hist-brewing: Gruit and unhopped ales-stone ale

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Mon May 22 19:16:55 PDT 2000

 Steven Bernard pointed out correctly that beers using stones in the
production process are presently made commercially.  However,  the
nature of  the mash regimen, grist composition and lots of  other
factors determine the nature of an identifiable style.  To the best of
my knowledge no ale approximating the one i have started to describe
exist.  Certainly the beers you mentioned are quite different
systlistically. Well, i have not had the Maryland one you mentioned so
i'll reserve judgment on that one.
    The remainder of his recommendations are quite sound.  I have used
them self and would strongly encourage others to follow them.  I for one
have made the ale using modern equipment.  I'll cover that as well as
the actually recipe either today or tomorrow.

Stephen Bernard wrote:

> 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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