June 18, 2010
The hunt for something sweet continues, while malt can be considered a basic sweet in an early culture I was looking for a possible stronger sweetener. Though it may be unlikely that a society in which sweetness was something rare one would have such a sweet tooth as to seek out a potent sweetener, I still found it interesting to see what could be done. The plan was to see if I could extract the wort out of the uncrushed malt – not crushed because of the lack of an appropriate tool.
The first attempt failed miserably, as I was called of to another part of the museum to help with some serving just when the wort was boiling, once I returned most of it had boiled away or was absorbed by the remaining corns of malt. They were on the other a bit sugary.
The following attempt I monitored a bit more carefully. In order to extract as much malt as possible from the malt I made sure that the water never boiled but kept a temperature that felt hot enough. By keeping the pot at a reasonable distance from the fire I could maintain this balanced temperature for two hours or so, after which I had a liquid that looked somewhat brown in the pot or yellowish brown when in a glass.
The smell was distinctive and similar to the one one gets when making beer. The resultung liquid was sieved of in a can and brought back to a more modern kitchen. Although tempted to try to make beer of it I decided to continue the boiling instead, after some boiling in which the liquid was reduced to a fourth of its original volume I ended up with about a glass of a dark brown sweet liquid. Still not syrupy in consistency but still sticky and sweet enough to be considered some kind of sugar extract.
The remaining question is what I ought to do with the concentrate and when I should start some real brewing.