hist-brewing: Re: Brewers pitch

Wade Hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu
Fri May 7 07:22:08 PDT 1999

Ok, there are two kinds of 'pitch' that you can use.  One is a tar
known as asphaltum, also used as a resist for doing acid etching. 
A leatherworker that I met at a re-enactor's demo was using a pot
of asphaltum to coat the inside of the leather drinking and storing
vessels that he was making.  I guarantee that asphaltum contains some
carcinogenic compounds, since it is a petroleum product.  The second
'pitch' that you can use is pine pitch, that is melted and a small
amount of wax and carbon (ground charcoal, usually) is added to help
it harden on curing.  This also has a black, shiny, appearance.  It
may contain some carcinogenic compounds depending on how the charcoal
was prepared, but I would have to say that the concentration would be
_much_ lower.  I believe (anyone back this up) that the brewer's pitch
that is available from Jas. Thomson's is the pine tar variety.  I got
what pitch I have from the fellow who publishes the "primitive archer"
magazine, since pitch (and hide glue) are used in building stone-age
archery gear, and it is the pine pitch variety.  Hope this helps to
clear things up.... :)
	-----wade hutchison

>At 06:38 AM 5/7/99 -0500, Mike Fuchs wrote:
>Until recently, Brewers pitch was still being used, however, it has been
>determined that it contains carcinagins so users have switch to bees wax. 
>Brewers pitch is a black substance that sets hard, looking like  black
>great stuff.
>Just my little contribution to the discussion,


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