hist-brewing: Historical "non-sanitization"--any experience?

Cindy Renfrow renfrow at skylands.net
Wed May 5 16:25:44 PDT 1999

>From a purely theoretical standpoint, I'm wondering.  Has anyone on the
>list had experience with the cleaning-but-not-sanitizing by modern
>standards that may have been done historically?
>I would presume that this would have a greater chance of being safe due
>to the much larger volumes involved in brewing, but I'm only being
>theoretical on that point.
>Likewise, I've not come across explicit cleaning instructions in the
>sources I've looked at.  Has anyone come across descriptions or
>instructions for cleaning in 18th, 17th, 16th, or earlier sources?  I was
>wondering what their methods and materials were, although I could do some
>speculation:  Soda ash, lime, lye soap, brushes, scrubbing, water...

Mackenzie (1829), and Mrs. Glasse (1796) sterilizes their casks with
lighted brimstone matches.
Elijah Bemiss (1815) sterilizes his cask with scalding water and then dries
it, or, he "sent it with a linen rag dipped in brimstone".


Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

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