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Contemplating the Dark - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
komos
komos
Contemplating the Dark
Perhaps of interest to c_m_i and clayrobeson...

One of the possible errors that I think Powers has made is that the Herzwesten beer is identified as a bock. Technically speaking, bocks are made using lager yeasts, which were not discovered and harnessed until much later than the action in the book, and certainly well after the period during which the beer had to have been brewed to sit so long

I think that in our attempt to create a brew to celebrate the Herzwesten, we should think in terms of a dopplebock for the assembly of ingredients, but treat it like an alt for the purposes of creating the brew. This would mean an ale yeast for starters, and would likely mean that the hops would be added for the whole boil rather than setting some aside as aroma and/or flavor hops.

Even more interesting, the brew would also pre-date the German Purity Laws. That being the case, we might consider adding things that would normally be avoided in a typical German. The question is, what? What sorts of things can you imagine would have been available to medieval Austria, were sufficiently rich to warrant inclusion, and would improve the character of a dopple-alt?

Think on these things and get back to me.

Current Mood: artistic artistic

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Comments
mittenstein From: mittenstein Date: November 18th, 2003 10:05 am (UTC) (Link)
i don't know if you want to deviate from the reiheintsgebot too much, considering the law was meant as a consumer-protection guarantee. from that, one may infer that german brewing wasn't really open to experimentation with other grains and ingredients, but that adding these things was viewed as shady, even if it was legal.

then again... you may be trying to recreate beer with a bad reputation.
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)

I don't know too many Belgians with bad reps...

Under the restrictions, nothing outside of water, hops, barley or wheat, and yeast is permitted in the brew. Technically speaking, any Belgian-style ale would fail the requirements because of the inclusion of beet sugar, orange peel, corriander, etc.

Keep in mind that the reiheintsgebot was also in part the earliest drug control law. Specifically, it limited the kinds of herbs that could be included for the purposes of enhancing the effects of the beer or for their therapeutic properties.

mittenstein From: mittenstein Date: November 18th, 2003 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I don't know too many Belgians with bad reps...

i'm aware of the first point, but if the beer is being called a bock, i just assumed that it was german in style.

as for the second one, it didn't even cross my mind that you meant something like that. i'm sheltered and naive. for shame, for shame.
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 10:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, at this point in the book, the beer appears to be called a bock. The story is set in the 16th Century and the beer in question has been aged some 800 years or more.

"Something like that" may not be as exotic as it seems. I'm just trying to think of ways that would make for a truly unique and interesting beer that would at least be representative of what's being talked about.
mittenstein From: mittenstein Date: November 18th, 2003 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
an 800 year old beer may need a few doses of LSD, methinks.
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's in keeping with the spirit of the story. ^_^
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: November 18th, 2003 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)
How far ahve you made it in the book? I have a reply, but don't want to spoil anything.

If the issue is with calling the Easter beer a "bock," then we can sit back an handwave it away as a translation issue. After all, the characters are speaking Austrian and all.

But that's just a pat reply.

-ia.
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
It's still fairly early on. Chapter 3 or so...

There's actually been reference to two beers now. There's been numerous mentions of the "spring bock" or the "Easter bock" which I'm assuming are distinct from the Herzwesten. At one point, however, Duffy muses about the big-H:

That reminds me, Duffy thought - I wonder how the Herzwesten Bock beer is coming. [p. 38]

Is it just a mistake on the part of the character at this point?
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: November 18th, 2003 10:54 am (UTC) (Link)
There's three beers, the Light, Bock, and Dark. They get into more description of how they're made later on in the book, so I'll just shrug my shoulders theatrically for now.

-ia.
komos From: komos Date: November 19th, 2003 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
It's all one beer?
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: November 18th, 2003 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)

WITCHES! YOU SHOULD PUT WITCHES IN THE BEER!!

They would have been available then, right?
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Hehe. I'll get right on that. That should make it super tasty. ^_^
From: skygoodwill Date: November 18th, 2003 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Or make you insane, chaotic, and numb. But alcohol* can do that too. (shrug)

I'd rather taste the goodness of a brew, than the nasty pestilence.

*just now reminded of your idea about depression and being drunk.
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would think that the flavor would rather depend on the kind of witch used. Some I've known have been fairly sweet.

Everything has its drawbacks.
dirtymikesell From: dirtymikesell Date: November 18th, 2003 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Or saffron, grape gravy, very small rocks, churches, A DUCK!

Just some silly suggestions from the official office of silly suggestions.

Instead of Witches, because they are common, lets add a Mason!
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
But you forgot bread and apples!

Saffron isn't that farfetched. The trick would be managing the expense to add enough of it to make a noticeable difference. Incidentally, saffron is one of the ingredients listed in the "Psychotropic and Highly Inebriating Beers" chapter of Buhner.

I'll have to ask Drew if he'll be a willing sacrifice.
dirtymikesell From: dirtymikesell Date: November 18th, 2003 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
i didn't think saffron would be dar fetched, and yes it would be expensive. of all the old time spices like salt, saffron has maintained it's value. It just got lumped with the silly suggestions, anf bread and apples could go in beer...

Drew is a mason? jerk I didn't know that.
From: skygoodwill Date: November 18th, 2003 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The question led me to think of the Alps. The important quality and uniqueness of pure water from the Alps, and perhaps even the growing culture of the high altitude. I also thought I should remember a herb or something for inclusion in the idea.

But then I thought, what happened to the Swiss? Why do they not have a fervent beer culture like the Germans, the Austrians? I searched for some Swiss beer history, none to be found. One brewery well-known, Carlsberg. I dunno... what is the reason the Swiss were not big brewers.
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2003 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Swiss may have had a strong cottage industry prior to the development of commercial breweries. The trade probably just fell by the wayside. 'Course, there's always the question of whether the Swiss have good growing regions for hops and barley.
mittenstein From: mittenstein Date: November 18th, 2003 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
they had samichlaus, but now the austrians own it.
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