hist-brewing: questions & a bit of news

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Wed Jul 26 09:56:40 PDT 2000

    Recently i was pondering how brewers in pre industrial times
sanitized their equipment.  I personally have never heard of a pre
industrial equivalent of  steam cleaning, bleach or TSP.  I friend of
mine claims that their exists a moss like plant that when heated and
crushed  releases iodine, or something chemically similar, which was
used to dress wounds.  I recall hearing something similar in a medical
lecture several years ago but not the name of the plant.  I suppose such
a plant could be used for sanitation.  In any case, does any one know
anything about this subject?  I have yet to see a recipe that even
mentions sanitation let alone a cleaning regimen.
    Does anyone know the chemical reason why old fashioned iron pots
make the ale taste different then brass or steel?  This is interesting
because ale boiled in such a pot does not have a metallic taste as one
would expect.
    Is their a modern technical document that describes how milk/cream,
effects the flavor profile of ales?  I suspect that their is more to the
matter then just unfermented sugar but i don't know for sure.

    Some of  the readership may be interested to know that my fellow
brewers Sorenson and Donnsby will be in the states, Montana
specifically,  some time next month to visit relatives and put on a bit
of  display.  Donnsby will demonstrate woodworking methods of  the 1300
& 1400's by constructing a mash tub and coolship.  Sorenson says he'll
make an ale in it according to his family method to try it out as a
demonstration.  As an added benifit you can ask them just about anything
you care to know about obsolete ales as they have forgotten more then i
know about the subject.
    If anyone wants to see their talents in action and you happen to be
nearby just let me know and i'll give you the details as soon as i hear
any additional tidbits.

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