hist-brewing: Medieval brewing assistance needed!

Richard Richard at WowMe.com
Mon Dec 6 08:22:42 PST 1999

> Okay folks, time for me to get on my soap box. Here is a classic case of
> mis-information and that is one of my main crusades to correct.
>  Would love to see where you got your info on this one. Would probably come
> as a shock to the German Monks and brewers in the 10th century that were
> using hops.
>  It is somewhat true (although disputed by some scholars) that the English
> didn't use hops commercially until the 15th and 16th century. But they were
> just stubborn. And in all actuality it had nothing to do with the Protestant
> Church. It was that the English brewers (in their infinite wisdom) did not
> see the need to change.

Yes, you are right, I addressed this correction earlier.

> And the evidence you point out that hops " May" cause lower labido levels is
> purely speculative and in heavy dispute.

Not just lower libido, impotence in severe cases.  Big difference.  And it is medically proven that "extended" contact with hops can lead to impotence in men and disturbed menstrual cyscles in women.  Hence the term "brewer's drrop".  What is arguable is whether drinking beer delivers the necesary dosages to causeeither problem.  Hence, my statement that it is really up to the drinker and the brewer to make that call for themselves, as this has yet to be resolved either way, both in this community and in the medical community.

>  If you do have evidence that hops were not used in brewing until the later
> periods, and that all previous research and documentation is thereby
> fraudulent, please let me know. I will let the museums and brewing museums
> in Germany, Belgium, & holland that I saw the original records/reciepes at
> know they should disregard these artifacts as forgeries. Perhaps you meant
> to say in English commercial breweries Hops were not used until the 15th
> centuries which would be factual :)

Again, I addressed this correction earlier.  I should have used the term "in favor".  Germans, did use hops, but they were also not "in favor" in Germany either, until the late 15th century.

I knew bringing this up was a mistake.  Everyone takes this issue so personally.  The only way to sum it up is, here are the two sides of the argument.  Do you feel like it is a risk, or not?  If yes, don't brew with hops.  If not, then have at it.  There is no right or wrong til it has been proven in the laboratory 100% of the time it is tested and that's not the case with any drug or herb.  Every time someone does one study, someone will come along and do another one that proves them wrong.  Some people still take garlic because they believe more in the studies that say it is good for you, then the new ones that say it doesn't do jack.  Etc. etc.  Let's share the info and then brew, instead of trying to decide what's the absolute right and what isn't. Some of us will brew hopless based on the info provided.  Some will brew with hops based on the information provided by the other side of the issue.  I think both sides have presented compelling evidence. When I first brought this up I was wholly unconvinced either way.  Now I am convinced enough that it has a drowsiness effect and concerned enough about the "other" effect, that I choose to brew hopless.  Some will think me paranoid, others will do the same.

A toast to the fun of making it your own way!

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