Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ancestral Brew in Ireland

This is applied archaeology at its best:

Two hungover scientists decided to test their theory that some Bronze age trenches were made to brew beer.

From the Wired story:

Then they repurposed a cattle trough, filling it with water and placing it in a clay-lined hole. Using granite stones toasted in a nearby fire, the pair heated the water until it was steaming but not bubbling — according to the brewers they consulted, 153 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for breaking down starch into sugar. Then they scooped in barley. After bringing the concoction to a boil, they transferred it to containers, added bog myrtle, meadow sweet, and, of course, yeast — all ingredients available to Bronze Age boozers.

These intrepid truth-seekers knew they were on to something after they got drunk on their dirty trench beer.

Thanks to Archeoblog for the lead.


Jacob said...

Make you wonder how many failed experiments the ancient brewers went through before they finally got it right.

dungan said...

yes, i have a feeling, scientifically speaking, that dirty trench beer has a mean hangover.

Dr. Desiree said...

I just can't get over the grant proposal these sherd diggers must have put together allowing them to get wasted and paid in an Irish ditch. I gotta say, I'm impressed.