hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing-digest V1 #604

Randy Mosher rmosher at 21stcentury.net
Wed May 24 07:34:26 PDT 2000

owner-hist-brewing-digest at rt.com wrote:

>     Which raises the question why soak unmalted oats if they can't
> germinate?  My guess, a wild one at that, is that the intention was to
> help set the stage for latter steps meant to break down gluten content.
> While i have yet to read any serious study regarding the effectiveness
> of such a  method i can see why it may seem reasonable to some.  Further
> more, the mashing process described in the first post relating to this
> subject was a rather complex one similar to several lowlands techniques
> that often deal with poorly modified or unmodified cereals.  I admit
> that such evidence is tenuous but i simply can't think of any reason why
> one would "prove" malted oats.

Perhaps it is simply to rehydrate them, which would begin to make the starch more available to enzymes in the mash, get the process going a
little more quickly, especially, as noted in the recipe, the malt is "cracked" rather than reduced to fine grits.

>     Finally, i think that the most important and interesting thing about
> this recipe and the methods used to simulate it is the mash sequence.  I
> have noted that when one makes this ale it  tastes quite different from
> German stone beer or homemade ale versions of  the German approach to
> the general  method.  I think that to a large degree this is a result of
> the mash process and the use of poorly modified or unmodified cereals.

Those unmalted grains contribute high amounts of protein and glucans, both of which can increase palate-fulness considerably. I brew a lot of
Witbier, and I find I just can't get the right texture with malted wheat and an infusion mash. I have to intensively mash unmalted wheat with
the oats and barley malt to get it to taste creamy enough.


On another note, anybody have any information on ales brewed in Dorset about 1700? I'm researching an article for All About Beer inspired by a
bottle of that period recovered from under a cottage in Cerne Abbas, home of the Phallic Giant figure carved into a chalk hillside. I have two
sources that mention Dorset beers: one, circa 1820, giving a recipe for 1/3 pale malt, 2/3 amber malt, with no herbs other than hops; the
other, a small beer of similar era, calling for sage or checkerberry, sassafras roots.

Of course, it is a Dorset beer responsible for the famous for the Thomas Hardy quote that inspired the beer of the same name from Eldridge

Any thoughts?

--Randy Mosher

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