nothing new under the sun

One of the great things about a fiber-rich diet is that it affords daddy some quality reading time in his special office, and this morning some muesli induced me to finally start digging in to Mitch Steele’s IPA (that’s an acronym for something, but I’m not far enough along in the book) and came across this nugget regarding (probable) brewing practices for the nascent style in the 18th century:

Hops were added during the boil and were often only allowed to boil for 30 minutes before being pulled out and replaced with another charge. It is cited in many brewing texts of the period that brewers believed that boiling hops for more than 30 minutes extracted rough and harsh flavors and bitterness.

Kind of a philosophical antecedent to the whole late-addition and hopbursting approach – not directly analogous and probably with not quite the same results in the kettle, but still predating the 21st century craft brewing “hoppy not bitter” mantra by a good 250 years. Nothing new under the sun.


Occasionally hair sieves were used to strain the hops from the wort.

Maybe there’s a market for follicle-based hop-separation technology in modern home- and craft brewing? Somebody try that out, let me know how it goes.

8 thoughts on “nothing new under the sun

  1. Only the very rare hair of Michael Dawson could be used for straining hops in this day and age. You provide me that rare reagent, Mr Dawson, and I will liberate hops from wort!

  2. Here’s a thought for a recipe. Muesli Stout, hopped with the process that you just described… Regularity and experiencing an old brewing process!

  3. I dont see why you wouldnt use hair in beer, I would imagine it would add noticable flavor. Then there are people who add wild yeasts to make their beer tast like sweaty horse hair. I would be a wonderful experiment to add half hour charges of hops to test the concept!

  4. “…follicle-based hop-separation technology…”

    Why not use a horse-hair hand-woven mesh… might as well if you’re going to be sporting some 5112 Brett Bruxellensis for that extra horse blanket in the nose. Giddie-up.

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