02 October, 2007

The ol' family beer stick

I've been reading up on brewing over at this amazing (well informative, at the least, maybe you're not all as fascinated with the why and wherefores of beer) site
There was a time when the role of yeast in brewing was unknown. In the days of the Vikings, each family had their own brewing stick that they used for stirring the wort. These brewing sticks were regarded as family heirlooms because it was the use of that stick that guaranteed that the beer would turn out right. Obviously, those sticks retained the family yeast culture. The German Beer Purity Law of 1516 - The Reinheitsgebot, listed the only allowable materials for brewing as malt, hops, and water. With the discovery of yeast and its function in the late 1860's by Louis Pasteur, the law had to be amended.