hist-brewing: ancient brewing

John P. Looney valen at tuatha.org
Mon Feb 15 10:51:07 PST 2010


I'm very much an amateur at brewing and historical research so feel I'm only
really qualified to ask good questions.

I've only done two all-grain brews as I'm more a Mead man than an ale man.
They weren't easy, and one ended up vinegar (due to travelling for work, the
air-trap dried out). I had read a lot of the science beforehand and the
requirement for exact mashing temperatures made me nervous. 80C and enzymes
denature, 68C and there aren't enough fermentables, 73C and no body.

I once tried boiling enough water in a fulacht fiadh to brew beer (as
suggested by the Moore Archaeology group in 2008). Its stupendously
difficult. Different rocks have different volumes and specific heat
capacities. Some rocks explode when you put them in the water. If you
accidently put in limestone you might burn it into a calcium oxide ash.

On 12 Feb 2010 10:42, "Merryn Dineley" <merryn at dineley.com> wrote:

hello there,

Thought I would pass on this to the list, web page of my research:-

> http://independent.academia.edu/MerrynDineley

My publications have been in obscure conference proceedings, but I shall
now put it all on the web. I have been investigating ancient malting &
brewing for some time now - I am told by eminent archaeology professors
that this is controversial research, that it is somehow wrong and that
there is no evidence for malting or brewing in prehistory.

I think this is because few people today understand the malting,
mashing, fermentation process. So, what do you brewers think?

I reckon malting goes back to the earliest agriculturalists, ten
thousand years ago in the ancient near east, maybe five or six thousand
years ago in the UK. Once you can make the wort/malt sugars, the beer
bit is easy!

If you have time, have a look at my site. I am happy to receive
criticism/comments via the list or off list.

very best wishes
Merryn Dineley.
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