hist-brewing: ergot, water (not ergot water)

isenhour at uiuc.edu isenhour at uiuc.edu
Thu Jan 13 08:48:52 PST 2000

Richard at WowMe.com  writes:
 	> it would be interesting to learn what role lysergic acid had
          played, historically, in brewing.

The only thing I can remember, and this is from a brewing history
paper I wrote about 18 years ago, is that early greeks seem to have
brewed with ergot infected grain, and the insinuation was that the
brewing process removed (some,most?) of the indoles that caused
vasoconstriction (that would result in the gangrene seen in
St. Vitus's dance) and left some kind of psychoactive effect.  I
believe that there was some greek society that did this and the only
name I can remember is Elysian (sp) Mysteries or something like that.
*I do NOT reccomend trying this at home*

Ginger Wotring might well be the homebrew water chemistry queen, she
did a great article in Zymurgy a few years back, and a followup
presentation at one of the AHAcons.  The only thing I know of
in your situation would be a de-ionizing filter, which might
be expensive, there are several hose-nipple cartridges made
for this.

Yea, yeast are famous for throwing all sorts of phenolics,
usually right at my nose.


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