hist-brewing: ancient ale

Thomas Towey TTowey at bn.com
Fri Mar 5 14:25:20 PST 2010


I seem to remember reading about some Scandinavian cultures where the brewing yeast was harbored in evergreen branches.  It was kept over the door until needed.  With a young couple getting their own branch when they got their first house.

I am not sure of the process, but placed in the warm wort the yeast could be easily extracted from the branch.  Then after fermentation, a warmed branch is put into the yeast slurry and I would suspect that as it cooled it would contract and pull the fresh yeast back into various cracks in the wood.  

Wood is also surprisingly bacteria resistant.  As we learnt fairly recently when we all threw out those ugly white plastic cutting boards and returned to the hard wood ones.

Tom Towey


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