hist-brewing: old brown malts

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Wed Nov 29 10:52:55 PST 2000


PB Loomis wrote:

    Maybe they just didn't realize how poor the brown malts were, until
brewing evolved from being a cottage industry with little information
exchange, to an organized commercial craft.  The improvements that
science brings us are based on free communication as much as anything
else.  That's why the old Guild system was better than what went before,

but still doomed by its proprietary tendencies.
    Scotti

> I don't think that any one knows how poor they were, rather i think
that you are right about the commercialization aspect bringing about the
change.  Although their are a very few Belgian breweries that still use
no sparge and multiple mash techniques to make different ales from the
same grist bill i think that by the industrial revolution most
commercial breweries in England made ales the modern way.  Labor
intensive malt production, i.e. wood fired, simply became ill-suited to
the large scale production that accompanied the decline of farm house
brewing.
    Actually, their is a pretty huge body of literature about the
economic and social advantages of the guild system over more modern
industrial organizations that has been written about from
1870's-1980's.  Unfortunately it is rather involved and i am not sure
writing about it would be on topic although i believe that the "Councils
of  Prud'hommes" were able to determine brewing practice in significant
measure up through the Nepolonic era.


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