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Stefan's Florilegium


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brewing-msg - 3/2/13


General brewing info and sources.


NOTE: See also the files: beverages-msg, mead-msg, beer-msg, wine-msg, cider-art, cider-msg, p-bottles-msg, small-beer-msg. Mead-Mkng-Tps-art, bev-distilled-msg, Ale-a-Beer-lnks.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is unclear  at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: jpullen at goodnet.com (James)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Liquid Libations.......

Date: Sat, 15 Jun 1996 19:07:16 GMT


For all of you who have been asking about making wines, meads, etc.,

here is the address of a catalog I just received in the mail.  They

seem to have almost everything related to wine making and brewing...


E. C. Kraus

P. O. Box 7850

Independence, MO 64054



From: barat at ionet.net (S. Pursley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brewing Handbook

Date: 17 Jun 1996 23:51:44 GMT

Organization: Internet Oklahoma


adamoferin at aol.com (AdamofErin) wrote:

> Unto the Good Gentles of the known world, does Lord Adam send warm

> greetings.


> My shire is doing a brewer's handbook as a fund raiser for our Kingdom,

> and we are in desperate need of material. My Shire is Highland Foorde and

> the Kingdom is Atlantia.  If you would care to donate any recipes to this

> venture it would be greatly appreciated.  I will personally garuntee that

> you will get credit for that recipe. When you send it to me include your

> name (Mundane and SCA), your Kingdom and your shire.  If you want to you

> can e-mail me direct at AdamofErin at aol.com.


My name is Lord Barat FitzWalter Reynolds (MKA, Stephen Pursley), I am a

Master Vintner of the Honorable Brotherhood of Brewers and Vintners.


You will find an extensive set of documents on the brewing of mead at:



You may use any of the information you find there.  There are several

paragraphs on basic brewing techniques, a section on equipment (mead, beer

and wine), and many mead recipies.  If you need to contact me, you can

reach me at herron at okc.oklahoma.net.  Or call me, my phone number is on my

resume that's slung off the web page.


     Share the Knowledge




From: Richard Bainter <pug at interval.net>

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Subject: Re: Brewers' Guild

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 11:45:10 -0500 (CDT)


> I have a question about beer.  Does anybody have a clue as to why my

> beers have had a citrusy taste?


Besides yeast, here's another reference:





Both will ferment equally well in your wine, and usually may be used

interchangeably, though in different amounts.


For those of you with really distinguishing palates, sucrose (table

sugar) will give a beverage a fruity character; corn sugar, a malty



3/4 unit of sucrose equals 1 unit of corn sugar; therefore if your

recipe calls for 1 unit of sugar, you should use 1 1/3 units corn sugar.



And check out http://alpha.rollanet.org/Library.html.


Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with

House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at pug.net           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"



From: mshapiro at nando.net (mshapiro)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brewing Handbook

Date: 21 Jun 1996 03:53:13 GMT


: adamoferin at aol.com (AdamofErin) wrote:

: > My shire is doing a brewer's handbook as a fund raiser for our Kingdom,

: > and we are in desperate need of material. My Shire is Highland Foorde and

: > the Kingdom is Atlantia.  If you would care to donate any recipes to this

: > venture it would be greatly appreciated. I will personally garuntee that

: > you will get credit for that recipe. When you send it to me include your

: > name (Mundane and SCA), your Kingdom and your shire.  If you want to you

: > can e-mail me direct at AdamofErin at aol.com.


I am Ld Alexander Mareschal, Royal Brewer, Atlantia.  Please check out my

WEB page, listed below.  It contains full text of two of my articles,

which were published in TI and my CA on alcoholic beverages.  Feel free

to use any information from this page which you find useful.  I only ask

that you credit myself and the original publication.  Also, please

include the URL of my page.  This will insure that as many people as

possible will get the most access possible to shared knowledge.


Marc Shapiro                    mshapiro at nando.net

                                See my WEB page: The Meadery at



THL Alexander Mareschal         Canton of Kappelenburg

                                Barony of Windmasters Hill

                                Kingdom of Atlantia



From: Marc Shapiro <mn.shapiro1 at mindspring.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Recipe for Cordials?

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 22:02:18 -0500


> I read your cordial recipe and it sounds fairly easy.  I am looking for

> documentation for cordials.  I have never researched these.


Check out the Web page listed below (either one will reach the same set

of pages).  In the section on Research Papers is a link to "Alcoholic

Drinks of the Middle Ages" which has a chapter on cordials.  This

includes history, a little 'How to" and some period recipes, as well.

While your at it, check out the rest of the link, which has similar

information for wine, beer, mead, whisky, brandy and vinegar.


This link is the complete text of the CA #60 of same name.


The site also has links to other sites on the theme of brewing and

vinting with lots of information to be had.  The Cider and Perry sites

have some nice info on traditional methods, as I recall.


Marc Shapiro                                    

mn.shapiro1 at mindspring.com


THL Alexander Mareschal       Canton of Kappelenburg       Kingdom of







From: Brian Shafer <shafer at kingsnet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Wassail recipe

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 14:34:50 -0800


On Tue Nov 26 1996, Holly Allan wrote:

>I've been following this thread for a bit and I'd love to try some

>of the recipies that have been posted.  I do however have one question,

>and please excuse me if the answer is obvious; but could you please tell

>me what "Cyser" is?


Cyser is cider but it has extra adder sugar (usally honey) to produce a

higher alcohol content.  Apple juice fermented by itself is cider just

as honey and water (plus a few brewing chemicals) is mead.  When you add

fruits or spices it is technically something else.  Mead with fruit is

called melomel and mead with spices is called metheglin.  Also on the

same note grape wine made with honey is called pyment and pyment made

with herbs is called hippocras.  Confusing isn't it?  

If yoou really are interested in making mead and cider and such here are

a few books I suggest. Making Mead (Honey Wine) by Roger A. Morse

published by wicwas press, Making Mead by Bryan Acton and Peter Duncan

published by G.W. Kent, Inc. and Swet and Hard Cider Making it, using

it, and enjoying it by Annie Proulx and Lew Nichols published by Garden

Way Publishing.  Enjoy!


Brian Shafer



Date: Tue, 03 Dec 1996 16:24:46 -0600

From: Damaris of Greenhill <damaris at geocities.com>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?


Larkin O'Kane wrote:

> Can anyone tell me how to stop the fermentation process when the mead

> reaches the desired alcohol/sweetness point? I relise that keeping it

> in the refrigerator will do the trick but it only holds so much.

> Someone suggested heating the bottles of mead but I don't know what

> temperature is sufficient and how long to keep the bottles at that

> temperature.


One thing you can do, is to keep adding sugar syrup.  Eventually the

alcohol content will get high enough to kill any yeast.  That's not too

good if you have achieved the level of alcohol/sweetness that you want.


Brewing supply stores sell "yeast stabilizer" which kills the yeast

supposedly.  I haven't had much luck with it unless I use it in

conjunction with camden tablets.  If sulfites don't bother you then you

can use camden alone about 1-2 tablets per gallon.



Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 12:12:52 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pug Bainter" <pug at pug.net>


> Can anyone tell me how to stop the fermentation process when the mead

> reaches the desired alcohol/sweetness point? I relise that keeping it

> in the refrigerator will do the trick but it only holds so much.

> Someone suggested heating the bottles of mead but I don't know what

> temperature is sufficient and how long to keep the bottles at that

> temperature.  


  There are lots of ways of doing this, some work, some don't very



  Refridgeration only makes the yeast go dorment. They will start up

  again if they can get above a certain temperature. Matter of fact, some

  yeasts want to ferment at colder temps. They take much longer though.

  I believe in once refridgerated, always refridgerated.


  Adding a stabalizing agent. I've not had much luck this way. Some info

  from the wine.faq is:


    Sorbate:  Potassium sorbate.  A substance that is noxious to yeasts

    and as such is used as a stabilizer.  It should be noted that sorbate's

    effectiveness depends on low yeast counts in the wine; if it's high, it

    will be inneffective.  Clear your wine properly, and ferment out to sg

    1.000 or less.


    Sulphite (or sulphate):  Referring to sodium metabisulphite or potassium

    metabisulphite.  A substance that is noxious to many spoilage

    microorganisms and wild yeasts and as such is used as a microbiological

    and oxidative inhibitor and stabilizer.  It should be noted that

    sulphite's effectiveness depends on low organism counts in the wine; if

    it's high, it will be inneffective.  Clear your wine properly and

    ferment out to sg 1.000 or less.


  Pasteurization is done by steeping in a water bath at 60 C (140 F),

  and hold this temperature for 20 mins. Cool to 18 C (74 F). I've never

  tried this. I've heard lots of people have bottles explode doing this.


  I believe in either using a yeast that will stop at the desired

  sweetness, usually ale yeasts work well and the one I use stops at

  about 10% alcohol, or starting with a higher opening SG. Champagne

  and wine yeasts go from 8 to 18% depending on the strain. Letting

  fermentation go to it's full extent will also leave a clearer wine in

  the end. (Less dregs at the bottom.)


  Btw, although clearing agents help some, a single yeast cell can start

  it all off again.


Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with

House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at pug.net           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"



Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 14:01:23 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pug Bainter" <pug at pug.net>


>> In those cases had the yeast gotten to alcohol tolerence or simply

>> ran out of food/sugar? Since most wine references I seen suggest to

>> get the SG down as close to 1.000 as possible, I would think that

>> they simply didn't have any more sugar to convert.

> I've never made such measurements in the mead I've made. Are you saying

> that as the sugar is used up the S. G. approaches 1.0?


That's what I'm saying. 1.000 is the SG (density) of standard water at

70F (?). If I remember right, alcohol has a lower SG than water. I don't

know much about the actual chemistry though and should pick up a book

on it. (*grumbles for thinking he didn't have to have chemistry in school*)


> Is this reading

> affected only by the sugar content? Or do other things that have been

> added affect it also?


It's mostly the sugar (fermentable and non-fermentable) content. Other

things do affect it, but usually only minorly in my experience. (ie.

spices and other flavorings, actual pulp will skew it though)


> If 1.0 means no sugar then that would be a very dry mead.


Yes it is and would. I know a lot of people who like it this way though.


> What kind of numbers should one expect to see:

> a) at the first, when you start brewing?


We start at about 1.130 to 1.150 with our stuff. This can ferment out to

18-20% given the right yeasts. Some people suggest to stay below 1.100

which is about 14% if fermented out.


> b) at the end for a sweet mead?


I would guess around 1.020 to 1.040 for a sweet mead. The one we entered

was at 1.052 and might have been a little too sweet for some folks.


Btw, we took third in the mead category despite being entered improperly

as a traditional mead when it's a metheglin mead. (*grumbles at entry

people*) We don't know if we would have placed any higher if entered in

the correct catagory since we still had good marks. One of the meads

that beat us took 1st runner up overall. (Of course it was a young mead

that hadn't aged anywhere near long enough. Next time we'll do it right

by planning in advance instead of entering at the last moment with what

we were currently bottling.)


> c) at the end for a dry mead?


Since most of the sugar in honey is fermentable it will come close to or

below 1.000.


Take a look at http://alpha.rollanet.org/~tamhc/hall/mead_judging.txt

for some real good guidelines for judging. Some of the relevant

information is:


  Varietal modifier: The variety of honey that a mead is made from will often

    have a large effect on the flavor of the mead. The brewer should specify

    the varietal honey (for example, clover or orange blossom). The mead should

    have some character from the varietal honey, especially if it is a

    traditional mead.

  Strength (Hydromel / Standard / Sack) modifier: The strength of a mead is

    primarily based on the original gravity. Hydromels (watered mead) will have

    specific gravities roughly less than 1.080. Standard strength meads will be

    in the original gravity range from 1.080 to 1.120. Sack meads will

    generally be greater than 1.120. This modifier was designed so that

    well-made delicate hydromels will not be overlooked in favor of the more

    emphatic sack meads.  Make sure to judge each strength of mead according to

    its own merits.

  Sweetness (Dry / Medium / Sweet) modifier: The perceived sweetness is largely

    a function of the final specific gravity, but other variables such as the

    acidity will also have an effect. Roughly, a dry mead will have a final

    gravity less than 1.010, a medium mead will fall in the range from 1.010 to

    1.025, and a sweet mead will be greater than 1.025.

  Carbonation Level (Still / Sparkling) modifier: Still meads should have

    little or no carbonation. Some slight carbonation is acceptable. Sparkling

    meads should have a definite effervescence and tingly mouthfeel. Tiny

    bubbles are preferable to large bubbles.


> d) are the numbers similar for wines?


And ciders as well. Beers are a completely different ballgame due to the

materials used and the alcohol contents desired.


From a humor file I got today:


In Kentucky it is by law that anyone who has been drinking is "sober"

until he or she "cannot hold onto the ground."


Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with

House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at pug.net           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"



From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 18:35:27 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - kvas


Mark Harris wrote:

> >A primary fermenter, such as is used with English ales, is helpful here,

> >or you'll almost certainly clog the airlock and explode!


> What is a “primary fermenter”? I’ve made mead but not beer or ale.


A primary fermenter is usually a sort of bucket with a snap-on top. Some

modern English recipes call for doing the first fermentation, which

produces a lot of gunky foam which generally dries to the consistency of

concrete, in such a fermenter, often topped with some kind of plastic

wrap, before going to the standard secondary fermenter, which is usually

a glass carboy with a water-filled airlock fitted to it. If you don't

watch it carefully, and do a primary fermentation in a carboy, there's a

chance the airlock will get clogged with dried foam, and some sort of

explosion might result. For our batch of kvass we used a wide-mouthed

glass demijohn, formerly used for making wine. It has a snap-on top with

a pinhole punched in it, to relieve excess gas pressure. Had there been

any problems with clogging, the top just lifts off, and you can go in

with something like a stainless-steel spoon to remove the crud.





Date: Sat, 07 Jun 1997 00:06:36 -0400 (EDT)

From: ALBAN at delphi.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: pre-1600 documentation on Mead


(I knew I had an answer to this, but it took me a while to

remember it.)


Check out "Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book", by Hilary Spurling.

(New York, Viking/Penguin, 1986, and the ISBN's downstairs.

I can get it for you if you want it.)


Spurling was rummaging through her attic one afternoon, according

to her foreward, and she came across a manuscript inherited by her

husband, from one of his distant ancestors, the aforementioned

Lady Elinor Fettiplace. The recipe book was dated roughly 1604....


Spurling took it, read it, tested out some of the recipes in both

the original and redacted versions, did some historical research

(her profession is historian), and *poof* wrote a book on it.


Good stuff: not only recipes, but also _when_ they'd be likely to

serve what. The  chapters are the months; every chapter/month

has recipes and such in it appropriate to that month.


(Fettiplace's household went through something like 20 barrels of

ale/beer for the Twelfth Night festivities.....)


It's  unfortunately out of print, I believe, so check Amazon, or

my personal favorite bookstore, Powell's in Portland Oregon,

where I stumbled across both of my copies.





Subject: Re: Great Books for the SCA Tradition

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 07:29:36 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Pug Bainter" <pug at pug.net>


> The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing


I must disagree. *grin*


I think that Homebrewing should be passed on from person to person. (Or

learned in my favorite method, trial and error.)


If you want some "period" recipes, try Cindy Renfro's "A Sip Through Time".

It does nothing for teaching how to brew, but is a nice place to find a

lot of period and close to period recipes. (Some of them blantently not

though.) It has a few flaws, but I overlook those. (They are mostly in

the recipe ingredients and the "time to completion". She tried to be

correct, but missed here and there.)


Phelim "Pug" Gervase  |  "If you want my views of history,

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |   there is something you should know.

House Flaming Dog     |   The three men I admire the most are

pug at pug.net           |   Curly, Larry and Moe." --Meatloaf



From: Hugh Niewoehner <hughn at ssd.fsi.com>

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 12:58:41 -0500

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Subject: Brewing books/methods...


>> Anyway there is one called Making Mead. The

>> authors name escapes me right now.

Acton - Duncan


From my wine makers handout:

"The Amateur Winemaker" in England publishes a book called Making Mead.

The authors, Bryan Acton and Peter Duncan, have compiled a bit of the

history behind mead, including the origin of the term "honeymoon" as well

as a good beginners guide to amateur wine making. It's well worth the

couple of dollars that it costs.  


One of the best though has got to be:


BREWING MEAD, Wassail! in mazers of mead.

Gayre & Nigg w/ Charlie Papazian

ISBN 0-937381-00-4


This is actually two seperate books under one cover.  Kind of expensive but

a very educational read for the serious mead maker.


The major segment of the book is a history of mead making from it's

earliest roots up through today.  


The last 15%(?) is Papazians book on how to make mead.  Note though that

Papazian is a beer maker not a wine maker asnd therefore his recipies are

geared to beer style meads with hops and/or malt.


>Mistress Clare has also been nice enough to lend me a copy of Digby for

>reference. *rubs his hands gleefully*

Digby _is_ interesting.  The is at least one SCA vinter who has won mundane

competitions using adapted Digby recipes.


More modern sources that are useful in improving technique:


The Art of Making Wine. by Stanley Anderson with Raymond Hull.  This book

includes a section for novices as well as advanced concepts and techniques.

Also, it has a good description of what effects acidity, temperature and

other variables will have on your wine.  Lastly it has in the back, a

troubleshooting guide to common problems encountered in vinting and how to

fix it, if a fix is possible.  


Winemaking by Stanley F Anderson and Dorothy Anderson.

Published by Harcourt Brace & Company  1989

ISBN 0-15-697095-3(pbk.)

This is a thick book which will run you about twenty dollars.  It is full

of recipes, equipment descriptions, techniques and a large reference

section.  The authors are two of the major instigators of the home

winemakers market in the US and Canada as we now know it.   He has put his

fourty years or more of experience into this book for all to see the ease

with which anyone can produce a high quality wine.



|Hugh Niewoehner                 | FlightSafety International |

|Sr. Engineer - Avionics Systems | Simulator Systems Division |

|hughn at ssd.fsi.com               | 2700 N. Hemlock Circle     |

|(918)/251-0500 x528             | Broken Arrow, OK 74012     |





Date: Mon, 9 Jun 1997 15:26:00 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: pre-1600 mead docs-Digby


      I would point out that while Digby was not published until

  1620 doesn't make it an out of period source.


If I recall correctly, it was published 3 generations after the close

of period, and not before.  Quick research shows that Digby was born after

period (1603) died long after period (1665) and the book was published some

years later (1669).


Not to mention that Digby himself invented a few techniques that

revolutionized brewing, and therefore his recipes cannot be considered to

have used period technique.  (The strong bottle, cf SCUM, an article by

Morgaine ferch Cadwr).


Many folks choose to disagree.  But I'd place Digby so far post period as to

be almost inconceivable for period brewing.





Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 00:55:04 -0600 (MDT)

From: Frederick C Yoder <fyoder at mesa5.mesa.colorado.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Metal and Mongolian Boozing!


      Wanted to pass along a couple of useful resources.


      The other, and possibly more fun, book is "Primitive Drinking: A

study of the uses and functions of alcohol in preliterate societies" by

Chandler Washburne, 1961.  While it is in all likelihood out of print,

it's available via inter-library.  It has two especially interesting

chapters on alcohol use in Ainu and Mongolian cultures, uses relating to

social, religious, ritual and medicine.  It also discusses prohibitions

on use, and manufacture.  While not period, it does contrast changes in

patterns with more recent use and may provide that little extra you're

looking for in your encampment.  


Fred Yoder

fyoder at mesa5.mesa.colorado.edu

Grand Junction, CO



Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 09:24:47 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: A couple questions . . .


Mark Schuldenfrei wrote:

> Research by a friend of mine (who happens to be A&S Minister of the East, so

> she's no lightweight) has shown that Digby changed a lot of the technology

> of brewing in his time: inventing the strong bottle, and so forth.


> I like Digby: it's an easy to use and read source.  But I don't consider it

> period.  YMMV


>         Tibor


Agreed on principal. However, I feel I need to qualify that with my

opinion that while there are some areas in which Digby appears to have

been a quite influential brewer whose "career" might be regarded as a

sort of turning point for the art, there are nonetheless many areas in

which the art has remained consistent before, during, and after the time

in which Digby lived, brewed, wrote, died, and was published. Much of

what Digby wrote applies to period brewing, as well. Of course, it's

hard to tell which is which sometimes, so I'd be inclined to use Digby

as a secondary source, in the sense that he might provide useful insight

into the interpretation of a more period recipe. Note that I said,



On a similar note, Gervase Markham has also been placed as officially

OOP by his 1615 publication date. I personally feel that Markham has

quite a lot more to teach about brewing as a science than Digby, because

the process of English-style infusion mashing is explained in quite

clear detail, while Digby just speaks of pouring your boiling water over

the malt, which, if followed to the letter, may well not result in

anything drinkable.


The other charge sometimes made against Markham, generally as an attempt

to discredit his value as a nominally period source, is that he was a

plagiarist. What many people who repeat this charge fail to take into

account is that what he was accused of plagiarizing was his own work,

over about the forty years previous to the publication of "The English

Housewife". The charges of plagiarism were made by a consortium of

publishers, who threatened to blackball him, essentially, if he

attempted to recycle any more of his previous works. In other words,

much of what was published in The English Housewife in 1615 had been

previously published, by Markham, in the 1570's and '80's.





Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 09:00:50 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: A couple questions . . .


> This may be the wrong forum, but what DO people consider to be "period"

> brewing sources?


Good forum.  There are better ones (the historical brewing mailing list

comes to mind).


Digby's great advantage: it's a brewing book, basically.  Nothing else comes



There are smatterings of brewing recipes in Curye on Inglische, Menagier,

Eleanor Fettiplace, and others.  Medicinal books often have cordial-like



Some of the sources can be found in Renfrow's "A Sip Through Time", along

with tons of post-period stuff.  (I think she reads this list, but I'll dare

say anyway.... it's a pretty expensive tome, but it is also probably the

only one-stop-shopping for medieval brewing that I know of.  I wouldn't have

paid the stiff cover price, except I'm a completist for books.  Sigh.)


I've put several recipes on the web: you can find them at



The are basically transcribed from some private email I sent a long time

ago.  It's not to be taken as gospel: merely a convenience.





Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 09:11:04 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: A couple questions . . .


Meliora & Drake wrote:


> This may be the wrong forum, but what DO people consider to be "period"

> brewing sources?


> Meliora.


Gervase Markham's "The English Housewife" is debatably period: while its

publication date is 1615 or so, the material in it had been written and

previously published up to twenty or more years earlier.


Other than that, there are numerous sources for individual recipes, or

small clusters of them. See the "Goud Kokery" volume of "Curye on

Inglysche" for early 15th-century recipes for mead and braggot. There

are a couple of recipes in the Forme Of Cury, also, from the 14th



I believe there are a couple of 16th century ale recipes in (William?)

Harrison's account of his travels through England, dated around 1570.


There is an early 14th century mead recipe in Ein Buoch Von Guter Spise,

and then, of course, there is the hydromeli recipe, really more of  a

description, in the Historia Naturalis of Pliny the Elder, 1st century



Probably the best place to start would be Cindy Renfrow's "A Sip Through

Time", and there are some resources on the Web, also.





Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 22:11:35 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Re: A couple questions . . .


Hello!  Thanks for the plug!  (BTW, suggested list for "A Sip Through Time"

is $18.00 U.S.  Dealer prices may vary.)


Regarding period brewing recipes, and cordials in particular, please be

very careful!  Many of the ingredients called for can be harmful.


A  Short list of Poisonous or Harmful plants to be Avoided:

Bittersweet (Solanum Dulcamara), Bog Myrtle (Sweet Gale, Myrica Gale),

Celandine Poppy, China Root, Florence Iris, Groundsel, Kill Lamb,

LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY, Orris Roots, Pennyroyal, Rhubarb Leaves, Sassafras,

Turnsole, Wormwood

SEEDS AND PITS OF: Apple, Apricot, Cherry, Citrus Fruit, Peach, Pear, Plum.

Crushing these pits releases hydrocyanic acid.


The Olde Cookery Page contains an abbreviated herbal, as well as lots of

brewing recipes: http://www.bahnhof.se/~chimbis/tocb/index.html


To subscribe to the historical brewing mailing list send an email to

majordomo at pbm.com saying "subscribe hist-brewing".




Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net




Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 21:36:29 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - novice requests - longish


<< I don't know about wine >>


Unfermented grape juice is also called must.





Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 11:43:23 EST

From: Tyrca <Tyrca at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - novice requests - longish



sure, for example, what's mazing?


curiouser and curiouser said Puck >>


Actually, it is all very simple.  A creator of beer is a brewer, a creator of

wine is a vintner, and a creator of mead is a mazer.  I think it comes from

the un-fermented liquid being called must.  I don't know about wine, but

unfermented liquid that will soon be beer is called wort.


I have always found that vocabulary is extremely useful when learning about a

new subject.  And now you can sound so much more knowledgable.


My second effort at mead was something slightly related to another discussion

we have been having about late cooking and early personnas.  I am Irish/Norse

from the 11th Century, and I wanted to make a fruit mead with fruit easy to

find in Ireland.  So I put together a Current mead.  It is still aging, so I

have no definite opinion on it yet, but I named it, "A Mazer's Grace" just for

fun.  No, I didn't find a recipe for it, as most of the mead recipes I have

seen were from Digby, and those were printed actually outside of period.





Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 08:55:55 -0800

From: "Crystal A. Isaac" <crystal at pdr-is.com>

Subject: SC - Re: Mead notes


Ania, also known as John and Barbara Enloe wrote:

> Dear Puck:

>         Per your request, here's our recipe for small mead.

snippings and clippings says Gurgi.

> Just a few more hints:

> 1)  Make sure everything is CLEAN and rinsed of any/all soap residue.  In

> fact, we don't use soap in our bottles. Just lots of hot water and sulfites.

> 2)  Sulfite down the primary before you put in the hot mead mixture.



An excellent description of small mead. However, a little point: many

people are allergic to sulfites. If you use them, please add that fact

to your labels. If you are allergic to Sulfites, please do NOT simply

skip the sanitization step, use another agent such as unscented

household bleach (a teaspoon per gallon of water and wait 30 minutes -

and don't let any get into your mead) or Iodophor (a tablespoon per five

gallons of water and wait 3 minutes - really don't let any into your

mead). Sanitization is where you place *everything* that is going to

touch the mead after it is boiled in a sanitizing solution. I fill my

bucket-style fermentation vessel with water and sanitizer; then place

the lid, fermentation lock, and rubber stopper in it. Making mead is

easy and fun, the challenging part is keeping everything clean and



Crystal of the Westermark

(mka Crystal A. Isaac)



Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 12:50:55 -0800 (PST)

From: "Mike C. Baker" <kihe at rocketmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - brewing/mazing/etc


- ---Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au> wrote:

> One of the modern tricks I find very handy is to use the

> little water airlocks you buy from brewing suppliers for

> about $1 in a sealed barrel for my primary fermentation.

> THis stops bubbling when fermentation is

> more or less complete.


Even safer / better is to fill the airlock with "spiritous

liquor" (I use the same cheap vodka that goes into my tinctures).


Adieu -- Amra / Pax ... Kihe / TTFN -- Mike

(al-Sayyid) Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra  /



Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 09:43:02 -0800 (PST)

From: "Mike C. Baker" <kihe at rocketmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - brewing/mazing/etc


- ---kappler <kappler at edgenet.net> wrote:

> > Even safer / better is to fill the airlock with "spiritous

> > liquor" (I use the same cheap vodka that goes into my tinctures).


> Iv'e been brewing for quite sometime now, and this is the

> first time I ever heard of using spirits in the airlock

> insted of water.  As the fluid in the airlock simply works

> as a check valve (allows flow in only one direction)

> to allow the CO2 generated in fermentation out and preventing

> wild yeasts and stuff in the atmosphere from getting in, how

> does it make a difference what the fluid is?


Others have already hit on why *I* think it is superior: no wild

yeastie-beasties or other dreck grows in the vodka. (The stuff I'm

using in the lock is only about 70 proof, i.e. 35% ethanol.) The

note about checking the content of the lock chamber regularly is

also well to remember, with water OR spirits. (If the water is

starting to look cloudy or has scum on the surface, seriously

consider swapping out with a spare lock and re-sterilizing.)


Another advantage over water is that in the remote possibiity the

fluid in the lock gets sucked back into the fermentation chamber,

spirits will still tend to remain on the surface of the stuff that

is happily burbling and reduce the chance of losing the whole batch.


Adieu -- Amra / Pax ... Kihe / TTFN -- Mike

(al-Sayyid) Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra  /



Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 10:19:01 -0800

From: "Crystal A. Isaac" <crystal at pdr-is.com>

Subject: Re: SC - brewing/mazing/etc


What fluid is in the airlock makes a difference. If you use unclean water

in the airlock there is a (small) danger that is may be sucked down into

the fermenting mead when the temperature changes or slosh around when

the fermenter is moved. Cheap vodka is clean and sanitary and nothing

will live in it. Cheap vodka does not attract spiders like water does.

(Yes, you will occasionally find a spider in your airlock, don't panic,

just sanitize another one and replace it.)


Crystal of the Westermark



Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 00:25:44 -0500

From: Nick Sasso <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Mead notes


John and Barbara Enloe wrote:


> Just a quick addendum -- Please Do Not Use Bleach -- It Does Leave A

> taste In the Bottle.

>                   Jon


I actually will ue nothing but bleach in my bottles.  Given copious

quantities of hot water and a jet bottle washer, the only unusual taste

in the bottle is my meads.  Other sanitizers I've found dicey.  Bleach

at 1/4 c. per 5 gallons (WAY strong) is good for what ails you after a

15 min soak, my most reliable sanitizer......the most popular in food

preps nation- wide.


Iodizer can be okay, but will not loosen the crusty bits like sodium

hypochlorite (bleach).

Washing soda is the absolute BOMB on labels.  1/2 cup in 20 gallons will

have most of the labels floating on the surface overnight.






Date: Thu, 01 Jan 98 02:40:17 PST

From: "kappler" <kappler at edgenet.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Mead notes


>      Hummmm, a query from a very inexperienced would-be mead maker--could you

> not rinse out the containers after they have been sanitized (by either method)

> with plain water (or boiling water, perhaps?)? That would seem to solve the

> problem, although it does add an extra step in the proccess.

>     Ldy Diana


Why yes!  I normally use iodophore (sp?) or B-Brite, but have on occasion

not had them available and used a dilute bleach solution.  Regardless of

the sanitizer used, a rinse with boiled water always follows to ensure no

pollution of the wort/must.  Highly effective and recognozed/recommended by

the more advanced brewers and vintners I know. Of course, being a Puck and

therefore scrupulous only about what I brew and cook, I rinse twice.


Regards, Puck



Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 09:43:35 -0500

From: "Gedney, Jeff" <Gedney at executone.com>

Subject: SC - SC- sterilants and ferm locks


> From: John and Barbara Enloe <jbenloe at mindspring.com>

> If you use sulfite solution in the airlock, you get the staying power

> of water and the disinfecting power of the alcohol.

>                            Jon


Just a quick note:

Sulfite may be fine sterilants for wines and meads, but they have their


Do not use sulfites EVER when using malt as a base, ( as in beer brewing).  The sulfites combine with some byproduct of the yeast action on the malt sugar to make hydrogen sulfide gas. ( rotten egg gas ) Even a little of this makes TRULY "skunky" beer.


I use the "two chamber" type of lock and I have no problems with

crosscontamination. I also use boiled water in the lock.





Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 07:56:24 -0700 (PDT)

From: Nick Sasso <grizly_nick at rocketmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - peach mead?


> >>Then cool with wort chiller and place fruit in the fermenter with the

> must.<<

> This thread is great, I'm learning a lot. What is 'wort chiller'? I'm

> pretty sure you don't mean frozen cabbage!   ;-)

> Lady Allison


A wort chiller is something that quickly drops temperature of your

heated fermentable liquid to 70F for pitching. The most common

technology I am aware of is 30-50' of 3/8" copper tubbing coiled in

12-16" diameter.  The ends bend stright up through the middle and rise

about 6" above the whole.  To each off these ends is attached

hose/tubing with one having a threaded fitting that fits your faucet

(usually garden hose sized).


You drop the contraption into the boil for last 5 to 10 minutes, then

hook it up when flame is off.  One end to kitchen faucet, free end

into sink, out window, etc.  Turning on th water makes a great heat

transfer unit for the wort, not unlike your car radiator.  In 20-35

minutes, depending on effieciency your stuff is ready for the

yeast.....way better than "cover and wait overnight".





Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 13:31:58 -0400

From: Chris Peters <cpeeters at cinemagnetics.com>

Subject: Re: SC - peach mead?


A wort chiller is a nifty little device availiable at most brewshops. After you

have boiled your wort you attch this device to your faucet. It is essentially a

series of copper coils with an inlet and an outlet. You attach the inlet to

your faucet. The coils go into your wort with the outlet hanging outside of the

pot to your drain. You then turn on the cold water. It essentially cools down

the wort so that when you pitch it into your primary to pitch your yeast. Hope

this helps.


SCA - Padrhaig ne Killkenny

Mundanely - Chris Peters



Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 10:48:38 -0400

From: "marilyn traber" <mtraber at email.msn.com>

Subject: Re: SC -wort chiller


A nifty gizmo very useful to home brewers! It is a commonly stocked item in

brewers supply stores made of a coil of copper tubing with an end that one

attaches a hose to  hook up to a cold water tap, and an end one attaches a

hose to  stick down a drain and you stick it in the boiling kettle after

taking it off the heat and running the coldest water you can find through it

while immersed in the wort to cool it off so it can be immediately worked

with without having to wait for the several hours for it to cool down

enough. Alternately you run the wort through the tube with the coil being in

a bucket of ice. Many people I know swear by both methods, but I have found

i would rather deal with sterilizing the outsides of the tubes than dealing

with cleaning and sterilizing the insides of the tubes. To each their own.

You can make your own with food grade tygon tubing from Home Depot if you






Subject: RE: ANST - warm temperature fermentation

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 98 09:03:43 MST

From: Kevon at corridor.net

To: <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>


You Wrote:

>As for glass carboys, check your local brewers supply store.  I picked

>mine up (5 gal, I use it as a seconday with a plastic primary) for about

>$25 or so.  The 6.5 gallon ones were about $30 IIRC.  That's big enough

>to handle the active primary fermentation without filling the airlock

>with all kinds of goop.


>Felipé San Juan


If you are paying that much for carbouys, you are paying too much.

Cut an pasted from an on-line catalogue of a local Brew-supply store

(does mail order, but the shipping will kill ya)

5 Gallon Glass Carboy $15.75

6.8 Gallon Glass Carboy $17.75


Your best bet (if ya live in a large city) is to call around to the

water bottling places and see if they bottle in glass.  I did this in

San Antonio and picked up 5 5gal. glass bottles for $8.75 each (about

4 years ago)





Subject: Re: ANST - warm temperature fermentation

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 98 09:19:48 MST

From: "Pug Bainter" <pug at pug.net>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


Kevon at corridor.net said something that sounded like:

> If you are paying that much for carbouys, you are paying too much.

> Cut an pasted from an on-line catalogue of a local Brew-supply store

> (does mail order, but the shipping will kill ya)

> 5 Gallon Glass Carboy $15.75

> 6.8 Gallon Glass Carboy $17.75


That is about how much St. Pats charges as well. http://www.stpats.com.


> Your best bet (if ya live in a large city) is to call around to the

> water bottling places and see if they bottle in glass.  I did this in

> San Antonio and picked up 5 5gal. glass bottles for $8.75 each (about

> 4 years ago)


We tried this in Austin and couldn't find anyone willing to sell them

anymore.  Probably because of the growth of home brewers.


Reading China outlet in San Marcos sells them for $10 each for the 5

gallons though.


Phelim "Pug" Gervase  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting


House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at pug.net           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"



Subject: Re: ANST - Bottles and Brewing

Date: Wed, 24 Jun 98 14:15:40 MST

From: David Epps <icc_dce at SHSU.edu>

To: "'ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG'" <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>


Polydore said something that sounded like "Do any of you have suggestions to

simplify the removing of labels from bottles?"


A)      In reference to  the removal  labels discussed late last week, A

simple tool I use when working with bottles is a piece of 12 ga. Steel

approximately 10" on a side with a deep V cut at about 45 degrees into the

center of the plate.  Place this in a vice or nail it to the side of your

work bench, whatever..  next soak your bottles in warm water with a mild

soap or other solvent for about an hour.  Put the bottle into the "V" and

scrape the label off of the bottle (best done outside least the wife will

take your head off).  A bottle can be cleaned in about 5 seconds, leaving

only a little work with a brilo pad.  (personally I prefer to keg my ales,

it cuts out the bottle cleaning entirely).  On the subject of various

cleaning solutions I have found that "Beer Line Cleaner" sold in brewing

supply houses is great for the removal of any organic or semi-organic

matter inside or out of the bottles.  I have also "saved" several stainless

steel pots and Pyrex  using this stuff, it saved days of cleaning up after

the last feast we did.  Additionally if you must get the label off because

it is the nicest bottle you ever owned you can try a solvent we use at the

office called "At-Tack" it is a tape and adhesive remover sold through a

video supply house.  I would use this only in very rare cases and only on

the outside of the bottle.


Wolf said something that sounded like "how does heat effect the fermentation

process and storage for meads ... i lair in a house sans air conditioning

that can get brutal in the summer (100+ in.........."


B)      Fermenting above 72 F is not a very good idea period.  (ED. Note...

I need to check the chemistry side of this issue for verification and my

primary forte is in Ales and Stouts but here goes.)  When yeast ferments too

fast (ie. real warm (even the warmth loving ale yeast)) it creates what are

call fusel oils, a clear, colorless, Poisonous liquid mixture of amyl

alcohols, obtained as a by-product  of the fermentation of starch-containing

and sugar-containing plant materials and used as a solvent....(ie..big time

hangover juice.) now realize that any time that you ferment something some

fusel will be generated but we want to minimize it's effects, so the lower

the temp. the better.  It might be that you need to limit you brewing and

primary fermentation period to the early spring and late fall or find a

friend that you can trust with the liquid gold you produce who has a cellar

or spare refrigerator , Bottle or Cask conditioning in warmer temperatures

should not cause you as much grief but still not a great idea.


In service,

Zorcon of Lizard Keep, Ravensfort, Ansteorra

Icc_dce at shsu.edu



Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 16:20:55 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Fermentation locks-OOP


allilyn at juno.com writes:

<<  I'd like to have one of those 2

liter coke bottle recipes, as I have lots of those and no fermentation

locks.  >>


Take a balloon and carefully put a pin hole in the end. Put the balloon over

the bottle. It will fill with gases as the beverage ferments. Leave until the

ballon falls over on its own. Voila! A very usable and disposable fermentation

lock. :-)





Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 08:33:34 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso" <Njs at mccalla.com>

Subject: SC - Link for Teaching Brewing


I have a link for information on basic brewing information as well as lots

of other stuff like period recipes and some documentation.  The Knaves of

Grain is an interKingdom brewing association that has gone temporarily

dormant (until the next newsletter can go out).


We have a website that has all of our past newsletters archived.  They cover

lots of topics, including an article by THL Ansel the Barrister called "No

brain all grain".  Good text and method.  I have taught from it.  Also a

good article on Elizabethan beer, IIRC.  You'll have to paruse the eight

issues to find what you want, but it is good reading.  There is a table of

contents for each one.




niccolo difrancesco



Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 17:38:24 -0500

From: "Nick Sasso" <Njs at mccalla.com>

Subject: SC - Mead and brewing resources


You will find the 'Knaves of Grain' website at




another source for links is at




there are links, instructions and articles at the Knves site as we are an

interkingdom association of brewers, vinters, meadmakers, and cordial

makers.  Their newsletter will get publishing again quarterly the 1st of



niccolo difrancesco

(editor of The Stumbling Peasants", newsletter to the Knaves of Grain)



Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:16:20 -0500

From: "Nick Sasso" <Njs at mccalla.com>

Subject: SC - Beginning brewing kits and equipment source


>What does everyone recommend to start brewing? As in a homemade kit or one

>offered by a brewery supplier?

>What should a kit contain. Also where is a good place to look for recipes?


Please pardon the advertisement, but you will find a listing of prices at



It is a mailorder company run by SCA people (me and my partner, Lord

Jonathan of Exeter).  We are just rebounding from some torturous leveraging

by large companies to get us out of market, but are fighting back into the

marketplace.  We may not get it out overnight (usually mailed within 3 to 4

days), but have the best prices in the market that we have found.




There are suggestions as to what we think you should have under equipment

kits in the catalog.


niccolo difrancesco

(i hate ads too, and it won't happen again soon)



Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 18:01:12 -0500

From: "Jennifer Conrad" <CONRAD3 at prodigy.net>

Subject: SC - Leener's Brew Works The Do It At Home Store


For all your home brew, cheese, sausage, mead, and wine making needs




Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 12:58:49 -0700 (MST)

From: Ben Engelsberg <bengels at chronic.lpl.arizona.edu>

Subject: SC - Folk Wines


Recently, an excellent book on folk wines and brewing came into my hands,

and I thought I would mention it here, for those interested in such



The book is titled _Folk Wines, Cordials, & Brandies_  It is written by

M.A. Jagendorf.  It is a compilation of American and European folk wines

and other liquors.  The recipes and proceedures documented in this book

are largely based on late 19th and early 20th century sources, although

they coincide very closely with those from more period documents.


It is interesting to observe that the household practice of wine and beer

making has not changed substantially in quite some time.


The book cointains a large number of interesting recipes, as well as

excellent commentary by Jagendorf on the drinking, brewing, and the

general enjoyment of wine and liquor.


The book is (c) 1963, by the Vanguard Press

Library of Congress #63-21854



Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 10:24:24 -0400

From: Nick Sasso <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Books


> Brewing:

> R. Gayre et al:    Brewing Mead


Mr. Gayre and Mr. Papazian collaborate to provide both

historical-developmental information and practical how to.  this has

been the most thorough treatment to date of the progression of meads and

their names through history.  He gives a respectable bibliography as



There is another book available right now on beer brewing :


Bennett, Judith M. (1996). _Ale, Beer and Brewsters in England: A

      women's work in a changing world, 1300-1600_.  Oxford University

      Press:  New York.  ISBN 0-19-507390-8


It is a context book that describes the changing roles of village and

household brewers through the time period.  Ms. Bennett is a scholar of

Women's Studies and focuses on this in her book. Very intriguing


niccolo difrancesco



Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 21:23:09 -0600

From: Magdalena <magdlena at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Grapes


Hauviette wrote:

>I was told by the wine specialist that the sugars are converted into a fairly

>high alcohol content (14.8)


Puck replied:

> This seems like a very high alcohol content to me.  AFAIK, the only yeasts

> that can survive in this intense an alcohol environment are the champagne

> yeasts, yet you do not mention this.  Is this a lack of knowledge on my

> part?


   Actually, that's not true.  My favorite strain of burgundy tops out around

14-15, and I could get it higher if I wanted to for some strange reason.  Also,

I see no reason to believe that period yeast strains were particularly less

alcohol tolerant than modern strains.  There is a process called "feeding" your

yeast that you can do to get higher levels of alcohol where you add your sugars

gradually.  As the alcohol level rises, the less tolerant strains die out and

the more tolerant beasties live on to breed.  Add just enough sugar for the

yeast to eat and the alcohol level to go up a trifle, and the more tolerant next

generation will breed and the rest die out.  (I accidentally took a champagne to

23%, and if I dilute with fruit juice I get sparklies cause the yeast _won't_

die.)  To get a more tolerant strain of yeast, just harvest from a current batch

that you have fed.  Tadgh tells me that an ale yeast can be bred to be about 18%

tolerant.   One period technique for starting a new batch involves harvesting

yeast from a "new" wine or ale.  Do that often and you'd have a very tolerant

strain going.


    BTW, is there a period recipe for Roman raisin wine floating around out

there?  I know a few cooks who'd love me forever...   ;>


- -Magdalena



Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:11:02 -0600

From: Pug Bainter <pug at pug.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Grapes & Yeast


> If I understand Wulfrith correctly, he means that the yeast strains that

> can handle such a concentration of alcohol without going dormant and/or

> dying are champagne yeast strains that wouldn't have been isolated or

> developed until the 17th century. Dom Perignon, etc. Other wine yeasts,

> in my experience, anyway, seem to reach a maximum of 12% or so...


There are many views on this. Some have been stated by Magdalena.


While many yeasts are designed to stop at certain alcohol percentages,

hybreds can easily form. This is because of the strong yeast surviving

to the end of a batch, and as long as they keep chugging, as they

multiply, the yeast will be more alcohol tolerant. The harder thing

I've had is to get a yeast that will actually multiple in high sugar

environments from the start.


From directly personal experience, I regularly have ale yeasts go to

14%, wine to 18% and champagne to 22%. (Most of these batches have been

meads and ciders but not many wines.) They could probably go higher

than this if I would feed batchs more. I have only recently started

doing that so I can end up with more batches that aren't bone dry! I

haven't had much experience nor success with actually stopping a batch

without running out of sugar.


My house has some hybred of ale/champagne yeast that I rather enjoy. I

have only done one batch so far with the wild yeast in my house so far,

and it was an accident that I rather enjoyed.


Btw, don't leave anything that can ferment out in my house for long or

it will. This includes whole fruit.

- --

Phelim "Pug" Gervase

Bryn Gwlad - Ansteorra

Dark Horde Moritu



Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:00:55 -0600

From: Pug Bainter <pug at pug.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Grapes & Yeast


You wrote:

> > My house has some hybred of ale/champagne yeast that I rather enjoy. I

> > have only done one batch so far with the wild yeast in my house so far,

> > and it was an accident that I rather enjoyed.

> That's okay, I have a particular shelf in my apartment which seems to

> house penicillium that's perfect for Stilton cheese...


Hmmm. Never tried cheese. Been avoiding it with the active brewing.


> These increased alcohol contents as reported are simply beyond my

> experience, but I'd have to question the math used to arrive at them,

> unless you're dealing with completely different yeasts than even modern

> authorities are speaking of.


I admit that I don't know much about chemistry, but it seems pretty

simple with my hydrometer.


OG potential alcohol % - FG potential alcohol % = Actual alcohol %


Of course adjusted for temperature of the liquid. And yes, I have

calibrated my hydrometer to ensure accuracy.


> I'm not saying these percentages are off, I

> just have to wonder why people like Papazian, Andre Simon, Alexis

> Lichine and others all seem to feel such percentages are impossible.


Well I have only read parts of Papzian, and from what I've read, it is

mostly because he is dealing with non-high fermentable sugar beverages.

Since some sugars are not easily fermented, there is still sugar left

eventhough the fermentation has stopped. Cider and meads have high

levels of fermemtables. (Usually with FG of .994) As well, I don't

remember him going out of the realm of what a yeast is typcially used

for. Such as an ale yeast being used for mead. (Instead of that nasty

wyeast mead yeast that makes it so damn winey!)


I admit that my experimentation with different types of yeasts in this

manner are limited. I use a specific brand of Ale yeast, Whitbread,

for the most part since it gives a good flavor and goes to a high

enough alcohol percentage. With it generally not going above 12-14%,

that is more than enough alocohol for most things. I try not to use the

Pasteur Champagne yeast since it ate upto 22% before finally dieing.

- --

Phelim "Pug" Gervase

Bryn Gwlad - Ansteorra

Dark Horde Moritu



Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 09:59:05 -0500

From: Kay Loidolt <mmkl at indy.net>

Subject: SC - yet another egg question


> From: Magdalena <magdlena at earthlink.net>

>     I have yet another egg question for y'all.  My SO is

> doing a repeatability study on the use of eggs as

> hydrometers in period brewing.  So far he has discovered

> that store bought eggs don't repeat results for love of god

> or money.  (I told him to use fresh eggs... ;> )  My

> question is:  Will eggs from a commercial setup where the

> chickens are fed all sorts of supplements have a different

> density than eggs from a free-range chicken, assuming that

> both are fresh that day?    Also, if Digby says eggs, is it

> safe to assume chicken eggs?  


Johann, poultrier, responds:

Yes commercial eggs may vary as much as a 8 hours to 24 hours in age

per carton. Usually they are within the 1-2 hour range, but by the time

we get them in the market they are already at least 24 hour old.

The refrigeration also changes their density, I think?? There is a

slight change in density between non-fertilized eggs and fertile ones,

and there 'might' be a 'slight' change between commercial feed and

natural feed, I don't know, I'll check with the APA.


If you want to use eggs as a hydrometer use VERY FRESH eggs (within the

day of laying) You will have to find a home operation and buy directly

from them. Contact your local Ag.Office or co-op.


Johann, poultrier.



  It is correct to assume Chicken (Gallius,ie.chicken,or pheasant) Eggs

in Digby unless stated otherwise. Waterfowl eggs were used, but were

usually called for specifically.



From: Robert & Tara Brinsfield <trbrins at fullnet.net>

Date: December 15, 2005 9:19:40 AM CST

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] RE: Ansteorra Digest, Vol 31, Issue 19


This morning, as I was reading the ansteorra message board, I came across a

gentle who also wished for a brewing kit. As I have heard this same request

from many who wish to start brewing, I felt that I should pass on a

fantastic site that my husband got his beginner's kit from. It was a really

great deal, because it came with everything except the honey, water, fruit,

spice, and bottles. You can order the bottles from them as well for a very

reasonable price as well. We found it completely by accident when my husband

was in need of some beekeeping supplies, as he is a beekeeper. The company

is called Dadant & SOns and the entire kit is offered for under $100.  


Just something I felt that any who wish to brew would like to know about.  

It is a fantastic beginner's kit that comes with recipes as well.


For the kit:





For the bottles:





Something else there, that might be of interest to the brewing  







Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 21:38:25 -0800

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla Extract --Thank you, and some


To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> As for aging vanilla, the original extraction takes about 10

> days at a slightly elevated temperature (about 105-110

> degrees Fahrenheit).  It should then be aged in charred oak

> casks, but is generally aged in stainless steel these days

> for proper sanitation. <<SNIP>>

> The vanilla flavor will mellow out over time, even

> without the oak cask, just as your cordials blend with sitting.


Home brewers and vintners these days often "cheat" the charred oak aging

process by adding sanitized Oak bits  to their fermented beverage to age a

while.  Timing is based on experience and recipe. They are fished out after

a while.  This might be a fine way to add the tannins or whatever process to

the aging process without the barrels.


niccolo difrancesco



From: geo at mapmuse.com

Date: February 24, 2006 5:14:33 PM CST

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] Interactive Maps of Homebrew Clubs, and Supply Shops across the US


I wanted to let homebrew enthusiasts know about a website that has interactive mapping of homebrew clubs, and homebrew supply shops across the US. The site is Mapmuse.com, and the link to the Food and Drink Directory is:




Please check our maps to see if your local homebrew clubs, and supply shops are included. You can add a missing club or supply shop, as well as provide additional descriptive information including both text and photos (there is an ADD feature and an EDIT feature on the site). The intent is for homebrew enthusiasts to improve and develop the maps themselves- we just got it started for you! We believe that through this kind of community effort we can achieve the most comprehensive, descriptive maps possible. We would love if you would participate in the process, by making any changes you see fit to the maps, and passing the word onto fellow homebrewers. Also, we would appreciate a link if you have a homebrew related website!



Cindy Jett


1326 14th Street NW

Washington, DC 20005



From: "davidjhughes.tx at netzero.net" <davidjhughes.tx at netzero.net>

Date: February 27, 2006 6:00:55 PM CST

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Cider yeast OT a bit


Refr inn draumspaki wrote: Greetings,

Since we are on the subject of making stuff and things, I need to know if building anyone insulated box for temperature control. I am trying to make one and would like to see if anyone has done one so I have something to follow other then my gut and pint glass.



Go to (home depot, lowes, whatever) and get a sheet of the 1" R5 extruded polysytrene insolation foam ( <  $20).

Cut to size, duct tape edges inside and out.   Done!


Now, you can get fancier.  

Make sure the base is large enough that the uprights sit on it, and the top large enough to sit on the uprights.

For an easy access door, cut strips 2" wide, two the height of the uprights and  two 2" shorter than the width

between the uprights.  Tape these on one opening to act as seals that one of the uprights will butt up against,

and only tape that door on the outside.

The top can be designed to allow the neck of the fermentation vessel and airlock to extend above the top.


To get really fancy, add a industrial Petlier Junction to the set up, with two computer fans mounted, one on each

side of the Junction. (One inside the box fro circulation, one outside to move transferred heat around efficiently.)

Use a 12 VDC, 6 watt (or as needed by the Peltier Junction) power supply, and a thermostatic control on the

power supply attached to a thermocouple inside the box.


Drive the current one way, you can cool the box up to 20 F below ambient, reverse the current and you can warm

the box up  to 30 F above ambient.   Use the Thermostat to set your desired temperature.


The PT doesn't work very fast, it could take 24 hours to cool a 5 gallon vessel 10 F, but once you reach the

desired temperature it will hold it there.


David Gallowglass, tinkerer, alchemist and inactive brewer.



Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 14:04:35 -0400

From: "grizly" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour beer question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


-----Original Message-----

I have in my garage a case and a half of what was intended to be braggot

and is instead a rather miserable failure. [Note that it is not *my*

miserable failure--I am in no way a brewer.] So my questions are: what

does alegar actually taste like, is what I have actually alegar, and can I

use this stuff in cooking or should I just pour it all out and recycle the

bottles to some brewer of my acquaintance?


Margaret FitzWilliam> > > > > > > > > >


Two very common infections in beer (no known pathogens as of 1995 could live

in beer ) include lactobacilus and acetobacter.  Both of these will sour

your beer and make it rather unpalletable.  The acetobacter is what will

give you alegar, and is very different from lactic infection.  The

appearance of the aceto- infection will be the same as if you had introduced

a vinegar mother into a liquid.  You get a somewhat slick layer on top, and

it has little tails dipping down.  I recommend reading up on vinegar mothers

and their appearance . .. that will give you a hint.  Acetic acid has a

different taste than lactic acid, but it is hard to describe in an email.

Lambics (Belgian sour ales) intentionally use lactobacili to innoculate their

beers, IIRC.


If you have little white "globs" floating around, you might have something

altogether different and all too common when I was first starting brewing.

I suspect it to be fungal in nature, though I am no microbiologist.


niccolo difrancesco



Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2006 12:10:51 -0400

From: "grizly" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Favorite spice containers

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


-----Original Message-----

>>> I'm still not getting messages, but have been going through the



In response to Sharon's request for spice containers...what I use aren't

period, but work nicely.  With the assistance (VERY WILLING

assistance!!) of my husband, I have a collection of Mickey beer

bottles.  They are shaped like little barrels, with a short neck and

wide mouth...and they are dark green, which helps protect the

spices/herbs from sunlight.  < < < < < < <


I don't know if the same wavelengths are a problem with our general spices,

but green bottles are almost zero protection against sunlight for hops in

beer.  Brown bottles will prevent "light struck" or "skunked" beer, which

happens when light interacts with compounds in hops.  Green and clear glass

are the same . . . no protection.  Just thought I'd throw that out in  terms

of green glass and potential light protection. NOTE: The hops specific

compounds are not found in our culinary spices.


niccolo difrancesco



Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2007 15:32:16 -0700

From: Jehan Yves de Chateau Thiery <jehan.yves at signofthetiger.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mead Yeast

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> These are good points.  Unfortunately there is only one local store

> from which I can get my brewing supplies.  They stock champagne,

> wine, and ale yeast but not mead yeast.  I may be able to order it

> through them though.  For those who have brewed using mead yeast,

> about how long does it take for it to finally give up the ghost?

> No I didn't try burning it.  But maybe I should have tried to sell

> it as some sort of fule.  At least it would not have been a  

> complete waste.

> Rocas

          Try using Lalvin  D-47 wine yeast. It only has an alcohol

tolerance of around 14%. You can look at a chart giving you info on

lots of yeasts at






Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2007 20:21:58 -0500

From: "Martha Oser" <osermart at msu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mead Yeast

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


> In all my time of making mead I have always used Champaign yeast.  

> The resulting taste is excellent, but I have never had much luck  

> stopping the fermentation process except with refrigeration.  I  

> once tried simply allowing the fermentation process to continue  

> until the alcohol level kills off the yeast, but the result tasted  

> more like bitter lighter fluid than mead.  I have not worked with  

> mead yeast because it is not available locally, but I have heard  

> that allowing the fermentation to continue until the yeast dies  

> works better with mead yeast.  Does anyone have any personal  

> experience with this?

> Rocas


My husband recommends that you visit this website:




This is the brand of yeast that he uses for his mead.  They have several

different varieties with different properties and you can find specifics on

each one on their website.  These include both fruit wine yeast options as

well as champagne yeast.


Also, here's another website with mead recipes and yeast options:




This one even gives indications in their yeast profiles as to which are good

for mead and which are good for other purposes.  The site also has a lot of

good information on brewing chemicals and what they do.


You don't have to use something specifically labeled "mead yeast".





Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:25:14 -0700 (PDT)

From: Beth Ann Bretter <ladypeyton at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] brewing

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


Wine making Laurel here.  The vast majority of bottled beverages include a preservative that inhibits yeast so your beverage is more likely to go bad long before it ferments.


It is possible to override the preservative by adding a large amount of active yeast, I've done it many times as I've made wine from almost anything I thought  would ferment including potatoes, onions and grapefruit, but I would NOT encourage drinking anything you think fermented on its own.





Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 09:29:02 -0700 (PDT)

From: Beth Ann Bretter <ladypeyton at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] brewing

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


> I thought such books only covered beer....


There are many books available for making wine.  I highly recommend The Joy of Home Wine Making by Terry A. Garey (a former SCAdian and we're even mentioned in the book) and Winemaking: Recipes, Equipment, and Techniques for Making Wine at Home by Stanley F. Anderson and Dorothy Anderson who are the Papazians of home wine making.





Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 14:32:07 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] brewing

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


<<< Okay, this question is a little silly, but I'm curious.


From what I can ascertain, brewers use a special yeast, which is more

delicate, and provides a finer taste.


But....what if you had a fruit beverage....(something like Ocean Spray,

which is chock-full of sugars, or a fruit cocktail with pure sugar in it)

and let it ferment from yeast in the air?  Would the resultant...uh...mess

be safe to administer to humans?  And what would it be called? >>>


One of the regions of Belgium produces a beer of barley malt and wheat by

spontaneous fermentation called lambic.  Some varieties have a fruit

component which is added to the wort and fermented.  It is usually produced

in Winter and early Spring to reduce the possible contaminents.  So

spontaneous fermentation can produce a beverage that humans can drink.


Strains of yeast tend to be localized, so you may or may not have a wild

yeast in your vicinity that will produce a satisfactory result.


Simple fermentation of fruit juice produces wine.  Wine has been made for at

least 8000 years and the original vintners didn't have cultivated yeast, so

I'm fairly certain that people can drink the result of a spontaneous

fermentation of fruit or fruit juice.  The safety and palatablity of doing

so are different issues.


<<< Obviously, out-gassing is a concern, so you'd have to open the bottle,

from time to time. Or you'd get exploded plastic. >>>


True lambics are generally tank brewed and are flat.  If carbonation is

desired, it is by secondary fermentation during bottling.  If I were doing

this experiment, I would use a container with a pressure release valve.


<<< And how would it taste?  But the most important, would it be something

that would make people sick?


Ian of Oertha >>>


Lambics and other spontaneous fermentations are notoriously sour tasting.


Ferment it cool and pasteurize the resulting wine after straining, but that

will eliminate natural carbonation.





Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 16:06:05 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] brewing

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


< < < < Most nasties make your brew taste vile anyway, so there's not much

risk of poisoning yourself.   > > >


Brother Papazian is very 'oft quoted, "no known pathogens can live in beer."

I can attest that it is very easy to brew up some foul tasting junk that

won't kill you.  I tasted every batch I brewed, and regretted more than a few

before pouring in the drain.


Now, you can ferment nearly any fluid that contains sugars in low enough

concentration. Master A hit it right that you'd do well to rig a

fermentation lock with at least a stopper, some vinyl tubing and a bucket of

water.  Open and seal a bottle is risky, and could lead to



Jailhouse fermenters make some form of foul beverage using bread yeast and

tang, so there you go.  It'll probably strip varnish, but won't kill you.

Precision, proper tools, pH levels, customized yeast strains, and sanitation

all give you far recuded chance of infections and lower feusel alcohols and

by products that product off flavors.  Refines the process.  Put some raw

fruit juice in a jar outside on a hot day with some cheesecloth over it, and

you'll get an alcoholic beverage, sure enough.


niccolo difrancesco



To: gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: Mead making advice

Posted by: "David Applegate" david_n_jill at hotmail.com scoobyet2000

Date: Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:55 pm ((PST))


  That sounds like your problem.  When I was a brewer at Abita Brewery, one of the things we'd do is take gravity reading four times during the brewing proses.  The temp readings would change start low and go high at the end.  But the hydrometers we'd us and a thermometer on them.  If the wort was cold we would add three points or minus three depending on what the temp was.  I know it sounds weird, but if you find a tempter/ hydrometer you'd see what I mean. I use one and love it.  


As for the maple syrup, wow. I met a old mead maker at gulfwars my first year that loved that kinda mead.  I've never made it myself, hell never even tried it.  Always wanted to.  But he told me to use one gallon of syrup to five gallons of mead. That's a lot, but he said it would take a year or two to be ready to drink.  I've toyed with the idea of making a wine with just maple syrup kinda like a mead without the honey.  I'd have to do a gallon of that stuff just encase it wasn't all that great.    


From: Skye191016 at aol.com

<<<     Got you!  I just realized I always took a SG reading while the must  was

still a little lukewarm.  Maybe it was registering a  higher sugar content

when I took it again the next day when it was completely cool.  Think I'll

experiment with this idea with a gallon of  must and see if that could be the

reason. Thanks for providing me the  ability to look at it from another



One more thing...I've got 15 pounds of dark amber REAL maple syrup from New

Hampshire. I'd like to make a mead with it.  Know where I could find some  

decent recipes?


Katerina :-) >>>



From: tmcd at panix.com

Date: October 7, 2011 7:27:41 PM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] Brewing Question


On Fri, 7 Oct 2011, Magdalena "Dena" Cortez wrote:

<<< I am looking to experiment with different receipes now that I

understand some of the basics.


I am translating some reciepes from Sir Hugh Plat's "Delightes for Ladies"

and a phrase that keeps coming up is "lute the pot/glass well".


I'm not sure what they are getting at and any web searches doesn't

bring up much >>>


onelook.com is a nice dictionary because it's a metadictionry -- it

searches lots of others.


http://www.onelook.com/?w=lute shows the American Heritage Dictionary

at the top, and it's usually pretty thorough.  The second definition







A substance, such as dried clay or cement, used to pack and seal pipe

joints and other connections or coat a porous surface in order to make

it tight.  Also called luting.



lut*ed, lut*ing, lutes


To coat, pack, or seal with lute.




Middle English, from Old French lut, from Latin lutum, potter's clay


I did a Google search for

  brewing lute


and one hit by sheer coincidence was from "Mackenzie's five thousand

receipts in all the useful and domestic arts ..." by Colin Mackenzie,

pp. 104-5, 1829:




              To make lute


These are used for securing the juncture of vessels in distillations

and sublimations.  For the distillation of water, linen dipped in a

thin paste of flour and water is sufficient.  A lute of greater

security is composed of quick-lime, made into paste with the whites of

eggs. For the security of very corrosive vapours, clay finely

powdered and sifted, made into a paste with boiled linseed oil, must

be applied to the juncture; which must be afterwards covered with

slips of linen, dipped in the paste of quick-lime, and the whites of

eggs. The lute must be perfectly dried before the vessels are used,

or else the heat may cause it to dry too quick, and thereby cause the

lute to crack.  If this be the case, it is repaired by applying fresh

lute to the cracks, and suffering it to dry gradually.  Vessels which

are to be exposed to the naked fire, are frequently coated to resist

the effects of the heat, the best coating for which purpose consists

in dissolving 2 ounces of borax in a pint of boiling water, and adding

to the solution as much slaked lime as is necessary to form a thin

paste. The vessel must be covered all over with it by means of a

painter's brush, and then suffered to dry.  It must then be covered

with a thin paste of linseed oil and slaked lime, except the neck.  In

two or three days it will dry of itself, and the retort will then bear

the greatest fire without cracking.  The cracks of chemical vessels

may be secured by the second lute.



is "Original Treatises, Dating from the XIIth to the XVIIIth

Centuries, [o]n the Arts of Painting ..."


142. To make purpurino another way, — Take equal quan-

tities of quicksilver and Roman tin, and melt them together,

and when cool grind the mass fine ; then take sulphur vivnm

and sal ammoniac, of each equal quantities, that is to say, the

same quantity as the quicksilver or tin, and grind all toge-

ther to a very fine powder ; then take a small bottle, and put

these ingredients into it, lute the bottle with lutum sapientiae,

and put it into the furnace with a slow charcoal fire ; do not

close up the mouth of the bottle. When it leaves off smoking,

remove it from the fire ; and when it is cold, break the bottle

and you will find the purpurino.


So I guess this luting is the "second lute", covering the bottle but

not the neck.


I don't know what luting would be appropriate for brewing, though I

have my doubts about quick-lime (calcium oxide, caustic) being

anywhere near a consumable.


Danielis de Lincolnia



From: Mark Kiel <marcus.kiel at gmail.com>

Date: October 26, 2011 1:50:55 PM CDT

To: the-triskele-tavern <the-triskele-tavern at googlegroups.com>

Subject: {TheTriskeleTavern} just a note from a concerned brewer


I have received a number of questions concerning home beer making, distilling, etc and I wished to inform everyone a little about the legality of brewing in Florida. Please excuse the bandwidth.


Homebrewing is Federally legal. 

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, enacting prohibition in 1919, made home brewing illegal. 


The 21st Amendment repealed prohibition in 1933, however, the legislation that went with the repeal of prohibition mistakenly left out the legalization of home beer making (home wine making was legalized at that time).


On October 14, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed H.R. 1337, which contained an amendment creating an exemption from taxation for beer brewed at home for personal or family use.  This exemption went into effect in February 1979.


The 21st Amendment leaves regulation of alcohol to the states. So, even though homebrewing is federally legal, it is still up to individual states to legalize homebrewing in their own state (which they do not in Alabama and Utah).


Florida statute 563.01 defines "beer" and "malt beverage" as all brewed beverages that contain malt. 


Statute 562.165 provides that an individual, who is not prohibited by section 562.111 (possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21 prohibited), may produce beer for personal or family use, and not for sale in the following amounts:

(a) Not in excess of 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two persons over the age of 21 in the household.

(b) Not in excess of 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one person over the age of 21 in the household.

Any personal or family production of beer in excess of the above amounts or any sale of such alcoholic beverage constitutes a violation of the beverage law.

You may not distill spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant. Distilling alcohol is a class three felony [See 26 U.S.C. 5601 & 5602 for some of the criminal penalties.]. People can and still do go to jail, pay huge fines, and have their live severely interrupted by distilling alcohol. 

There are numerous requirements that must be met that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use.  Some of these requirements are paying special tax, filing an extensive application, filing a bond, providing adequate equipment to measure spirits, providing suitable tanks and pipelines, providing a separate building (other than a dwelling) and maintaining detailed records, and filing reports.  All of these requirements are listed in 27 CFR Part 19.

If you are a homebrewer, and you wish to take your brew to GW this next year, understand that traveling through Alabama with homebrew is technically illegal. If you drive safe, and don't get pulled over, you probably won't have an issue. But just to be informed I put this in.

There is more... but it's become a bit long winded as it is.


<the end>

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