hist-brewing: old strength guides

Dan McFeeley mcfeeley at keynet.net
Tue Nov 20 22:22:57 PST 2001


On Mon, 19 Nov 2001, Bob Grossman wrote:

>I have been reading & brewing old Digby recipes which predate the use of
>the hydrometer.  However, many of these old recipes refer to adding honey
>till eggs float the height of a sixpence or a groat.  How would this
>translate to modern gravity readings?

There was an article in the SCA journal _Scum_, no. 16, Winter AS XXIX
by Lord Corwin of Darkwater (Douglas Brainard) titled "To Bear an Egge"
that covered this.  As near as could be guessed, given that the diameter
of English coinage varied somewhat and the nearest guess as to the size
of an 1600's egg might be a modern day 18 oz "small" egg, Corwin came
up with the chart below categorizing the number of references in Digby
with coin size and proportion of honey.



                    Initial Proportions of Water to Honey
          | 2 1/2:1  | 3:1   | 4:1    |  5:1    |  6:1    |  Unspecified
          | 1.120    | 1.105 | 1.084  |  1.070  |  1.060  |
Coin      |          |       |        |         |         |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Penny     |          |  1    |        |         |         |  
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Twopence  |          |       |        |         |         |     3
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Threepence|          |       |   3    |         |         |   
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Groat     |          |   2   |   5    |         |         |     5
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Sixpence  |          |       |   2    |         |         |
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Shilling  |          |   1   |        |         |         | 
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Hazelnut  |          |       |        |         |         |     1
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Unspecified     1    |   6   |   8    |    1    |         |     7
---------------------|-------|--------|---------|---------|---------------
Egg sinks |          |       |        |         |    1    |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------




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Dan McFeeley
mcfeeley at keynet.net




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