hist-brewing: Colonial era brewing recipes

John P. Looney valen at tuatha.org
Mon Dec 3 14:37:49 PST 2012

 I did three early irish brews, two turned out so sour and disgusting I
couldn't work out if they had been infected or the herbs were just weird
The other was...magnificent, but I definitely got the dosage wrong. A liter
of this stuff made about one in three people who drank it unwilling to
stand, they'd just sit down and grin for a few hours. The rest of us just
grinned and loved it.

 So...yeah. Start very small with the dosage, from a flavour and an active
botanical point of view.


On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 9:19 PM, <jch at doctorbeer.com> wrote:

>  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.
>  Best,
>  -- Joyce
>  On Mon, 3 Dec 2012 15:21:54 -0500, Ramesh <sramesh.sramesh at gmail.com>
>  wrote:
> > I have to disagree with you Joyce. I have brewed many herbs in my
> > brewing, mostly with great success. For instance people love my
> > yarrow
> > 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.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Ramesh
> >
> > On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 3:15 PM,  wrote:
> >   Whatever you do, stick with hops.  Don't "hop" your beer with
> > strange
> >   herbs.
> >
> >   I once had a brew made by a friend working from a medieval recipe.
> > She
> >   included "alehoof", or something that she thought was alehoof.  I
> > was
> >   sick as a dog the whole next day.
> >
> >   -- Joyce Hersh
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triad 238: Trí luchra ata mesa: luchra tuinde, luchra mná bóithe, luchra
Three worst smiles: the smile of a wave, the smile of a lewd woman, thegrin
of a dog ready to leap.

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