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Old 01-06-2011, 02:14 AM   #11
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well I can promise you this, I WILL spend at least one day brew day brewing an old recipe. I will take pictures to chronicle the experience. I live for this stuff.

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Old 01-06-2011, 03:51 AM   #12
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The homebrewer's garden is a better book I've found for herb/spice addition info.

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Old 01-06-2011, 04:30 AM   #13
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Very cool article. Thanks! Definitely need to try a batch. We're so fortunate a gallon of ale doesn't cost us a day's labor!

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:15 AM   #14
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I think what most people who brew today fail to understand is that beers brewed in Mediæval times had to be extremely inconsistent, due to lack of sanitization and variation in ingredients. Our age, particularly the last 150 years or so, has accustomed us to having completely standardized, predictable, off-the-rack products. Ray Kroc was the late 20th C. version of this type of innovator. Mc Donalds doesn't sell good food, they sell completely predictable food....and that concept changed the face of restaurants and resulted in a world-wide business worth billions.

Brewing an ale from the Middle Ages would require having one batch be something we might recognize, while the next batch might be (and no way of predicting) similar to sewer water.

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Old 01-06-2011, 12:43 PM   #15
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Going to be bottling up this weekend a split batch of a gruit ale and brown ale did with some friends. The gruit (herbs) recipe is from a renaissance recipe, but the base brown ale is a modern one. Split it into two batches, one with hops, one with gruit so we can tell the differences between the two. BTW Yarrow takes a long time to mellow.

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Old 01-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdanny View Post
I just finished a recipe based on an old medieval recipe but I used hops, after tasting a carbed bottle, next time I am going to go traditional and use proper medieval spices (cinnamon, mugwort, licorice or star anise, juniper berries and dried nettles is what I have planned)
You can't interchange licorice and anise. Actual licorice root doesn't really taste like "licorice". what people recognize as "licorice" flavor comes from anise and/or fennel. If you haven't used licorice root before, you can use it to add a lingering sweetness.

Add it to or make a tea with it so you can see. It's weird because it tends to be sweet after you swallow, unless you hold in your mouth for a few seconds. It's just not immediately sweet.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:27 PM   #17
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Also speaking of ancient brews. I would suggest trying Fraoch. Scottish ale brewed with heather. Heather also wasn't an uncommon addition to Irish brews.

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Old 01-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksbrain View Post
I'd like to one day make one with yarrow or nightshade or some sick poisonous thing like that.
Then brew your next batch with jalapenos. They are member of the nightshade family
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerBanana View Post
You can't interchange licorice and anise. Actual licorice root doesn't really taste like "licorice". what people recognize as "licorice" flavor comes from anise and/or fennel. If you haven't used licorice root before, you can use it to add a lingering sweetness.

Add it to or make a tea with it so you can see. It's weird because it tends to be sweet after you swallow, unless you hold in your mouth for a few seconds. It's just not immediately sweet.
Yea I was planning on making some teas out of those ingredients and maybe a few more and see what flavor would go best with my ancient ale (with just hops it seemed a tad bland)

As for the recipe request, here it is:

5# Light DME
2# Clover Honey (I might down this to 1# next time, offered little to no flavor after it fermented out)
0.5# Victory Malts
0.5# Flaked Wheat
~0.5# of Rye Bread (double baked to dry it out)
1# Smoked Pale Malt (smoked over mesquite, will use applewood next time)
Added 1# of chopped dried dates to primary 1wk after pitching yeast.
Pitched Belgian Trappist Yeast as that made the most sense to me.

It's more an Ancient Hebrew beer as was the description but the time period seemed correct to be called "Medieval"

The original recipe was All-Grain, had a lot more Rye bread in the mash and used spontaneous fermentation from crushed fresh dates. No hops were called for in the original recipe but I used:
1oz of Kent Goldings @ 60mins
1oz of Saaz @ 30

Definitely tasted like no other beer i've tried (for sure not a beer for everyone) but I felt it was missing some type of herby or spicy flavor that the hops just weren't providing.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finley View Post
Going to be bottling up this weekend a split batch of a gruit ale and brown ale did with some friends. The gruit (herbs) recipe is from a renaissance recipe, but the base brown ale is a modern one.
Where did you find the old recipe for gruit? I've been looking everywhere without success!
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