hist-brewing: gruit and unhopped ales-stone ale part 2

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Tue May 23 11:15:20 PDT 2000

    The recipe i mentioned in  last post is a rather vague affair.
Because it is the oldest recipe that contains any specifics regarding
grist composition and spices i felt it worth including. I'm not sure if
all the historical trivia relating to the larger document is of any
interest to the bulk of  the readership.   If anyone has a question with
regards to any specifics regarding the document it self let me know and
i'll check my notes. Oh, the measurements are given in modern imperial

Vestmannna document ale recipe (half barrel)

Grain Bill

Barley, malted, type unspecified: 25 lb.
oats: unspecified type, i assume unmalted: 25lb.


elder berries
a bitter root, type unspecified


     First off,  the oats are cracked, covered with water and allowed to
prove overnight.  After the water is then strained away and " the oats
are placed into a barrel with a fifth of  the malt.  Boiled water is
slowly poured over the malt, stirred and allowed to work".
    The oat mixture is then placed into "a branch laden tub" with the
remainder of the grist and "some local berries that have been crushed.
Heated stones are placed upon shavings covering the grist causing them
to spark alight. Water is poured upon the stones and grist.  This
procedure is carried out "allowing the grist to work as per the art."

Spicing and Fermentation:

    "The sweet liqueur is casked and flavored with a bitter root. After
the ale has stopped working it is dropped to another cask half filled
with sweet stones and some balm.  When the ale stops working it is
dropped again leaving half a barrel of ale that  is ready to be  drunk."

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