hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing digest, Vol 1 #77 - 3 msgs

PBLoomis at aol.com PBLoomis at aol.com
Tue May 21 08:11:39 PDT 2002

In a message dated 5/20/02 4:02:07 PM Central Daylight Time, 
rmosher at 21stcentury.net writes:
>  According to J.S. Arnold, "The Origin & History of Beer & Brewing" (1911),
>  who discusses this topic at some length, there exists in Cologne an
>  inventory of gruit stocks &/or aquisitions dating from Oct. 1391 to May
>  1392: 
>  "According to these itemized accounts, then, gruit consisted not alone of
>  Myrica gale and Ledum palustre, but also of juniper berries, ginger, 
>  seed, aniseed, and several other ingredients. Scheben [Die Kunst der Brauer
>  in Koln] says that to judge by the inventory, myrica gale and juniper
>  berries were the chief ingredients."
>  A couple of paragraphs later, Arnold says:
>  "While along the lower Rhine, especially in Cologne, Myrica gale formed the
>  fundamental substance of the gruit, in Westphalia it seems to have been
>  mainly composed of Ledum Palusrte, Porze, Porsz or Post. Porze or wild
>  rosemary was, according to Grewe [Braugewerbe der Stadt Muenster, 1907],
>  used in Westphaila, notanbly in the county of Tecklenburg, until the end of
>  the 17th century, and seems to have enjoyed a great popularity. Wild
>  rosemary, says the same author, because of its spicy taste and stimulating
>  effect, was highly considered for brewing purposes, and, in fact, it was
>  still generally employed, even after the use of hops had been universally
>  adopted, almost down to the present time."
>  He also says a few paragraphs earlier:
>  " Opinions as to what went into the composition of gruit differed formerly,
>  and even today, somewhat. However to judge from the scant information that
>  has come down to us on this point, it must have been chiefly three plants
>  which formed the stock of the gruit, namely:
>  1. Myrica Gale, sweet gale, called in Westphalia pors, porze, porst, and 
>  same in Danish, as well as Swedish; well-known also in the moors and bogs 
>  Scotland and elsewhere.
>  2. Ledum Palustre, marsh or wild rosemary, in German Sumpfporst, Porst,
>  wilder Rosemarin, Bienen-, Brauerkraut, also Wanzen- or Mottenkraut (moth 
>  bug herb).
>  3. Achillea Millefolium. milfoil, yarrow; German Schafgarbe."
>  Everywhere I've seen spices for gruit enumerated, the three (MG, LP, Y) are
>  always mentioned, even in the older books. I know bad information does get
>  repeated, but the preceding quote would indicate, at least in certain
>  places, that LP was valued in its own right as a brewing spice.
>  A more modern source, is the huge work on unhopped beers by Christian
>  Ra(")tsch, "Urbock: Bier jenseits von Hopfen und Malz."
>  He gives some German names for wild rosemary:
>  "Brauerkraut, Gruitkraut, Gruiz, Grund, Gruut, Borse, Pors, Porsch, Post,
>  Pursch, Porstkraut, Kien-Porst, Ku"hnrost, Kiefernporst, Tannen-porst,
>  Rosmarinporst, Moor-rosmarin, Wilder Rosmarin, Bo"hmischer Rosmarin,
>  Waldrosmarin, Morose, Mottenkraut, Flohkraut, Wanzenkraut, WeiBe heide,
>  Hartheidem Zeitheide, Bienenheide, Bienenscheide, Heidenbienenkraut,
>  Mutterkraut, Zeitheil, Altseim, Gichtlanne, Sautanne, Gra"nze,
>  Schweineposse, Robkraut, Bagen, Baganz, and Rausch."
>  (" = Umlaut, B = esset/ss)
>  --Randy Mosher
    Thanks, Randy.  
    Okay, gang, can I have some comments??
    I've promised my student-brother Stefan li Rous that I'll try to provide
him with some reasonable summary on the subject of Gruit to put in the
Florilegium. This is a good start.
    Keep those cards and letters coming, folks.
    Knowledge is never wasted, nor is the time to acquire it.

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