock it was not.
> 3. How was the must set up?  By taste to add sugar and or acid/tannins?

Every vinter had his own methods, but check a few period recipes to get a
feel for what was done.  Digby and Platt would be the best sources.  Cindy
Renfrow's book, "A Sip Through Time" has recipies from Digby, I'm not sure
if she has any of Platt's recipes, or not.

> 4.  I have read that a period (Roman) container to age wine was called
> an amphorae but can not find a reference as to its material composition
> (ceramic? brass or some other metal?)

The amphora was a ceramic vessel which could actually be sealed airtight. 
This is good for during the Roman period.  With the fall of Rome the
amphora fell into disuse, as well.  As I said earlier, wooden barrels were
used after this time.



Marc Shapiro                                        m_shapiro at bigfoot.com
                        Visit 'The Meadery' at:

"If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
unless your wife shoots you."
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