Beer tasting – a small beer

July 13, 2010

After about a week the thick sludge at the top in one of the jugs of wort seemed to have sunken away and the content smelled if yeasty still of something that I would associate with beer. In the other jug – the one without any added yeast – I spotted what could only be a speck of mould. In order to better determine how both sample had managed I poured them into modern plastic vessels. This allowed me to easier determine that the mould was a fact and that one of the batches had to be thrown away.

The second batch appeared to have most characteristics of a proper beer, if a bit cloudy and yeasty. After most of the yeast had been separated by decanting the beer, the resulting beer still smelled a bit of yeast. In appearance it was slightly cloudy though not as bad as I had first expected, and with an orange colour that reminded me of a pale ale, though perhaps on the lighter and brighter side of the scale. The taste was, apart from a hint of yeast, sour, somewhat blend not to strong but it had definitely a distinct beer flavour to it, with just a vague hint of the juniper berries. All in all I would say a weak but refreshing drink. If a stronger taste of juniper was wished for they should perhaps have been added during the fermentation rather than at the time the wort was being boiled.

Though perhaps not to efficient, it at least showed that it was possible to keep constant temperature in the stone vessels by just adjusting the height above the fire and by measuring the temperature by touch alone. This would allow for rather small batches of beer to be made. However as most things points towards beer being made in larger batches than serving jugs I would agree with most of the researchers into ancient brewing techniques, and say that larger vessels heated with stones was most likely the trick. Still the properties of the soapstone vessels, makes it suitable not only for small batches of beer, but rather – and this I find more likely- to make a small batch of cheese or other similar produces.

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