Re: Work page, Resource Lists

From: Ian Cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_NqNVXjIICvJXq3o8BLFhgxXFeXlvtNXB5avPS6yq22FnUuAg-9Ngt9EnC>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 19:03:46 +0000 (GMT)

Pter Larsen
>Brewery/Distillery -- there should be one in every
clan, at least, despite what ST says. One in every stead is probably too many.

Some additional points. Mostly from Daily Life in Chaucer’s England by Jeffrey L. Singman and Will McLean and . Stefans’ florigelum. Note that, as ever, those that used them often use historical terms inexactly or differently.

Ale: An unhopped beer, which provided a significant intake of people’s carbohydrate intake, brewed usually from barley malt, but also from wheat, oats and rye (regarded as the worst). Ale was flavoured with herbs in a mix called gruit or grout. Daily intake was about 2-4 pints, however ale is weak especially from later washings of the mash (first water is strongest, small ale is weakest). Unlike beer, ale does not keep well (not hopped) so making ale was a weekly household activity. Viking beer lasted about 1 week, and was best a couple of days after manufacture as it was still fermenting. After that, it was fit only for pigs. Serving week old ale would be an insult to a guest. Ale making is a hearth/stead activity, not for specialized brewers. Women generally did the brewing.

Beer: Uses hops, so preserves well. Beer was a major source of winter carbohydrates. Do we have hops in Sartar? Historically they are later, medieval, and would be an anachronism in this context. If we still want hops, I might be tempted to make the use of hops the province of Minlinster brewers only. Clans would probably want at least one brewer in that case, as beer could be an important source of carbohydrates through the winter. Beer can also mean ‘made from barley’ but his is confusing in this context, as it does not refer to the hops element.

Cider: Fermented apple juice, and popular in Apple Lane at least. Apple orchards for cider making are mentioned in the Doomsday book and references are made to Julius Caesar enjoying a few pints of Kentish cider (do Heortland soldiers stationed in Sartar drink cider? I like to think so) The pulp or pomace is wrapped in straw and pressed to produce must and this must is fermented in barrels Fermentation relies on wild yeast present in the apple and takes about 3 months, so cider made in Earth season is probably ready in Storm season. Cider lasts well and is another source of winter carbohydrates.

Mead: Made from honey, water, and yeast. Traditionally mead was the drink of kings and poetic inspiration, especially when spiced (metheglin). Steads would not make mead; mead is the drink for the king or chief’s hall. It is strongly alcoholic (about 10-18%) and in the US is classified as a wine, not a beer. Whereas ale, beer, and cider are food, mead is a drink.

Ian Cooper
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"Women as well as men were recruited to restrain combatants, sometimes dampening their weapons by throwing clothing over them. Peacemaking of this sort required strength and courage more than negotiating skills...The clothing was more sign than substance, like the bell signalling the end of a round, and it seems that the sign was not without significant cultual force." - Bloodtaking and Peacemaking by William Ian Miller

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