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(Some Sober Guy)   Remember how our forefathers and their forefathers used to drink beer instead of water? Water was often polluted? Well, they lied. They were just drunks   (leslefts.blogspot.com.au) divider line 47
    More: Amusing, drink beer, material evidence  
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4942 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Mar 2014 at 12:33 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-03 12:42:22 PM  
I only got through the first segment of Ken Burns' "Prohibition" and one of the interesting things he brought up was that prior to prohibition, people used to drink at almost every meal (including breakfast). Back then, though, most of the booze that was available was ~2% ABV; then the US got really into distilling and that whole thing about having a drink at every meal took a much more aggressive turn.
 
2014-03-03 12:46:35 PM  
I'm pretty sure that by the time the industrial revolution came about, residents of urban centers could not safely drink water from the local cesspit/river.

As for the middle ages, it also depended on where you lived. Urban centers usually had at least one local waterway into which all garbage, dead carcasses, and assorted chamber pot residue would be dumped. In the the Time Traveller's Guide to Medeavel England this is referred to as sh*t brook.
 
2014-03-03 12:46:53 PM  
I was installing phone lines at the University of Charlottesville, VA. many years ago. This University was built under the Guidance of T.J., a president. The walls of those older buildings were so full of whiskey bottles we liked to never got the phone lines down the wall.
 
2014-03-03 12:48:34 PM  
I don't understand the problem here.
 
2014-03-03 12:50:06 PM  
I feel like someone should give this man some information about small beer, which is more or less the beer the non-nobility drank. You can try and get drunk off of it,  but you'd probably throw up from being full before it happened.
 
2014-03-03 12:50:10 PM  
This article is being a bit dumb. I don't think many people are saying that people used to NEVER drink water ANYWHERE. All they said was it was very common not to usually do and instead drink beer and wine.


Not only are there specific - and very casual - mentions of people drinking water all through the Medieval era, but there seems to be no evidence that they thought of it as unhealthy except when (as today) it overtly appeared so.

Yes some people had access to clean water, and some people didn't. I haven't ever seen anyone say that people back then thought clean water was dangerous but that is the strawman he seems to be coming up with.
 
2014-03-03 12:53:47 PM  
FTFA:

"Once they had ascertained that it was pure"

Obviously you wouldn't have wanted to drink or use water that was downstream of people bathing, washing clothes, pissing, shiatting, or where animals where. So yes, water was polluted. Was it more polluted than now? Probably not. However, it was well known that beer and wine were considered to keep one healthy.
 
2014-03-03 12:57:50 PM  
Aaannd over half of the references have to do with mixing the water with wine
 
2014-03-03 01:05:52 PM  
Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.
 
2014-03-03 01:06:35 PM  
Well, I enjoyed the headline more than the roughly half of the article I read.  So, there is that that.  Editing, man, good god, you made your debatable point.
 
2014-03-03 01:09:12 PM  

Princess Ryans Knickers: FTFA:

"Once they had ascertained that it was pure"

Obviously you wouldn't have wanted to drink or use water that was downstream of people bathing, washing clothes, pissing, shiatting, or where animals where. So yes, water was polluted. Was it more polluted than now? Probably not. However, it was well known that beer and wine were considered to keep one healthy.


In many instances it was way more polluted than now. By the 1800s it had gotten so bad, that you could almost walk accross the rivers crossing many European capitals.

There is this belief that the urban environment is much worse today than it has ever been, but it is often not the case. In most Western cities, the air and water today are cleaner than they were 50-60 years ago when, for example, 3000 Londoners died from smog in 1952.
 
2014-03-03 01:09:53 PM  

Bent Nails: I was installing phone lines at the University of Charlottesville, VA. many years ago. This University was built under the Guidance of T.J., a president. The walls of those older buildings were so full of whiskey bottles we liked to never got the phone lines down the wall.



Id like the rest of this story and a tug off the bottle you're sipping on...
 
2014-03-03 01:10:02 PM  

rdyb: Aaannd over half of the references have to do with mixing the water with wine


Or honey, which is antibacterial.
 
2014-03-03 01:18:30 PM  

balki1867: I only got through the first segment of Ken Burns' "Prohibition" and one of the interesting things he brought up was that prior to prohibition, people used to drink at almost every meal (including breakfast).


I drink because I like it. I had always assumed that's why everyone else did, no matter the time period. That and if it was a choice between a cup full of weak beer or hand carrying water from the nearby creek and having to boil it, I think I'd just stick with the beer.

/opportunity cost, man
 
2014-03-03 01:21:51 PM  

D_Evans45: Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.


Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.
 
2014-03-03 01:25:45 PM  

capt.hollister: I'm pretty sure that by the time the industrial revolution came about, residents of urban centers could not safely drink water from the local cesspit/river.

As for the middle ages, it also depended on where you lived. Urban centers usually had at least one local waterway into which all garbage, dead carcasses, and assorted chamber pot residue would be dumped. In the the Time Traveller's Guide to Medeavel England this is referred to as sh*t brook.


In the U.S. we call it sh*t creek. Paddles are mandatory.
 
2014-03-03 01:29:44 PM  

capt.hollister: D_Evans45: ...

Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.



Heh the more you know... Cheers!

/feelin like a million bucks
//all my real farkers raise ya cups
 
2014-03-03 01:35:09 PM  
All the points I was going to make (go smart me) have been made.
 
2014-03-03 01:41:06 PM  

capt.hollister: D_Evans45: Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.

Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.


Same reason why everyone in Asia drank tea. It made the water safe to drink, and hid nasty flavors.
 
2014-03-03 01:44:27 PM  

rustypouch: capt.hollister: D_Evans45: Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.

Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.

Same reason why everyone in Asia drank tea. It made the water safe to drink, and hid nasty flavors.


Is this true?  Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water?  That seems... indirect.  Wouldn't it have been simpler just to boil the water and then, optionally, add something easy like squeezed berries for flavor?

Although I guess letting some leaves dry isn't much more difficult.

/whine
 
2014-03-03 01:54:41 PM  

Far Cough: Is this true?  Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water?  That seems... indirect.  Wouldn't it have been simpler just to boil the water and then, optionally, add something easy like squeezed berries for flavor?

Although I guess letting some leaves dry isn't much more difficult.

/whine



Dont see any comments that they arose or were created because of impure water, rather that they were used at times when impure water was a problem.

Also, booze and caffeine are substances of habit (chemically these substances cause physical dependency in humans). People get rabid without their caffeine and of course people without their booze will often seizure out, have an ishemic stroke, or die from DTs (1/3rd of the alcoholic populace before modern medicine).
 
2014-03-03 02:06:02 PM  
Has anyone ever published a book like; 'Filth, Europe's secret to conquering the world'?

The more I read of the spread of Europeans the more I see of the pattern - A few Europeans find a new land with lots of people. There is a huge die-off of people in that land from all kinds of horrible diseases. More Europeans arrive and take over what's left.

I'm starting to think our forefathers tolerance for living in piles their own excrement, and thus evolving immune systems to rival that of cockroaches, is what allowed them to conquer the world.
 
2014-03-03 02:09:53 PM  

hitlersbrain: Has anyone ever published a book like; 'Filth, Europe's secret to conquering the world'?

The more I read of the spread of Europeans the more I see of the pattern - A few Europeans find a new land with lots of people. There is a huge die-off of people in that land from all kinds of horrible diseases. More Europeans arrive and take over what's left.

I'm starting to think our forefathers tolerance for living in piles their own excrement, and thus evolving immune systems to rival that of cockroaches, is what allowed them to conquer the world.


I smell a new form of the Paleo Diet coming.  :)
 
2014-03-03 02:10:47 PM  

Far Cough: rustypouch: capt.hollister: D_Evans45: Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.

Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.

Same reason why everyone in Asia drank tea. It made the water safe to drink, and hid nasty flavors.

Is this true?  Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water?  That seems... indirect.  Wouldn't it have been simpler just to boil the water and then, optionally, add something easy like squeezed berries for flavor?

Although I guess letting some leaves dry isn't much more difficult.

/whine


As soon as humans figured out how to get drunk, they've been doing it. It's a commonly held view that's a large reason why humans started farming and creating settlements...extra grain for the sweet, sweet booze.

Also if you're going to go to the trouble of boiling water, why would you squeeze berry juice into? Most likely the flavorings you'd use would have been dried out. You get more flavor if you let the leaves/berries/whatever boil with the water.
 
2014-03-03 02:13:39 PM  

Far Cough: Is this true? Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water?


I'm guessing they weren't aware that boiling the water was purifying it.
 
2014-03-03 02:16:33 PM  

hitlersbrain: Has anyone ever published a book like; 'Filth, Europe's secret to conquering the world'?

The more I read of the spread of Europeans the more I see of the pattern - A few Europeans find a new land with lots of people. There is a huge die-off of people in that land from all kinds of horrible diseases. More Europeans arrive and take over what's left.

I'm starting to think our forefathers tolerance for living in piles their own excrement, and thus evolving immune systems to rival that of cockroaches, is what allowed them to conquer the world.


Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
 
2014-03-03 02:32:14 PM  

Far Cough: rustypouch: capt.hollister: D_Evans45: Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.

Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.

Same reason why everyone in Asia drank tea. It made the water safe to drink, and hid nasty flavors.

Is this true?  Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water?  That seems... indirect.  Wouldn't it have been simpler just to boil the water and then, optionally, add something easy like squeezed berries for flavor?

Although I guess letting some leaves dry isn't much more difficult.

/whine


The article goes into this a bit. They knew damn well that boiling water made it safer if the water was iffy. They also knew that water wasn't particularly nutritious, and grains/grapes/fruits are. All you're really doing is taking all the nutrients out of something that otherwise doesn't keep well, and giving a small share of them to yeasts to keep it safe for you. Liquid bread that doesn't go bad, obviously beneficial. Surfs back in the day got a huge chunk of their calories from beer and wine.

As for tea, I have no idea, not my area. I imagine if the stupid-ass Europeans knew boiling water made it safer, the freakin' Asians must have known. The tea thing might have just been for the caffeine.
 
2014-03-03 02:38:07 PM  

That Guy Jeff: Far Cough: rustypouch: capt.hollister: D_Evans45: Probably true, but the authors case is shakier than a sober drunk the way he/she presents it in this article. So as it stands, I remain unconvinced.

I remember when I first heard this stuff, it was along the lines of "water was so bad that even infants and toddlers would drink beer, because the alcohol was guaranteed safe at a certain proof." I always assumed it was because when you get tired of the baby's incessant crying youd want to put some booze into it to shut it up. Or calm down those hyper ones who cant sit still for a farking second if you paid them.

Actually, the beer brewing process sterilises the water. The alcohol content has nothing to do with it, except for being a happy coincidence. In fact, what most people drank had a very low alcohol content.

Same reason why everyone in Asia drank tea. It made the water safe to drink, and hid nasty flavors.

Is this true?  Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water?  That seems... indirect.  Wouldn't it have been simpler just to boil the water and then, optionally, add something easy like squeezed berries for flavor?

Although I guess letting some leaves dry isn't much more difficult.

/whine

The article goes into this a bit. They knew damn well that boiling water made it safer if the water was iffy. They also knew that water wasn't particularly nutritious, and grains/grapes/fruits are. All you're really doing is taking all the nutrients out of something that otherwise doesn't keep well, and giving a small share of them to yeasts to keep it safe for you. Liquid bread that doesn't go bad, obviously beneficial. Surfs back in the day got a huge chunk of their calories from beer and wine.

As for tea, I have no idea, not my area. I imagine if the stupid-ass Europeans knew boiling water made it safer, the freakin' Asians must have known. The tea thing might have just been for the caffeine.


Maybe they just preferred for their boiled water to have some flavour ?
 
2014-03-03 02:41:15 PM  

Far Cough: Is this true? Both alcoholic beverages and teas (and presumably coffees) arose primarily as an excuse to boil water? That seems... indirect. Wouldn't it have been simpler just to boil the water and then, optionally, add something easy like squeezed berries for flavor?

Although I guess letting some leaves dry isn't much more difficult.


Keep in mind coffee and tea are addictive, berries aren't.  Also dried tea leaves can store for a long time.  Berries go bad quickly.
 
2014-03-03 02:41:18 PM  
One of the odder moments in Walden -- probably the best unread book, you illiterates -- has Henry David saying that he prefers to drink the water from Walden Pond. It made me realize that somewhere between now and then, God switched out the old kind of people and installed a new kind of people.

Pond water. Thoreau loved it.
 
2014-03-03 02:44:24 PM  

yakmans_dad: Pond water. Thoreau loved it.


Either he was boiling it or his editor cut out the chapters about violent diarrhea.
 
2014-03-03 03:04:58 PM  

Shadi: yakmans_dad: Pond water. Thoreau loved it.

Either he was boiling it or his editor cut out the chapters about violent diarrhea.


"Many a traveller came out of his way to see me and the inside of my house, and, as an excuse for calling, asked for a glass of water. I told them that I drank at the pond, and pointed thither, offering to lend them a dipper.  "

[it's in the chapter titled "Visitors"]

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/205/205-h/205-h.htm
 
2014-03-03 03:07:21 PM  

yakmans_dad: Shadi: yakmans_dad: Pond water. Thoreau loved it.

Either he was boiling it or his editor cut out the chapters about violent diarrhea.

"Many a traveller came out of his way to see me and the inside of my house, and, as an excuse for calling, asked for a glass of water. I told them that I drank at the pond, and pointed thither, offering to lend them a diaper.  "

[it's in the chapter titled "Visitors"]

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/205/205-h/205-h.htm


Fixed that for Shadi.

/come on you knew that was coming
 
2014-03-03 03:14:35 PM  

balki1867: I only got through the first segment of Ken Burns' "Prohibition" and one of the interesting things he brought up was that prior to prohibition, people used to drink at almost every meal (including breakfast). Back then, though, most of the booze that was available was ~2% ABV; then the US got really into distilling and that whole thing about having a drink at every meal took a much more aggressive turn.


Even at low alcohol levels, the constant alcohol leaves you dehydrated, tried, sweaty, and farks with your liver.

The British TV show "The Supersizers" tried to drink nothing but alcohol for a week during their Restoration period episode, messed them up something fierce.
 
2014-03-03 03:30:23 PM  
Didn't read the article, but back then beer/wine didn't have near the kick it does today either, in most cases it was .5 - 1.5% alcohol at most.

When I was in Germany a common site at grape harvesting season would be trucks parked along the road selling "new wine", they would have huge vats of it and sell it in gallon jugs. You could take it home and drink it or bottle it yourself and let it ferment for a year or two. it had a slight smell of wine but tasted like grape juice, it would take gallons to actually catch a buzz from it in that state, but it wouldn't spoil if you just kept in in the jug. Of course, the longer it sat the stronger it would get, same concept as apple cider.

When you read about people drinking wine in old days, this is closer to what they're talking about than what you buy today.
 
2014-03-03 04:00:35 PM  

Shadi: yakmans_dad: Pond water. Thoreau loved it.

Either he was boiling it or his editor cut out the chapters about violent diarrhea.


There are still plenty of places where you can drink straight from the source without fear of disease. Not many near human habitations though.
 
2014-03-03 04:07:58 PM  

hitlersbrain: Has anyone ever published a book like; 'Filth, Europe's secret to conquering the world'?

The more I read of the spread of Europeans the more I see of the pattern - A few Europeans find a new land with lots of people. There is a huge die-off of people in that land from all kinds of horrible diseases. More Europeans arrive and take over what's left.

I'm starting to think our forefathers tolerance for living in piles their own excrement, and thus evolving immune systems to rival that of cockroaches, is what allowed them to conquer the world.



You're thinking of Guns, Germs and Steel. Bascially, Eurasians developed immunity to diseases that non-Eurasians didn't have.

One thing. It's true that diseases such as smallpox killed 90% of native Americans, but only about 20% of Europeans/Asians, and this is cited like it was the Eurasians' fault. What you have to keep in mind is that originally, 90% of Eurasians died from smallpox, just like the Indians. It's not like they 'developed' immunities, it was just that their descendents sometimes had a slight immunity to certain diseases.
 
2014-03-03 04:13:53 PM  
I knew it.
 
2014-03-03 04:17:39 PM  

enemy of the state: hitlersbrain: Has anyone ever published a book like; 'Filth, Europe's secret to conquering the world'?

The more I read of the spread of Europeans the more I see of the pattern - A few Europeans find a new land with lots of people. There is a huge die-off of people in that land from all kinds of horrible diseases. More Europeans arrive and take over what's left.

I'm starting to think our forefathers tolerance for living in piles their own excrement, and thus evolving immune systems to rival that of cockroaches, is what allowed them to conquer the world.


You're thinking of Guns, Germs and Steel. Bascially, Eurasians developed immunity to diseases that non-Eurasians didn't have.

One thing. It's true that diseases such as smallpox killed 90% of native Americans, but only about 20% of Europeans/Asians, and this is cited like it was the Eurasians' fault. What you have to keep in mind is that originally, 90% of Eurasians died from smallpox, just like the Indians. It's not like they 'developed' immunities, it was just that their descendents sometimes had a slight immunity to certain diseases.


Evolutionarily, kind of the same thing.
 
2014-03-03 04:26:55 PM  

enemy of the state: hitlersbrain: Has anyone ever published a book like; 'Filth, Europe's secret to conquering the world'?

The more I read of the spread of Europeans the more I see of the pattern - A few Europeans find a new land with lots of people. There is a huge die-off of people in that land from all kinds of horrible diseases. More Europeans arrive and take over what's left.

I'm starting to think our forefathers tolerance for living in piles their own excrement, and thus evolving immune systems to rival that of cockroaches, is what allowed them to conquer the world.


You're thinking of Guns, Germs and Steel. Bascially, Eurasians developed immunity to diseases that non-Eurasians didn't have.

One thing. It's true that diseases such as smallpox killed 90% of native Americans, but only about 20% of Europeans/Asians, and this is cited like it was the Eurasians' fault. What you have to keep in mind is that originally, 90% of Eurasians died from smallpox, just like the Indians. It's not like they 'developed' immunities, it was just that their descendents sometimes had a slight immunity to certain diseases.


That theory is hardly confined to Guns, Germs, and Steel, it's the generally accepted history of what happened.

The thing that most amazes me about smallpox is that in both India and China there were actual Gods of Smallpox, which tells you what the death rates from the disease must have been like in ancient times. And you're right, Eurasians gained resistance to smallpox through generations of dying over and over from smallpox over thousands of years until only the most resistant ones were left, not through some sort of Lamarckian evolution.
 
2014-03-03 04:49:52 PM  
You can find a shorter, more succinct version here:

Link

Which sounds more logical, since beer causes dehydration by putting the kidneys into overdrive. Any 'survivalist' will tell you that. Any experienced beer drinker will also confirm this -- due to the many trips to the bathroom during a binge. Plus, after overdoing it, the hangover afterwards.

Boiled water would have been easier and simpler to manufacture in large quantities than beer. It could also be made on the move when traveling. Kegs of beer do not weather long distance travel by horse or mule well, especially in high temperatures.

If they knew that the temperatures used to brew beer made water safer, then eventually it would have dawned on someone that it wasn't necessary to toss in all of the expensive grains and sweetener. Plus, they also drank a lot of tea, which used boiled water.

The Boston Tea Party was hyped up by a lot of powerful American Tea growers eager to sell more of their tea instead of the British. What better way to make a political statement and a profit afterwards? That's a pretty good indicator of the popularity of tea and its consumption.

Remember, cane sugar was hideously expensive in those times. It was often sold in solid cones, kept in locked wooden serving chests in homes and honey used mostly for sweetening.

While ignorant of many things, our ancestors were not stupid.
 
2014-03-03 05:44:42 PM  

Princess Ryans Knickers: FTFA:

"Once they had ascertained that it was pure"

Obviously you wouldn't have wanted to drink or use water that was downstream of people bathing, washing clothes, pissing, shiatting, or where animals where. So yes, water was polluted. Was it more polluted than now? Probably not. However, it was well known that beer and wine were considered to keep one healthy.


and a cup of vinegar
 
2014-03-03 06:02:14 PM  

yakmans_dad: somewhere between now and then, God switched out the old kind of people and installed a new kind of people.


this, in more ways than one
 
2014-03-03 06:56:36 PM  
Rik01:

If they knew that the temperatures used to brew beer made water safer, then eventually it would have dawned on someone that it wasn't necessary to toss in all of the expensive grains and sweetener. Plus, they also drank a lot of tea, which used boiled water.

Eh? The temperature of brewing beer is NOT going to make your water safer - ale wort undergoing fermentation is an ideal environment for lots of nasties - warm (not hot), about 25 degrees C, full of lovely sugars. That's why modern brewing needs to be anal about sanitising everything - if anything other than the intended organism (brewing yeast) gets a hold, you're going to have a sour, horrible and potentially pathogen-ridden mess.

Brewing yeast starts off - say, the first 24 hours - in an aerobic process that uses up all the available dissolved oxygen. That's important, as it produces a massive colony of yeast which not only goes on to make beer, but also starves any other oxygen-dependent organism of a chance to multiply. Then the yeast notices that there's no oxygen left, and switches to anaerobic mode, producing the CO2 and ETOH that we all love. Soon the yeast runs out of sugars or poisons itself with too much alcohol - if you want to get above 5 or 6%, you need to add wine or cider yeast to keep it going, and then champagne yeast to get it above 12 or 13%. The temperature is not what makes it safe to consume.
 
2014-03-03 07:24:23 PM  
Oh this and "in ancient times, the average person never went more than a few miles from where they were born" except if they were a soldier, fisherman, nobility, farmer, herder, miner, tradesman, nomad, migrant, refugee, colonist, priest, pilgrim, doctor, lawyer, philosopher, woodsman, trapper, sailor, rancher, messenger or hunter-gatherer of any kind. It's not even average for a statue of a human to stay within a few miles.
 
2014-03-03 07:29:00 PM  
The wort gets boiled though, sanitation is emphasized so much in home brewing because it's the number one thing that can wreck a batch of beer.
 
2014-03-03 08:14:26 PM  
Anybody who homebrews beer can see how it works.

You have a lots of grain, yay, it has been hanging around and now it has sprouted.  Dammit.  You already reseeded your fields, so wtf are you going to do with this sprouting grain over the winter?

You roast it to stop the sprouting and make bread.  But you can only make so much bread, so what do you do?

It turns out that if you take your sprouted grains and boil it all, you get a sweet syrup.  Holy shiat!  It's medieval pop!

What the hell, this syrupy goo bubbles over a few weeks and becomes... more interesting.
It becomes beer.

More people should try homebrewing.  It's actually very easy to make superb beer.
 
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  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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