hist-brewing: Colonial era brewing recipes
jch at doctorbeer.com
jch at doctorbeer.com
Mon Dec 3 13:19:05 PST 2012
And I have degrees in Botany and Plant Breeding. The problem is that
most people aren't as careful as you and I are, and don't properly
research which plant is which (from a genus species perspective). They
merely go by the common name, believing that these are immutable and
constant. But the plant in England that the English called "alehoof" in
the Middle Ages might be completely different from what is called
"alehoof" here in the U.S. today. I believe that this was probably the
case with my friend's homebrew (misidentification).
Another problem is the alcohol extraction, which can exacerbate the ill
effects of some unusual ingredients. I'm also a judge in the BJCP, and
I've judged many a homebrew competition. Several times I've encountered
brews with non-standard ingredients (such as valerian) that made the
judging panel ill.
A third problem is that some of these plants have active ingredients,
and the dosing levels have never been worked out. I've done a bit of
research (including practical research on myself) on common medicinal
plants. Based on my own experience, I will never, EVER use herbal
medicines (again). It's just too dangerous.
I therefore stand by my advice to make old recipes with modern,
commonly-accepted brewing ingredients.
On Mon, 3 Dec 2012 15:21:54 -0500, Ramesh <sramesh.sramesh at gmail.com>
> I have to disagree with you Joyce. I have brewed many herbs in my
> brewing, mostly with great success. For instance people love my
> beer and mint and ginger beer.
> Of course if you are brewing with herbs, you have to do your research
> and know what you are putting in your beer. It doesn't hurt that I
> studies biochemistry in University.
> But a blanket statement like "stick with hops" is just wrong.
> On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 3:15 PM, wrote:
> Whatever you do, stick with hops. Don't "hop" your beer with
> I once had a brew made by a friend working from a medieval recipe.
> included "alehoof", or something that she thought was alehoof. I
> sick as a dog the whole next day.
> -- Joyce Hersh
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