hist-brewing: Gruit and unhopped ales-stone ale

Stephen Bernard flatlander at gis.net
Mon May 22 17:43:04 PDT 2000



PBLoomis at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 5/22/00 12:22:31 PM Central Daylight Time,
> euphonic at flash.net writes:
>
> >     Upon this lattice a few  rocks, each roughly the size of a  fist,
> >  were placed. I don't know what kind of rocks were used as I know nothing
> >  about geology.  The rocks were heated until they glowed with heat.
> >
>         They were probably granite stream cobbles, or possibly from a glacial
> outwash plain.  Try to pick ones that have a relatively fresh appearance (not
> chemically weathered or pitted).  Some of them are going to split or shatter
> when you heat them that hot.  Use the big pieces, discard the rest.
> >
> > They
> >  were transported to the mash tub in well soaked buckets and handled by
> >  two pairs of tongs.
> >
>     Be careful that the bucket has no standing water in it.  That *will*
> cause the
> rocks to shatter. And wear safety goggles!!
>     I would strongly recommend that you use [non-Period] metal buckets,
> just to avoid the water-on-hot-rocks problem.  Being scalded by steam is
> worse than being scalded with hot water, because it contains at least 540
> calories more of heat per gram. Remember, pain is Mother Nature's way of
> telling you that you screwed up.

i know of at least three comerical beers that are produced with at least some
portion of hot rock heating.
    one is from germany,  they use greywac (sp) stones because they rarley
shatter.  and this is the traditoinal rock that has been used there for
centuries.
     another comes from (i think) fredrick brewing in maryland, the brewer there
uses a metal basket full of diabace cobbles lowered into the kettel after being
heated to about 1300 degrees F on an open fire,  this gives it a nice smoky
carrmely flavor and he says he does not have problems with the cracking.
     the third is Chuck Skypeck of Bosco's brewpubs in Nashville and Germantowne
tenn.  he heats pink granite to as hot as his pizza oven will get.  (i'm guessing
700-800 degrees F)  when i ask him if he had any proplems with the rocks
shattering,  he said very simply "yes all the time",

     i would recomend not only safry glasses but a lether apron,  gloves, and any
other protective equpment you can get your hands on,  and that you find yourslef
a gelogist who might find you a good rock for this perpose that is indiginous to
your area (rocks are cheap but shipping them can be a killer.

if anyone's crazy enough to do it let us know haw it turns out

steve


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