From the HBD Archive
Subject: Back to the Ninkasi, briefly (please)
Date: 1990-03-28 23:06:00 GMT

Hi, All!

I realize that I'm backtracking by bringing this up, but I wanted to think
about it for a bit before commenting.

During the discussion about/sparked by the "Ninkasi", various remarks were
made about the probable quality of brewmasters "back then" and about the
Ninkasi that had been brewed. It was these remarks which got me thinking.

That the sample Ninkasi that was brewed was as weak, thin, and sweet as it was
should not necessarily have been a surprise. Apart from considerations
stemming from the ingredients and techniques used, it must also be realized
that these were the staple beverages of the day. They were drunk then as we
would drink water, soda, and milk today (all taken together!). A weak, thin
brew would be preferable under these circumstances, as no-one could afford to
be constantly drunk-- which would have been the case had brews of today's
typical strengths been drunk in this manner. Not to mention that people *of
all ages*, babies included, drank the stuff.

This being the case, it is entirely possible that the brewmasters of ancient
days were as skilled as today's. Nor should the quality and characteristics
of the Ninkasi be considered as indicating the contrary. It is quite
conceivable that ancient brewmasters were able to turn out a variety of brews
of consistant quality and constant availablility, which I think is the whole

Anyway: I hope nobody minds that I brought this up again briefly, because I
really wanted to get this said.


Yours in Carbonation,


"The first cup of coffee recapitulates phylogeny." -- Anon.

Gainesville, FL

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