hist-brewing: boiling

PBLoomis at aol.com PBLoomis at aol.com
Wed Jul 3 09:47:11 PDT 2002

In a message dated 7/2/02 10:38:44 PM Central Daylight Time, 
henry at henry-davis.com writes:

> The concept of disease caused by micro-organisms post dates the 16th 
>  century, so I don't find it probable that they considered boiled water 
>  intrinsically better than plain water. There are adequate references to 
>  distilled water (also called aqua vitae) being a purified substance, but 
>  there is no record that I've found to indicate that there was any 
>  preference for consuming boiled or distilled water apart from its use in 
>  medicinals.
    You don't have to understand the Why to observe and act on the What.
Clinical observation is a very pragmatic way to do public health.
>  It's useful to remember that medieval field workers expended a large 
>  of calories (estimated at 6,000 calories or more per day by Richard W. 
>  Unger PhD). Unger's thesis is that the small beer supplied both liquid and 
>  calories at a level that the workers could not become intoxicated. My 
>  estimation is that small beer has about 60 calories per pint, or close to 
>  500 calories per gallon. (Besides, it tastes pretty good ;>)
    IIRC, the only jobs that burn more than 4000 calories are saturation
diving and northwoods logging in winter.  Metabolic anomalies like teenage
boys and my friend Harry Alm may also burn that much.

    Knowledge is never wasted, nor is the time to acquire it.

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