A little rundown on Brew

A little rundown on Brew - Historically hops, yeast, malted...

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Historically hops, yeast, malted barley, and water have all played the greatest and most important role in society. For almost 8000 years these ingredients have been mixed and have been appreciated by all classes of society in almost all civilizations. The old cliche ³accident is the mother of invention² is a phrase that definitely holds true in the world of beer. The discovery was made way back when the Mediterranean region was the seat of civilization and barley flourished as a dietary staple. The climate of the Mediterranean was perfect for the cultivation of barley, and was used as the primary ingredient in breads, cakes, and other common food products. A farmer during this period discovered that if barley become wet, germinates, and eventually dried, the resulting barley would be sweeter and would not be as perishable as the original state of the barley. There is not any first hand knowledge on how beer was discovered, but we can imagine the incident step by step. When the farmer discovered that his barley crop was wet, in order for him to salvage the crop, he probably spread it out to dry in the sun. Chances are that germination had already begun, and the grain had therefore malted and developed a much sweeter taste. The sweet result of what the farmer considered a disaster is now modern-day malted barley. This malted barley gave a sweeter taste to breads, cakes, or anything which had previously been prepared with unmalted barley. After a while when barley malt became a common ingredient it is thought that a loaf or bowl of this malt was accidentally left in the rain. When wet, the dissolved starches and sugars in the malted barley became susceptible to wild yeast, which started spontaneous fermentation (5). The discoverer of this new mix probably tasted it and realized how good it was. Unbeknownst to this ancient farmer, he had brewed the first beer ever. Sumerian clay tablets dating from 6000 B.C. contain the first ever written recipes for beer. The tablets also detail specific religious rituals that one had to perform before he could consume the beverage. The Sumerians also left the first record of bureaucratic interference when their governments taxed and put tariffs on beer distribution. b Some anthropologists say that ancient strains of grain were not really good for making bread. Early wheat made heavy, pasty dough. Flour made from barley made crumbly, lousy bread. It was determined that humankind¹s first agricultural activity was growing barley. Forty percent of the grain harvest in Sumeria was converted to ale. The laws pertaining to beer in ancient times were very strict. The Code of Hammurrabi in Babylon proved to be more harsh than our laws today. Establishments that sold beer receive special mention in those laws, codified in 1800 B.C. Owners of beer parlors who overcharged customers were sentenced to death by drowning. Those who failed to notify authorities of criminal elements in their establishments
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A little rundown on Brew - Historically hops, yeast, malted...

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