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Did German Monks discover the Bier?

German Bier

We regularly consume beer, know that Germans are involved in global Bier production and can distinguish beer types. Hardly anyone really knows since when the first beer was developed. Many people would answer to this question that it was invented by monks

Unfortunately, that’s not quite true, monks started brewing beer long ago (1100’s), and as we learned the ancient Egyptians “invented” it about 6,000 years ago.

Since when do we know about Bier?

Even historians are unaware of the day and the year, but they are certain that the ancient Egyptians made a prototype of beer by fermenting bread in water

There is further evidence from the Romans who called the beer Cervisian (after the goddess of crops: Ceres). The Celts already knew early forms of today’s beer under the name Korma. But the monastic breweries then tried to bring some order into the art of brewing, introducing the “regulated brewing business”.

1. Year 1040 Weihenstephan
2.Year 1050Weltenburg
3.Year 1266Bolten
4.Year 1302Gaffel Kölsch
A flight of Beer

Until then, beer was brewed from a variety of herbs and mixtures, which has been summarized under the technical term “Grut.” With controlled brewing, hops were main ingredient for brewing and displaced the grut. One of the main reasons for this has been the anti-microbial capacity of the hops, which made the beer more durable than the herbal mixtures of the Grut beers (often consisting of yarrow, heather, mugwort, rosemary, thyme, sage, laurel, meadowsweet, anise, Caraway, juniper, coriander).

Intoxicating additives in beer

At the time, other (hallucinogenic) substances were added to the grut blends, which should enhance the intoxicating effect.

For example, they used belladonna, toadstool or datura. Presumably, the beer was then also added to these additives, because the alcohol content was much lower than what we drink today. Beer was even given to children to drink, because by the boiling of the beer Wort (Grut) was close to germ-free,unlike other sources of water, especially in metropolitan areas.

The Brewing Process

Until the early 19th century, beer was brewed in top fermentation. When the Austrian Adolf Ignaz Mautner von Markhof invented the so-called “Press” yeast, the process changed abruptly.

Braukessel

Brewing beer from the trend of bottom-fermented beer later became Pilsen beer. With the first bottom-fermented beers from the Schwechat brewery, the Austrians have even won numerous prizes at the 1867 Paris World’s Fair.

Bier Brewing in the Middle Ages (by Wikimedia)

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I have been living half of my life in Germany, then US, and traveling since then. My passion is cooking, painting and glass mosaic art. I try to re-create recipes I grew up with or tasted while traveling in Europe. To read my newest Blog please "Follow" me on the right by entering your email address, or press „Like“ on the Facebook tab

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