During the medieval and early modern periods beer was as much a daily necessity as a source of inebriation and amusement. It was the beverage of choice of urban populations that lacked access to secure sources of potable water; a commodity of economic as well as social importance; a safe drink for daily consumption that was less expensive than wine; and a major source of tax revenue for the state. In Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Richard W. Unger has written an encompassing study of beer as both a product and an economic force in Europe.
Drawing from archives in the Low Countries and England to assemble an impressively complete history, Unger describes the transformation of the industry from small-scale production that was a basic part of housewifery to a highly regulated commercial enterprise dominated by the wealthy and overseen by government authorities. Looking at the intersecting technological, economic, cultural, and political changes that influenced the transformation of brewing over centuries, he traces how improvements in technology and in the distribution of information combined to standardize quality, showing how the process of urbanization created the concentrated markets essential for commercial production.
Weaving together the stories of prosperous businessmen, skilled brewmasters, and small producers, this impressively researched overview of the social and cultural practices that surrounded the beer industry is rich in implication for the history of the period as a whole.
By John Palmer
Fully revised and updated, How to Brew is the definitive guide to making quality beers at home. Whether you want simple, sure-fire instructions for making your first beer, or you're a seasoned homebrewer working with all-grain batches, this book has something for you. John Palmer adeptly covers the full range of brewing possibilities—accurately, clearly and simply. From ingredients and methods to recipes and equipment for brewing beer at home, How to Brew is loaded with valuable information on brewing techniques and recipe formulation.
A perennial best seller since the release of the third edition in 2006, How to Brew, is a must-have to update every new and seasoned brewer's library.
This completely revised and updated edition includes:
More emphasis on the “top six priorities”: sanitation, fermentation temperature control, yeast management, the boil, good recipes, and water. Five new chapters covering malting and brewing, strong beers, fruit beers, sour beers, and adjusting water for style. All other chapters revised and expanded: Expanded and updated charts, graphs, equations, and visuals. Expanded information on using beer kits. Thorough revision of mashing and lautering chapters: Expanded tables of recommended times and temperatures for single-infusion, multiple-step, and decoction mashing. Complete discussion of first wort gravity as a function of water to grist ratio. Complete revision of infusion and decoction equations. Revised and updated information on managing your fermentation: Yeast pitching and starters. Yeast starter growth factors. Yeast and the maturation cycle. And much more!