Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Brewing Stone Age beer
sciencenordic.com ^ | 7-20-2012 | Asle Rønning

Posted on 08/05/2012 7:33:03 AM PDT by Renfield

Beer enthusiasts are using a barn in Norway’s Akershus County to brew a special ale which has scientific pretensions and roots back to the dawn of human culture.

The beer is made from einkorn wheat, a single-grain species that has followed humankind since we first started tilling the soil, but which has been neglected for the last 2,500 years.

“This is fun − really thrilling. It’s hard to say whether this has ever been tried before in Norway,” says Jørn Kragtorp.

He started brewing as a hobby four years ago. He represents the fourth generation on the family farm of Nedre Kragtorp in Aurskog-Høland, Akershus County.

Part of the barn has been refurnished as a meeting room, but space was also allotted for small-scale beer production.

Prehistoric beer

In the past year this brewing has become more scientific after Kragtorp teamed up with a rural neighbour, Manfred Heun, a plant geneticist and a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).

“This is experimental. We’re trying to brew prehistoric beer,” explains Heun.

Heun has conducted research on einkorn wheat for years and came up with the idea of brewing ale here in Norway from malt made of the ancient grain.

Einkorn may have been the first cereal to be cultivated by the original Stone Age farmers. Original farmers

Manfred Heun, who is an expert on einkorn genes, has helped trace the origin of the domesticated form of einkorn to the highlands in Southeastern Turkey.

A wild einkorn that's genetically similar to the domesticated strain still grows in this region. This region is also considered by many to be the cradle of agriculture, with indications that farming started here 10,000 years ago.

Einkorn might have played an important role in the transition from a hunter-gatherer society to agriculture in this part of the world.

Perhaps the wish to brew beer for celebrations and ceremonies was a prime motivation for raising grain. This would put the brewing at Nedre Krogtorp into a very long perspective.

In Scandinavia

Six thousand years after people pioneered agriculture in the Near East, it spread to most of Europe. Einkorn was a part of this slow-rolling agricultural revolution together with other cereals from the Middle East and Turkey.

It’s known that einkorn was raised as a crop in the south of Scandinavia during the region’s Bronze Age (1700 - 500 BC). Scientists aren’t sure, however, whether einkorn was cultivated in Norway.

In any case this cereal has fallen into disuse for the past 2,500 years as other kinds of wheat were developed which gave bigger yields.

The beer now being brewed among the patches of forest and fields in inner Akershus County could be the first made from einkorn in this country – at least since the Bronze Age.

Imported malt

Bronze Age methods are not used in the brewing process. It’s brewed like any beer.

“Now it’s most common to brew beer from barley. But you can make it from all kinds of grains, from corn, rice and wheat,” explains Jørn Kragtorp.

Malt, made of sprouted grain, is always the starting point. In this case the einkorn malt was imported from Germany.

It’s ground up and warm water is added for half an hour while the temperature is closely monitored. The process is called mashing and the sweet liquid this produces is called the wort. This is filtered and boiled for just over an hour before it's all allowed to cool.

Devil in the detail

Then yeast is added, which starts the fermentation and sugar is converted to alcohol. The beer these hobby brewers make from einkorn is a pale ale.

Kragtorp explains that einkorn, or other wheat varieties, have different characteristics than barley and these can complicate things when the wort is made.

“Using pure wheat malt is challenging,” he says.

The brewers have experimented with various combinations.

The minor details make beer brewing exciting. Small alterations in room temperature, the amount of time used in yeasting and additives such as hops can all have a big impact on the final product.

“It’s a life-long learning process,” says Kragtorp. Protein rich

Heun is an eager einkorn enthusiast.

“Einkorn is the healthiest thing you can imagine,” he says, referring to its high content of protein and other nutrients.

“And it tastes good too,” he adds.

Those who are lucky enough to have tasted the light and pale einkorn ale, which cannot be bought in stores, all seem to agree.

Einkorn beer from inner Akershus County has been sent in for expert academic evaluation to Munich – a city where beer is famously appreciated, and it has received the stamp of approval.

This autumn, attempts could be made to produce the beer from malt based on Norwegian-grown einkorn. Experimental crops of the ancient cereal have been planted in Aurskog-Høland and it will be exciting to see how the harvest turns out.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: agriculture; beer; godsgravesglyphs; grapes; history; neolithic; norway; winemaking; zymurgy
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-51 next last

Einkorn beer brewed on a hobby basis at Hemnes has won acclaim from near and far. (Photo: Asle Rønning)

1 posted on 08/05/2012 7:33:08 AM PDT by Renfield
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232; SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 08/05/2012 7:33:48 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

Hmmm...

Is there such a thing as a homebrewers ping list?

If so, I want in. ‘Pod.


3 posted on 08/05/2012 7:44:37 AM PDT by sauropod (You can elect your very own tyranny - Mark Levin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Renfield
I have not liked any of the wheat bears that I have tried.

But this could be different.

4 posted on 08/05/2012 7:47:07 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sauropod

There was one but I don’t know who is handling it now.


5 posted on 08/05/2012 7:55:46 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Renfield

It’s the modern Stone Age brewery!


6 posted on 08/05/2012 7:57:37 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sauropod

Yes there is a homebrewing ping list I will add you to it. I post a thread every Friday at 5:30 CDT, Beer Thirty.


7 posted on 08/05/2012 8:02:34 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: quantim; spinestein; 5Madman2; DTogo; Horatio Gates; Ribeye; decal; B Knotts; doodad; hemogoblin; ..

Pinging all the Homebrewers and wine makers.


8 posted on 08/05/2012 8:06:28 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurker

I have the list since NewsHound retired from posting to the ping list


9 posted on 08/05/2012 8:11:51 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Pontiac

a little wheat in any brew produces a head on the beer i;ve finally learned...likeise altering any clone/recipe to my own liking works too, e.g. leaving the chocolate malt out of a scotch ale mix makes a better tasting scotch ale (for me) others will judge that that makes it no longer a true scotch alle (a scotch ale is also different than scottish ales, I’ve read...brewing fer dummies, i think)...

brewing is now what i make it and call it...if i had to name it, i’d just put a McG’s/GyG;s in front of whatever it is (to me) and that’s it!

;)
Semper Beer!
*****


10 posted on 08/05/2012 8:16:57 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Pontiac

I am not a fan of wheat beers either. I bought a six pack of Blue Moon wheat ale a few months ago and after trying one I ended up just pouring the rest down the drain. Now that was something I never thought I would do to a bottle of beer!


11 posted on 08/05/2012 8:20:48 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232

“Yes there is a homebrewing ping list I will add you to it. I post a thread every Friday at 5:30 CDT, Beer Thirty.”

I did not know that!

Can you please put me on that list?

And also my brother, Heartlander

http://www.freerepublic.com/~heartlander/


12 posted on 08/05/2012 8:23:44 AM PDT by Jayster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232
I bought a six pack of Blue Moon wheat ale a few months ago and after trying one I ended up just pouring the rest down the drain.

I would never do that!

I would keep it around for guest to try. If any like it, give it away.

That is what I did with a Great Lakes Cherry Wheat I bought many moons ago. (It was Horrible)

13 posted on 08/05/2012 8:39:17 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Jayster; Heartlander

You both have been added to the Homebrewing ping list.


14 posted on 08/05/2012 8:40:20 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Pontiac

I needed the bottles.


15 posted on 08/05/2012 8:44:35 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Tanniker Smith

Is it the Fred & Barney brand, with a Bedrock address?


16 posted on 08/05/2012 8:45:21 AM PDT by elcid1970 (Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind. Deus vult!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232

See, this is the very thing that frustrates the heck out of me. Mega brewers produce garbage scow bilge and through millions in marketing lead people to think that they are producing something they are not. In this case, a wheat beer. Yes, it has wheat in it, but likely has lots of rice and/or corn as well.

There are amazing wheat beers out there and their flavor profiles are very diverse. I’ll admit that some wheat beers are an acquired taste (Berliner Weisse for example), but there’s nothing better on summer day than a properly brewed whet beer.

A Layman’s Guide to Wheat Beer - Introduction to Wheat Beer:
http://beer.about.com/od/wheatbeer/a/WheatGuide.htm


17 posted on 08/05/2012 9:25:11 AM PDT by brewer1516
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232

You use commercial grade bottles for your home brew?


18 posted on 08/05/2012 9:53:58 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Pontiac

Yes.


19 posted on 08/05/2012 10:07:43 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
A toast to FReeper Renfield!

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


20 posted on 08/05/2012 10:20:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-51 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson