I'm reading Peter Haydon's 'Beer and Brittania: An Inebriated History
of Britain' and have become interested in the gradual replacement of
ale by beer during the medieval period. I would like to try ale - not
the synonym for bitter beer, or IPA, or 'real ale' - but the original
and distinct unhopped drink made from malted barley, water and yeast
alone. Is it produced anywhere, or does anyone have any recipes?
clifford shelley a écrit :
Unhopped beers are brewed by some micros :
- O'Hanlons Myrica (England, with bog myrtle and some honey)
- Heather Ales Fraoch (Scotland, with heather and bog myrtle)
- Heather Ales Alba (Scotland, with pine / spruce sprigs / shoots)
- Cervoise Lancelot (Brittanny, France, seven plants, including heather
and bog myrtle, plus honey)
- De Proefbrouwerij Gageleer (Flanders, Belgium, with bog myrtle)
BUT all those beers are brewed using modern methods, and especially
modern, "domesticated" yeasts, so they'll never have the sourish edge
the originals would probably have had.
Another point is that when gruit (a mix of herbs) was used in beer, it
sometimes contained a small proportion of hops.
A good book about such ancient ales (the french word cervoise is still
exclusively applied to such herbal beers), containing recipes, is
"Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers", by Stepehn Harrod Buhner. It covers a
large range of beer-like traditional and ancient brews, the whole field
between mead, sake and traditional African and south american beers.
The Submarine Captain writes:
On the other hand, lambics while they do containg hops, contain aged or
staled hops that impart neither bitterness nor flavor and are used only
for their preservative properties. Lambics are typically about 50% wheat,
though, not pure barley.
" Lambics are typically about 50% wheat,
30-35% unmalted wheat, 65-70% malted barley, for getting the figures right
(depending on which brewer). I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some at
some oats, and Belle-Vue etc. maize flakes...
As mentioned earlier - the yeast, or probably more correctly -
collection of yeasts (strains and types and probably bacteria) used in
medieval times would produce flavour profiles much different than that
derived from a single yeast strain as is generally used today. I believe
that medieval ales were also drunk quite young - some even whilst still
in what today would be termed primary fermentation.
Thanks for comments and pointers.
Based on your comments I now believe ale was probable widely variable
in taste and quality and so long as it did its job - bug free and safe
to drink, and inebriate - that was good enough.
I will start with a very simple 'procedure' with only three
ingredients and see what happens.