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Alternative to water in LH camps

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:49 pm
by StaffordCleggy
With special reference to late Medieval period.

I'm sick of drinking only water all day, & it's not particularly 'fentic anyway, so...

Someone recommended me to fake small beer by defizzing shandy & drinking that as fake small beer, does any one have any other suggestions?

P.S. i'm no brewer, & don't have the free time for that!

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:58 pm
by Phil the Grips
I've know several folk use Ribena or cranberry juice to look like they were drinking claret.

Weak tea is used for beer on telly programmes.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Yeah, tried the ribena effect, i'm just looking for something that resembles the small ales/beers that was drunk by everyday working stiffs...

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:12 pm
by chrisanson
Pity Watneys Red Barrel aint still about, you could drink that ALL day!!! Just like drinking pop but without the effect :wink:

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:42 pm
by Simon Atford
Ale and beer are notoriously difficult to fake. Any substitutes never seem to look "right".

I would suggest Kaliber but being lager it probbaly wouldn't look right either :?:

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:48 pm
by StaffordCleggy
That's why i was thinking a beer shandy.

When it's in a pot vessel it 'should' be harder to see it as a fake (as opposed to being in a glass).

Don't know about you folks, but i'm gagging for a beer or a coffee at the end of the day simply 'cos i'm craving taste after drinking water all day.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:59 pm
by Lady Cecily
Cleggy,

Just add water to beer, one pint Landlord, three pints water.

Alternatively - ask a brewer to do you a re-sparged brew or if you are welsh the third brew.. can you tell it's not me typing this?

Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 10:24 pm
by Zachos
I like adding elderflower to water. It adds the taste, but it still looks just like water.

We also have some concentrated apple juice that looks a bit like beer when added to water.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 12:03 am
by Tuppence
some telly and film use proper beer in non alcohol varieties these days* - faking beer is a nightmare (I speak from experience..... :x ).

shandy works too though.

*love the story of ice cold in alex (the scene with the beer). apparently they had to re-take it about 8 times, and use real beer every time. john mills ended up plastered.....but that's off the point, sorry.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 12:34 am
by Quayn
to be honest i drink whatever i want to put in a cup, (alcohol free naturally) anyone checking is bound to end up wearing it...

But must profess bloody good post.
Q.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 9:43 am
by Simon Atford
Tuppence wrote:some telly and film use proper beer in non alcohol varieties these days* - faking beer is a nightmare (I speak from experience..... :x ).

shandy works too though.

*love the story of ice cold in alex (the scene with the beer). apparently they had to re-take it about 8 times, and use real beer every time. john mills ended up plastered.....but that's off the point, sorry.
Apprently for Inspector Morse the malt whisky was fake but the ale was real despite the fact that John Thaw didn't really like it!

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:13 am
by moosiemoosiegander
There's always Hippocras if you want a nice hot drink every now and then throughout the day and if you keep it on the simmer, the alcohol should cook off.

Lovely stuff and terribly 'fentic!

As for the shandy idea, it sounds absolutely brilliant to me. The only thing is, and this is me just being incredibly anally retentive about the whole thing so just ignore me, that small beer was from the first mash and was cloudy. You could perhaps simulate this by mixing a bit of beer with some cloudy lemonade?

Also, hops were only just coming into use in Britain at this time as somewhat bizarrely we seem to have thought that they were poisonous, despite people on the continent having drunk them for ages before! If there is no hops in it, it's ale, if there are hops, then it is beer.

Hope this is of some use.
Moosie

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:32 am
by Phil the Grips
Just remembered barley water-

Get a jug.
Place a fine cloth over the top.
Place a handful of barley grains onto the cloth.
Pour less than boiling water water over the grains so that the grains infuse the water which then ends up in the jug.
Leave to cool to a drinkable temperature or cold.
Very refreshing and good for post battle as it puts a bit of protein into you and and goes down well.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 1:06 pm
by Panda
How about milk? I know over here it was drank in varying forms alot. From the early christan Irish period right up till the 1950's when there was decline in the number people having they're own cow and the increase in milk going to the cremaery rather then being processed at home

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:05 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Problem with milk is keeping it fresh on camp, most stay away from dairy for that reason - & warm milk is bloody vile!

Like the idea of mixing 'traditional lemonade' with shandy for the cloudy effect.

This is just because i'm sick to my back teeth with drinking plain water all day, i need taste! As well as that i've found i'm getting cracked lips & cold sores from having watered lips in sun & wind... :(

I like the idea of watering beer, but our rules are very strict about drinking alcohol during the day, i suppose diluting it enough would make it as weak as shandy but Landlord or Black Sheep is way too nice & way too expensive to ruin it like that!

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:07 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Lady Cecily wrote:Cleggy,
or if you are welsh..
Outside. Now.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:34 pm
by Phil the Grips
Milk until very recently (when it was promoted as a wonder food for all ages by the Milk Marketing Board as a way to get rid of UK production excess) was reserved for children, the elderly and infirm.

Historically it was not deemed a fitting drink for healthy adults.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:55 pm
by Panda
Phil the Grips wrote:

Historically it was not deemed a fitting drink for healthy adults.
Different over here. We produced so much it had to be used up I suppose. As for keeping it fresh stoneware bottles work a treat. :D

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:41 am
by Queen of the Night
StaffordCleggy wrote:Problem with milk is keeping it fresh on camp,
It seems very little real milk was used in the medieval period, almond milk was used instead.


Anyway if its small beer you want why not just water down some mild ( closest thing apparently to medieval ale).

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 3:22 am
by craig1459
Cleggy - Sara's dad is an expert home brewer - ran a shop for years and always has made-from-scratch beer. I'll have a word and see what he can knock up - it's something I've wanted to do some work on

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:40 pm
by gregory23b
Get some small ale brewed up, can have less alcohol than a shandy.

Panda, milk is also a seasonal item, unlike now.

Water was drunk in the middle ages, quite widely, but ale was a foodstuff, a source of carbs, hence it being drunk more, they didn't brew ale to make water safe given that ale doesn't last that long, ale is not too 'safe' either if left to stand. water was used to dilute wine, I am not sure that wine instantly kills off any introduced bacteria or other bugs.

No one has shown any actual evidence for water being inherently bad for people in the middle ages, water was only really accepted as being a potential carrier of germs in the great cholera outbreaks of the 19thc. After all medieval London had the great conduit for drinking water. There were restrictions on where certain industries could be placed in relation to drinking water. Many houses in small towns had their own wells in their yards, this carried on til the victorian era.

Even animals stay away from dirty water, that is sensible.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 2:39 pm
by Type16
Quite thought provoking!

For my bit, I reckon that water froms wells / sources in villages & towns would be virtual suicide due to contaminated streams & ground water -- evidence from Roman period onwards of wells adjacent to cess pits. Big dose of D&V at the least likely.

Whilst those lucky country people usually had the benefit of clean groundwater or streams .............. unless down stream of a cow byre or moat outfall :?

Small ale. barley water, elderflower drinks all sound (& taste) good to me ............ use boiled water in the making.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:00 pm
by Panda
gregory23b wrote:
Panda, milk is also a seasonal item, unlike now.
Yep. Drank from spring to late summer autumn. Perfect for events. :D
That being said I'm glad it is now available all year round as I need to feed my 4 a day habit. :D

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:25 pm
by gregory23b
T16, that might depend on how deep the well was and the contamination. Wells were really really common. Not sure how far contaminated poo water would get, would the local geology be a factor??


"Yep. Drank from spring to late summer autumn. Perfect for events. Very Happy "

oh yeah, duh!! I had forgotten.

how much of it was drunk to being turned into cheese and butter though?

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:29 pm
by moosiemoosiegander
I seem to remember reading somewhere that goat and sheep milk was more commonly drunk than cows milk on a domestic level, simply for the fact that goat and sheep produce a more manageable quantity of milk for drinking fresh ie. What the dickens do you do with 5 gallons of milk a day from a cow, compared with a few pints from a sheep or goat!?

Makes sense to me.

This is of course not counting so much the town dwellers who would no doubt have purchased most of their goods if unable to keep an animal.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:33 pm
by Panda
Well considering how much we produced cause of our mild climate even with the cheese & butter production there was still a lot of regular milk ot be drank. As well as that there would have been the byproduct liquids that would have been drank such as skim milk, butter milk and whey. If you want more info there is a book called early Irish farming by Fergus Kelly or go to http://www.ucc.ie/celt to read the annals. I havent read all of the book yey nor much of the annals. Most of what I've stated above is based on research my friend Darren has done as he has a passion for early christian Ireland and cheese. He really does know too much. If you want exact sources for his information I can ask. :D

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:46 pm
by Phil the Grips
Bear in mind that modern quanitities of milk are from beasts bred to be "milkers" ( as opposed to "meat") and are artificially stimulated to produce large amounts of milk year round.

Left to their own devices they would only produce enough to support their young, and only at certain times of the year.

Far better to drink your own beer, leave the milk to the calves and have another cow in future, than drink its resouces now and have nothing next season. The same reason why chickens weren't commonly eaten til the 70s when battery farming droped the cost markedly and why, until then, eggs had to be sealed and stored in large glass bowls to keep them for longer than the laying season.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:51 pm
by moosiemoosiegander
At any time in history though, a goat has been cheaper and more convenient to keep than a cow, even two goats probably.

I've got a lovely illustration of a lady milking a sheep, somewhere. Anyone ever had sheep milk? I've had sheep cheese but never had the milk.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:02 pm
by Panda
Phil the Grips wrote:Bear in mind that modern quanitities of milk are from beasts bred to be "milkers" ( as opposed to "meat") and are artificially stimulated to produce large amounts of milk year round.
Cows were highly valued over here. Rarely slaughtered except for very special occasions. It is said in either one of the law texts or annals that when milking only milk from 3 teats but leave the 4th for the calf. If you want I can get you rough figures for the production if Darren is online. That being said though this only counts for Irish stuff but I *think* some of the Welsh stuff is simiolar as some of the Welsh texts are quoted in Early Irish farming.

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:07 pm
by Phil the Grips
You also have to allow for culture too- we produce hundreds of tons of horsemeat in the UK but you try and sell it for eating!