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Old 07-29-2007, 07:13 AM   #1
Oct 2006
Posts: 79

Beer has been around for thousands of years. how did they make beer before malted grains? I also understand that hops are a relatively new addition to beer, was there a different ingredent to preserve and flavor beer before hops?

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Old 07-29-2007, 01:04 PM   #2
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 132 Times on 99 Posts

While that may be true, chances are it would not be like anything we would be able to recognize today.

Remember, Pilsners were "born" in 1842. All beer was dark before then.

Hops are relatively a new ingredient in the beer-life scale. Prior to their use brewers used roots and herb, etc.

My bet is that whatever they made/drank was consumed immediately/within days.
HB Bill

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Old 07-29-2007, 02:01 PM   #3
Jun 2007
Statesboro, Georgia
Posts: 62

i read about this somewhere. hops have only been around recently compared to ow long people have been making beer. they use to soak field grains in water some how yeast got in there and there ya go. that was their version of beer. over time they started adding different fruits, spices and herbs to produce different aromas and flavors. there's still people in europe that refuse to brew with hops because they say its "not traditional" but i couldn't imagine a beer without them. gotta have my PA's.

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Old 07-29-2007, 02:18 PM   #4
Jul 2007
Brighton, UK
Posts: 36

beer without malted grains and my humble opinion thats not beer.
hops came to england in the 16th century and hopped brews were called beer. Beers using other spices - lavender, sage, nettles, wormwood, there are hundreds - were called ales and for many years hops were shunned for use in brewing.
malted grains have been used since ancient egyptian times at least, before then i have no idea.
Out of interest here is a 500 year old recipe for Mum-Ale:
5 pints wheat malt
5 pints oat malt
5 pints beans
4 ounces fir-tree rind
2 oz fir and birch tops
1/4 handful Rosa Solis
penny royal
Cardus Benedictus
the beer should be casked with an unbroken egg and matured for two years
A sea voyage greatly improves the beer
I cant say I've tried it (mainly becuase i havent heard of half the ingredients), I would be greatly interested to hear from anyone who does.

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Old 07-29-2007, 03:00 PM   #5
Jaybird's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 7,597
Liked 978 Times on 689 Posts

Originally Posted by jb444
the beer should be casked with an unbroken egg and matured for two years
YUMMMM rotten egg beer! thank GOD for HOPS
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