hist-brewing: spontaneous ferment mead

Renee Peterson polrena at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 16 03:05:33 PST 2001

>From: Chuck <meadmakr at enteract.com>
>>But, historically speaking, I have wondered just how did
>they do it back there in the mists of time? Where did they
>get their yeast?  Did their mead spontaneously ferment, like
>a lambic? so I did a couple of experiments.

I have read in a variety of books that the old brewers would get lots of 
lousy batches until they got a "good" one....when they did, they'd put a 
stick of wood...I believe it was ash?...in the fermenting brew.  When they 
emptied their barrel, they'd dry out the stick, and then add it to their 
next batch!  The wood was supposed to "teach" the new brew how to ferment 
properly.  Alternatively, I read they also would put a batch that was not 
fermenting properly very close to one that was, and the one that was doing 
its job would "teach" the new brew.


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