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Looking For A Wrzburg Water Quality Report...

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evildrakey

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I'm looking for a Wrzburg water quality report... And my google-fu is failing me miserably...
Anyone able to help?



I'm trying to do a 14th century medieval recipe from Wrzburg, and want to balance the water properly...
Das Buch von guter spise : The original manuscript was part of a household manual which Michael de Leone, the proto-notary of the Archbishop of Wrzburg, had organized. The original is in the university library of Munich. This manuscript is dated as between 1345 and 1354, and contains 101 recipes.

Wilt du guten met machen (How you want to make good mead)

Der guten mete machen wil, der werme reinen brunnen, daz er die hant dor inne liden knne. und neme zwei maz wazzers und eine honiges. daz rere man mit eime stecken, und laz ez ein wile hangen. und sihe ez denne durch ein rein tuch oder durch ein harsip in ein rein vaz. und siede denne die selben wirtz gein eime acker lane hin und wider und schume die wirtz mit einer vensterehten schzzeln. da der schume inne blibe und niht die wirtz. dor noch giuz den mete in ein rein vaz und bedecke in, daz der bradem niht uz mge, als lange daz man die hant dor inne geliden mge. So nim denne ein halp mezzigen hafen und tu in halp vol hopphen und ein hant vol salbey und siede daz mit der wirtz gein einer halben mile. und giuz ez denne in die wirtz, und nim frischer hoven ein halp nzzeln und giuz ez dor in. und giuz ez under ein ander daz ez geschende werde. so decke zu, daz der bradem iht uz mge einen tae und eine naht. So seige denne den mete durch ein reyn tuch oder durch ein harsip. und vazze in in ein reyn vaz und lazze in iern drie tac und drie naht und flle in alle abende, dar nach lazze man in aber abe und hete daz iht hefen dor in kumme und laz in aht tage ligen daz er valle. und flle in alle abende. dar nach loz in abe in ein gehertztez vas und laz in ligen aht tage vol und trinke in denne erst sechs wucher oder ehte. so ist er allerbeste.


He, who wants to make good mead, warms clean water, so that he can just stand to put the hand in. And take two maz water and one honey. One stirs that with a stick and lets it set a while and then strains it through a clean cloth or through a hairsieve into a clean barrel. And boil then the same wort against an acre long there and back (as long as it takes to walk this distance and back) and remove the foam from the wort with a bowl with holes. The foam stays in the bowl and the wort does not. Next pour the mead in a clean barrel and cover it, so that vapor can not get out, until one can bear the hand there in. So take then a half maz pot and add until half full hops and a hand of sage and boil that with the wort against a half mile (as long as it takes to walk this distance) and give it then in the wort and take a half nut of fresh yeast (the amount that could be held in a nutshell) and give it there in and mix it together so that it will ferment. So cover also, so that the vapor can get out, a day and a night. So strain then the mead through a clean cloth or through a hairsieve and pour (it) in a clean barrel and let it ferment three days and three nights and fill (it) in all evenings. There after one lets it go down and looks that yeast comes therein. And let it lay for eight days, so that it falls and fill in all evenings. There after let it down in a resined barrel and let it lay eight days full and drink in the first six weeks or eight. So is it the best.
 

Florian

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Have you tried Google.de and your best German vocabulary?

edit: try 'stadtwerke wuerzburg' and 'wasserwerte', 'wasserqualitaetsanalyse' or similar.

sorry, on the phone atm so I won't try myself now.
 

evildrakey

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Have you tried Google.de and your best German vocabulary
My best German Vocabulary comes from watching das boot and many 1950's English WWII war movies... But I did find a website for the city, but the 'contact' button gives me what I think says 'contact the system administrator'... I'm still trying...
 

evildrakey

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My best German Vocabulary comes from watching das boot and many 1950's English WWII war movies... But I did find a website for the city, but the 'contact' button gives me what I think says 'contact the system administrator'... I'm still trying...

The Wurtzburg website (with water links) died just after I accessed it (oops)

But I did find the water quality report for Bamberg, just upstream, and a famous brewing town...

Water Profile: Bamburg, Germany
Profile known for: Classic Rauchbier e.g. Aecht Schlenkarla
Calcium (Ca): 106.0 ppm
Magnesium (Mg): 50.0 ppm
Sodium (Na): 28.0 ppm
Sulfate (SO4): 241.0 ppm
Chloride (Cl): 40.0 ppm
Bicarbonate (HCO3): 281.0 ppm

Hmmm, now I'm wondering how close thats going to be to Wurzberg???
 

Nick JD

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I wonder if the water profiles of a river in the 14th century are the same as current considering the land use of the headwaters between now and then.
 

evildrakey

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Who knows... it's not like water quality was measured in the 14th cent...

There was an effort even back then to maintain river quality as Breweries in many parts of germany at that time were exporting their beers in Barrels as part of the Hanseatic league stuff... And breweries use a lot of water...

Although I cant really measure the water quality in the 14th cent, I'm making the assumption that the dissolved minerals would be similar...
 

Nick JD

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Were they pulling it out of the Main River?
 

Wolfy

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Were they pulling it out of the Main River?
That's what I was thinking, for small house-hold batches wouldn't it be equally likely they were using well-water or rain-water?

In addition, how is it possible that they were using and measuring 'yeast' or even knew that it was required for fermentation, since it was only 'discovered' what yeast was and did about 500 years after the document was written?
 

evildrakey

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That's what I was thinking, for small house-hold batches wouldn't it be equally likely they were using well-water or rain-water?

In addition, how is it possible that they were using and measuring 'yeast' or even knew that it was required for fermentation, since it was only 'discovered' what yeast was and did about 500 years after the document was written?
The could be using well water, but for the larger breweries, they'd need to use a larger source, such as a river... I'm not sure really, using water from the Main River is an assumption. You need to make a lot of assumptions (so good, some not so good) when working with Medieval recipes... This is an assumption that I'm making... And i'm hoping it's a good one... The high sulphate water I'm hoping will bring out a nice hop bitterness and aroma. I'll probably use a very low AA% hop with an old lineage such as Hallertau Mittelfruh...

And yeast was usually reserved from batch to batch. In a lot of places, it was law to provide good yeast to anyone who asked. So if your batch of 'balm', as they often called it, turned bad, then you just asked someone who had a decent batch going.

They had no idea that yeast was a micro-organism, but they certainly knew that it raised bread and fermented sweet liquids into alcohol. I've even seen preservation techniques for dipping sticks into balm, drying, then reapplying, until you got a thick coat of balm... Not dissimilar to dried yeast. I haven't tried that technique tho...
 

Wolfy

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And yeast was usually reserved from batch to batch. In a lot of places, it was law to provide good yeast to anyone who asked. So if your batch of 'balm', as they often called it, turned bad, then you just asked someone who had a decent batch going.

They had no idea that yeast was a micro-organism, but they certainly knew that it raised bread and fermented sweet liquids into alcohol. I've even seen preservation techniques for dipping sticks into balm, drying, then reapplying, until you got a thick coat of balm... Not dissimilar to dried yeast. I haven't tried that technique tho...
If yeast (or 'balm') had been as as generally understood, acknowledged and known to be required for fermentation, why was it not included (or even mentioned) as a required ingredient in the Reinheitsgebot, which was developed 100-200 years after the text was written?

Adding 'sediment' from one good batch, or using a balm-coated brew-stick, would likely have been a way to help the next product turn out well, however I think the above translation (which directly equates yeast to fermentation), and your interpretation of 'balm', is distorted by modern (200-year-old) scientific knowledge (but very interesting none the less).
 

evildrakey

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If yeast (or 'balm') had been as as generally understood, acknowledged and known to be required for fermentation, why was it not included (or even mentioned) as a required ingredient in the Reinheitsgebot, which was developed 100-200 years after the text was written?
Exactly... All thoughout Medieval recipes you find examples adding yeast and balm and often you dont... But as we know as modern brewers, healthy yeast is quite essential to the process...
 

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