Author Topic: Beer in the Bible  (Read 10436 times)

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2010, 07:34:26 AM »
Someone mentioned it.  Kvass is rye bread though, IIRC.  Low alcohol too.  I suppose it would violate the spirit of things to mash the bread with a little 6-row, but it seems like the best way to convert the starch without using bugs.  I had a rye beer with caraway in it once, that was interesting and pretty good.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2010, 06:07:50 PM »
Kvas is generally made with stale rye bread, although more modern and 'monastery' versions now say that they use malt in the recipe. Sugars can be added, including honey. I have at least 20 different recipes in my Russian cooking and brewing manuals, which I'll happily translate if people want them.

It is generally low alcohol. I have no idea what the alcohol content is of the average commercial kvas, but Russians regard it as a soft drink.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2010, 06:45:36 PM »
I've read that Russians regard anything less than 1.2% alcohol as non-alcoholic, while the level in the US is 0.5% or lower.
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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2010, 06:56:45 PM »
It is generally low alcohol. I have no idea what the alcohol content is of the average commercial kvas, but Russians regard it as a soft drink.

The stuff I had in Moscow was 1.5%. I don't know how representative that is.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2010, 07:17:58 PM »
I've read that Russians regard anything less than 1.2% alcohol as non-alcoholic, while the level in the US is 0.5% or lower.

I know some Russians who regard below 5% as non-alcoholic ;)
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2010, 01:06:29 AM »
Kvas is generally made with stale rye bread, although more modern and 'monastery' versions now say that they use malt in the recipe. Sugars can be added, including honey. I have at least 20 different recipes in my Russian cooking and brewing manuals, which I'll happily translate if people want them.

It is generally low alcohol. I have no idea what the alcohol content is of the average commercial kvas, but Russians regard it as a soft drink.

Classic rye bread is probably different than the "wonderbread" variety we get at the stores these days.
Is there a "classic" kvas? 20 recipes is a bit much but maybe something like what the street vendors are serving would be cool.
And, thanks in advance.

Russian family background or just fascinated by Russian culture?  (I ask because I saw you are in the UK)
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Offline brewmonk

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2010, 11:47:18 AM »
Yeah, I know they aren't quite what we're looking for ::) but ... in the RSV translation you have:

Numbers  21:16
And from there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the LORD said to Moses, "Gather the people together, and I will give them water."

and

Judges 9:21
And Jotham ran away and fled, and went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abim'elech his brother.

Sorry, couldn't resist.  ;D

So, I'm assuming all these ancient beers would have been rather sweet, or was there some type of bittering agent used other than hops?  I've never studied ancient beer recipes.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #52 on: October 20, 2010, 02:42:29 PM »
Here's an interesting read about biblical translations concerning beer and snobbery:
http://www.bib-arch.org/press-god-drank-beer.asp
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #53 on: October 20, 2010, 02:48:47 PM »
I've read that Russians regard anything less than 1.2% alcohol as non-alcoholic, while the level in the US is 0.5% or lower.

I know some Russians who regard below 5% as non-alcoholic ;)
In Maureen Ogle's book, Ambitious Brew, she describes a NYC courthouse scene during the lead up to prohibition where they brought in an expert witness to refute the notion that beer was alcoholic.  He testified that he had already consumed several beers that day with no ill effect.  The anti-saloon side lost the argument.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #54 on: October 20, 2010, 03:56:04 PM »
In Maureen Ogle's book, Ambitious Brew, she describes a NYC courthouse scene during the lead up to prohibition where they brought in an expert witness to refute the notion that beer was alcoholic.  He testified that he had already consumed several beers that day with no ill effect.  The anti-saloon side lost the argument.
I remember that Jeff, wasn't there some insane number of beers the guy claimed to drink every day, like 30+?  I have a copy of that book somewhere . . .
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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2010, 06:39:17 PM »
I've checked every bible in the house and I haven't found any beer in any of them.   >:(

I have been known to take beer to church in order to bribe people to work the late shift in the concession stand at certain functions though.   ;D  (Never for sale or distribution, only to keep people around long enough to get the dishes done and the gym floor cleaned, and the decorations taken down and... well you get the idea.)

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Offline alikocho

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #56 on: October 20, 2010, 06:51:42 PM »
Kvas is generally made with stale rye bread, although more modern and 'monastery' versions now say that they use malt in the recipe. Sugars can be added, including honey. I have at least 20 different recipes in my Russian cooking and brewing manuals, which I'll happily translate if people want them.

It is generally low alcohol. I have no idea what the alcohol content is of the average commercial kvas, but Russians regard it as a soft drink.

Classic rye bread is probably different than the "wonderbread" variety we get at the stores these days.
Is there a "classic" kvas? 20 recipes is a bit much but maybe something like what the street vendors are serving would be cool.
And, thanks in advance.

Russian family background or just fascinated by Russian culture?  (I ask because I saw you are in the UK)

I'll translate a recipe or two, and put them in a new thread. here http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4215.0

I'm a University Professor in 20th Century Russian History in the UK, so I guess its fascination with the culture. I've lived in Moscow, and my wife is half Russian, so there's a bit of family in it as well.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 06:37:44 AM by alikocho »
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Offline kgs

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Re: Beer in the Bible
« Reply #57 on: October 21, 2010, 03:04:44 AM »
Let us not forget, "Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days." This obviously refers to both fermentation and the likelihood that some of your best beer will resurface when you're cleaning a closet.
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