Konuza III: Aristotle, Theophrastus, Theocritus & Nicander

In my last konuzakonuza post, I looked into the earliest references of that plant in Hecataeus and the Hippocratic Corpus, which date back to the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. From these sources, we learned that there are two types of konuza, a “male” and a “female” version, one that smells “good” and one that…

Einkorn Beer Tasting

Emmer/Einkorn Beer Overview Malting Emmer in Antiquity Brewday #1 (emmer – unsuccessful) Emmer in Brewing Brewday #2 (einkorn – success!; emmer – unsuccessful) It’s judgement day for our home-malted einkorn beer. The beer fermented for two weeks with a bread yeast and attenuated quite well. The final gravity was 0.999, resulting in a beer with nearly 3.5%…

OENANTHE, defined

Oἰνάνθη, -ἡ  Oenanthe, -es (f) – meadowsweet?; More likely: first shoot of a vine, thorny plant, water dropwort, pimpinella, It is difficult to identify oenanthe’s precise modern plant equivalent. Its name suggests that it is related to the grape vine (wine = oinos). However, the medical/flavoring qualities associated to it by some ancient authors are not consistent with…

Meadowsweet in Archaeology

Relatively speaking, there is a significant amount of archaeological evidence for the use of meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) in ancient fermented beverages. Much of this evidence is from Bronze Age sites (mostly 2nd millennium BCE), but there are some Iron Age sites (contemporary with classical Greece and Rome) where meadowsweet residues were found. This chronological distribution…

Classical Beer Review: Ramsbury Brewing Flint Knapper

Finally, another guest post by none other than the infamous beer buddy Jamie (click here for his previous post and here, here, here and here for his many prior appearances)! Jamie is currently finishing up his PhD in Western European Archaeology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His thesis research seeks to reconstruct the ancient agricultural economy of farmers…

Meadowsweet in Antiquity (Ancient Sources)

[EDIT] 10/29 – The Theophrastus passage was discovered and added to this post. In this new series, we will explore herbal additives to ancient beers. First up: Meadowsweet. Nelson (2001, 138) identifies meadowsweet (Spiraea ulmaria L. or Filipendula ulmaria L. or Spiraea filipendula) with the Latin/Greek word oenanthe. Pliny, Hist. Nat. 23.5.9 Omphacio cohaeret oenanthe,…

Classical Beer Review: D9 Brewing Systema Naturae (4th edition)

Ever since we joined the #beerstagram community, I have been eying the Latin-named Systema Naturae series by D9 Brewing. So when we saw the latest edition in the series at the Glass Jug , I knew I had to get it! According to their website, Systema Naturae is D9’s “exploration of scientific processes and ingredients exhibited…

CAELIA, defined

Caelia, -ae (f) – a type of beer made in Spain Caelia is described in a recent passage by Florus. It is a type of beer (perhaps, wheat) that was made in the Numantine and Iberian territories. Variants on the word include “celia, celea, cerea, ceria, celicia.” The earliest reference to this word comes from…

Florus, Epitome Bellorum Omnium Annorum 1.34

Sic redacto in disciplinam milite commissa acies, quodque nemo visurum se umquam speraverat factum, ut fugientes Numantinos quisquam videret. Dedere etiam se volebant, si toleranda viris imperarentur. Sed cum Scipio veram vellet et sine exceptione victoriam, eo necessitatum conpulsi primum ut destinata morte in proelium ruerent, cum se prius epulis quasi inferiis implevissent carnis semicrudae et…

HBW: Emmer and Einkorn Beer

As part of this ongoing series of homebrewing ancient grains, I continue to explore the viability of brewing with emmer and einkorn. Previously, I malted an emmer and attempted to brew an emmer beer. I suspected that my lack of success was due to the tough exerior of the grain that resulted in difficulties during the…

Emmer in Brewing: A Review

This is part of an ongoing homebrewing series about the brewing of ancient grains. Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) is a tetraploid, hulled wheat that was commonly grown in antiquity. Hulled wheats, like emmer and einkorn (a diploid wheat), are among the most ancient domesticated grains (Ozkan, et al. 2011; Marconi, et al. 2013; Emody, et al….

Tasting no(a)tes: a 100% oats ale

A few months ago, Kyle discussed a poem by emperor Julian the Apostate that mentions oats as a possible ingredient used to brew beer by the Gauls. While he is now keeping himself busy with other grains used by the Gauls, this does not mean BCS is no longer interested in oat-based beers. Thus, when…