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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 15
    More: Amusing, drink beer, material evidence  
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4942 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Mar 2014 at 12:33 PM (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-03 12:50:10 PM  
2 votes:
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 08:14:26 PM  
1 votes:
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.
2014-03-03 04:49:52 PM  
1 votes:
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 04:00:35 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:14:35 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:04:58 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:32:14 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:06:02 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:41:06 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:21:51 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:09:12 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:05:52 PM  
1 votes:
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 12:53:47 PM  
1 votes:
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 12:50:06 PM  
1 votes:
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 12:46:53 PM  
1 votes:
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.
 
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