hist-brewing: crystal and Vienna malt

Kel Rekuta krekuta at attcanada.ca
Wed Dec 6 04:46:42 PST 2000

PBLoomis at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 12/5/00 10:53:05 AM Central Standard Time,
> > assuming that the oats and rye were not malted.
> >
>     But why are you assuming that?  There are some recipes,
> such as the Doomsday Ale (1222AD) where the oat percentage
> is so high, that it *has* to be malted or they would have wound
> up with porridge and a stuck mash!  If they were malting oats in
> 1222, why wouldn't they have been doing so 100 or 200 years
> later?  Or 400 years earlier?
>     Scotti

Apparently, malted oats were very common in 13th C England. Bennett states oats
were a
larger part of the grist than either barley or wheat. p12  Combined grain stocks
called "dredge"
comprised of barley and oats were malted together. p17  Even peas or beans were
used, although I'm not clear whether malted or not. She also quoted a naval
provisions requisition from the Tudor period (1513) advising the agent not to
get ale from the west country (Devon & Cornwall?) as the seamen disliked the oat
malt used in the ale. p92

I like malted oats as a small percentage, less than 25% of the grist bill. It
has an excellent nutty flavour. I imagine using too much would be overpowering.
I can't recall the diastatic power of the Fawcett's oat malt I use, but
conversion is excellent. No compensation is required in the grist.

I am convinced that western medieval ales used a variety of grains malted
locally. Oats, followed closely by wheat and barley were the staple grains for
bread making and brewing in the high middle ages.



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