Because things often went wrong with the beer brewing which nobody could explain with the body of beer brewing knowledge available in early times, the guilty parties were often sought in the mystical realm. Many wondrous herbs and cult objects still surrounded brewing kettles into the late middle ages. Superstition went so far that brewing failures were blamed on "brew witches" or "beer witches". The last known burning of a "brew witch" took place in 1591. This practice can be referred to as the "darkest" chapter of beer brewing history. The end of this superstitious era came when the use of hops caught on. Even though often forbidden at first, this practice prevailed in the long run. For one thing, the beer became less perishable and the brewing process more stabile. Things didn't go wrong as often and fewer witches had to be hunted. With the use of hops the beer revealed its "clear character". Beer began to closely resemble the modern product range, both in taste and appearance. In order to guarantee a high level of reliability, quality and consistency, the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm IV, proclaimed the German Beer Purity Law.
I'd like to express my sorrow for those poor women who were burned at the stake for ruining brews when they hadn't. But then again they could have - and probably did. On second thought I'll withdraw that expression of sorrow. Bloody witches. Some of them brews must have tasted pretty bad. Particularly when a woman has cursed it.
My wife's a beer witch. She curses me all the time about my brewing and the other day she saw that my brewing fridge was running at 18C, so she thought that was too hot for a fridge and went to turn it down. She turned the thermostat the wrong way and I came home from work to find my stout was fermenting away happily at 27C!! .......the witch! :angry:
Be careful guys...Tracey & I have been invited to a birthday party in a coupla weeks for a lady called Lilith, the boss witch of the Pagan Alliance ...she is a serious head-of-her-own-coven type witch...hope she never finds this thread or your brews may be cursed for all eternity.
and no I am not making this up. except the bit about the cursing.
BB look after yourself at the party (sent you on the email how to invoke Lilith) looks a bit scary to me .
dont take any recipies from her they wont be for beer ,before you go suggest you read this site .