hist-brewing: measurments

Henry Davis henry at henry-davis.com
Wed Apr 5 11:41:48 PDT 2000

At 01:14 PM 4/5/00 -0400, you wrote:
>I have something to bounce off all of you....
>We all wrassle with (well the ale brewers at least)
>the idea of how many pounds of malt did they us,
>'x quarters of malt makes y gallons of ale'.
>Lets throw away the notion that we have to weigh
>things.  They are measuring in quarters why dont we?

Well, first off they didn't measure in volume quarters, they used weight 
quarters. Keep in mind that the method of weighing grain was spelled out in 
the Magna Carter and the king sent weighing measures into the countryside 
to ensure that he collected the right amount of taxes.


>Thoughts / corrections??

I think that you meant 8 bushels to a quarter. A peck is 8 quarts (today), 
and I believe this hasn't changed.

The bushel did vary with time and location. There are a number of bushel 
measures in a variety of London area museums. The exact measures do vary by 
up to a few percent.

Different malted grains have different specific gravities. So, a less dense 
malt would have greater volume if we use the weight measure as the standard.

>I know there is a varience dependant on wet or dry malt and
>amount of swelling but we have that today anyway..
>They did it that way, why dont we?

We can, and it will turn out fine. But, if we're trying to recreate the 
brewing techniques then we need to start with the same measuring technique. 
BTW, I also see some problems with using modern malts in recreating this 
receipe since they have a different proportion of proteins etc than period 


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