hist-brewing: Re: Costmary vs Gil-over-the-ground

Wylie & Gail wyliesmith at isomedia.com
Fri Jun 11 23:20:28 PDT 1999


This is from Botanical.com:

Ivy, Ground

The whole plant possesses a balsamic odour and an aromatic, bitter taste,
due to its particular volatile oil, contained in the glands on the under
surface of the leaves. It was one of the principal plants used by the early
Saxons to clarify their beers, before hops had been introduced, the leaves
being steeped in the hot liquor. Hence the names it has also borne; Alehoof
and Tunhoof. It not only improved the flavour and keeping qualities of the
beer, but rendered it clearer. Until the reign of Henry VIII it was in
general use for this purpose.

The plant also acquired the name of Gill from the French guiller (to ferment
beer), but as Gill also meant 'a girl,' it came also to be called
'Hedgemaids.'

Owen Brewer....


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