hist-brewing: herbal hop replacement

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Tue Oct 24 14:52:32 PDT 2000



"S.A.Nichol" wrote:

> It seems to me that many are going down a dangerous road using the
> likes of pennyroyal and wormwood, these are 2 of many dangerous herbs,
> some used in minute quantities can kill. Pennyroyal was frequently
> used in the past as a method of inducing an abortion but more often
> than not it induced death.

That is why i elect to only use safe hop surrogates that i am familiar
with.

>
> Could it not be that when researching old brews and finding these
> herbs included in them that these brews were not for pleasurable
> consumption but used as in a medicine? Many ancient medicines were
> brewed in an alcoholic potion as the alcohol preserved the medicinal
> qualities of the herb, many medicines today are used in conjunction
> with an alcoholic base, even the simplest of medicines (One just has
> to look at the drink drive convictions linked with gripe water and
> cough medicine.
> One also has to look at the fact that some ancient brews were used to
> induce a hypnotic trance for magikal purposes.

    All of this is quite true and i for one have no interest in making
or
posting such recipes.  I would urge extreme caution to anyone that
does.  As far as  i know, no one on this list makes such drinks and
instead, everything that i have read on the list is about drinks
intended for refreshment.

>
> Why look for an alternative bittering agent to hops? Hops have been
> grown in this country for many centuries. Look to old country recipes
> and you will likely find that they are the closest to ancient recipes
> as these have been passed through the family.
>
>

    I personally like a great  many unhopped ales for their taste.  Some
unhopped table ales are every bit as refreshing as any hopped ale or
lager.  On a cold night, which is just about every night here 9 months
out of the year, nothing is better then mulled meadow sweet ale.  I
personally can attest to the fact that a great number of family gruit
recipes are out their and an awful lot more wooded and plain recipes to
boot.  Also, unhopped ales persisted well into the 1700's in some parts
of Europe and too ignore them would be to abandon a large part of
brewing history.  Not to mention the large number of farm ales made
today such as Heimabrygg from Norway or Poland's Keptinus Alus from the
Baltic family of bread ales which is just scratching the surface.
    Also,  a great number of flavors are available only via the use of
gruits which are unique and pleasurable.  Besides, considering the rush
on the part of hop producers to make ever higher alpha verities for
economic reasons i would not be surpassed if within the next 10 years if
many of the hop types beloved of home brewers disappear from the
market.  Even worse is that some of the new hop types don't even have
particularly good flavoring or aroma elements. Considering the minuscule
percentage of the hop market taken by home brewers combined with the
relentless progression of the economies of scale this seems a reasonable
scenario.

>-------------------------------------
Oh, by the way, does anyone out their have a good recipe for Mopp ale?
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