hist-brewing: questions & a bit of news (sanitation)

Wed Jul 26 15:49:59 PDT 2000

>    Recently i was pondering how brewers in pre industrial times
sanitized their equipment.  

The one reference I have here in the office, Arnald of Villanova's Book on Wine, written about 1309 to 1311 for the king of France mentions that "the vats must be well washed and cleaned with salt water, and when they have dried must be fumigated assiduously with incense and myrrh.  In vats that have been thus prepared wines are well protected and do not spoil."  This is the earliest reference I have ever seen to sanitation, and although it is for wine I am sure the technologies were shared, as this book also says that "if water is protected from spoiling by hops, why should not wine be protected also and in such higher degree since it is much stronger"  One note, the copy of this that I have was translated from a 1478 German edition, so it is possible that the hop reference was added than, as I have always felt it seemed out of place in the text.

I have always felt that much sanitation was likely obtained by simply transferring the wort hot, with the exception of the cask which there is reference (including the above) to being fumigated with sulfur fumes.

> Is their a modern technical document that describes how milk/cream, effects the flavor profile of ales?

I did look a while back and could not find any, I expect that if there is it would be of British origin.


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