hist-brewing: Ulla Ostergaard's Table Ale - birch bark, mash schedule

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Tue Jul 11 10:22:56 PDT 2000


- I had a tough time figuring out what a "pellet" as it is not listed any of my dictionaries but, luckily an English tourist tells me that it a highly compacted and dense form of  packing things.  This being the case i would suggest that you crumble the birch back into a powder prior to use.
    I would be concerned that the pellet form of birch bark would have two much surface area, when crumbled, and be too concentrated for such a low gravity ale.  Hence, i would suggest that one drastically reduce the birch in this case to say, a quarter cup or less if you have a small hand.
- The issue of turbid mashing is a good one.  Whereas a great many old recipes have high adjunct contents the English one stage infusion mash is simply not an option.  Also, the turbid mash is the only vintage mash regimen that i know to be in use currently.
- Several folks have ask about the use of beans in this ale and others in terms of how they are used.  Personally, i have never made ales such as Mums or Babbitage ales with beans as they are called for.
    However, talking to folks who have i understand that one places the beans into the mash and that their addition does not alter the mash schedule.  Prior to the mash the dried beans are boiled in water till soft and are never seasoned in any way.  The use of beans does lighten the body some what while providing a little more fermentable material.  Like so many things in old recipes beans were used in place of more expensive malt for typical 10% - 20% of the grist bill.
-  Oh, my next string will be for an extremely old Fresian fruited ale.    It is the second oldest recipe that i have come across with any useful degree of specificity and uses either plums or strawberries.  It is also easy to make but takes a good two months to mature properly.
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NATHAN T Moore wrote:

> I just had one more question on this recipe.  For us in the birch impaired parts of the world, we are forced to purchase our birch bark.  Herb stores sell this in little pellet shaped pieces.  So, does the handful of birch bark account for this type, or should I decrease the amount I use to account for cutting (handful of little bits would add a lot more flavor then a handful of chunks, greater mass and surface area).
>
> Also, for those of you interested in more information about the mashing schedule recommended for this ale and other ales with a high adjunct content that Adam has posted about, check out the section on turbid mashing in this Lambic article at http://www.brewery.org/brewery/library/LmbicJL0696.html#Mash.  This helped me to understand some of the technical issues behind this traditional mash schedule, and will help to translate some of the traditional methods into modern temperature rests to better account for differences in equipment, and in my case, at a mile above Ness, boiling temperatures.
>
> Nate
> (Denver, CO)
>
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