So I try to get stuff posted here before events happen and up until Panteria I was doing pretty well. Unfortunately, life got in the way and now I find it’s the beginning of July and I still didn’t post anything about my Panteria experience. Please forgive me.
So within the East Kingdom Brewer’s Guilde we have ranks: Member /Brewer /Journeyman / Craftsman /Master/ Grand Master. After the East Kingdom Brewer’s Collegium I was only 1 entry away from Master level when a couple of things happened. At the EK Brewer’s Collegium, Magnus and I took some time to look at my scores and came to the conclusion I only needed one more beer recipe to qualify for Master Level.
Shoot forward about 2 weeks and I am having a terrible time trying to find a new beer recipe because all my leads end up getting dead ended or turn into an out of period source. Suddenly, I get an email from Magnus stating that the format has changed. The skinny of it is that for those individuals who are constantly doing “Master” level scoring, the points will now count towards levels. Also, instead of a 70 for Master level, you now need a minimum of 75. In example: Bob the Brewer is currently Member level (meaning he showed up to a meeting, bang, member). He starts brewing and he may work himself up to Brewer normally because he only is required to create a couple of beverages with a 50 or better. However, his beverages are outstanding and he manages to get himself a 75 and a 77. If he continues to brew and manages to create beverages with Master level scores (more than 75) he could essentially pop over Journeyman and get himself into Craftsman or possibly even Master automatically.
Being that I was on the cusp; one of my beverages scored a 74 at EKBC and I was concerned that would count against me, now needing 2 beverages instead of 1 to move up a level. I was assured this would not be the case since the change came after EKBC and all previous scores would hold. It actually ended up benefiting me because of previous beverages now were counted toward my level. Congradulations! without lifting a finger I was now “Master Brewer”.
I was concerned because I didn’t want a technicality to be the fulcrum point on my achieving Master. Plus, my Laurel had some concerns about my presentations. In one case I had done my research from a procedure standpoint, on another I had done my research doing individual researches of each phase and coming to the final product conclusion. In the last I had done straight research of finding a period beverage, producing it and presenting it for paneling. She felt I was a little too scattered in the way I was approaching my research. I explained I felt it showed I had an understanding of not just copy/paste you sometimes see with straight research, but using the same techniques and patterns of how the beverage would be created in period. My Laurel felt I needed a good solid piece of work to show that I had the ability and knowledge to document a recipe fully so there was little wiggle room for research argument. Granted there are always questions but the multiple resources would help quell any questions of technique or research tactics. So with that I found a recipe:
Dr Stephens Water
by Kryslaw “Kythe” Szubielka
TAke a galon of good Gascoyne wine, then take Ginger, Galingale, Canel, Cinamom, Nutmegs, greyns, cloves, mace, annis seeds, fenel seeds, caraway-seeds, of every of them a dram. Then take Sage, Mint, red Roses, Time, Pellitory of the wall, wilde Maierom, Rosemary, wild Time, Camamel, Lavander, Avens, of every of them one handfull, beat the spices small, and bruse the herbs, and put all into the wine, and let it stand 12. houres, stirring it divers times, then still it in a Limbecke, and keepe the first pinte of the water, for it is the best: then will come a second water, which is not so good as the first.
The sundry vertues and operations of the same many times proved.
THe vertues of this water be these. It comforteth the spirits, and preserveth greatly the youth of man, & helpeth inward diseases comming of cold against sha∣king of the palsey, it cureth the contraction of sinewes and helpeth the conception of women that be barren, it killeth wormes in the belly, it helpeth the cold gout, it helpeth the tooth ach, it comforteth the stomacke very much, it cureth the cold dropsie, it helpeth the stone in the bladder and reynes of the backe, it cureth the canker, it helpeth shortly a stinking breath, and who so useth this water now & then, but not too of∣ten, it preserveth him in good liking, & shal make one seeme young very long. You must take but one spoon∣full of this water fasting but once in seven dayes, for it is very hot in operation. It preserved Doctor Stevens that he lived 98 yeare, whereof twenty he lived bed∣ridde.
Take a gallon (1) of good Gascony(2) Wine. Add Ginger, Galingale, Canel, Cinnamon, Nutmegs, Greyns, cloves, mace, annise seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds about a dram(3) each. Then take sage, mint, red roses, thyme, Pellitory of the wall (4), rosemary, wild thyme, chamomile, lavender, avens (5) and of each of them about one handful. Beat the spices small and bruse the herbs and put all into the wine and let stand 12 hrs, while stiring it divers times(6), then still it in a Limbecke/Alembic (7), and keep the first pint of the water, for it is the best. Then will come the second water, whis is not so good as the first.
The virtues of the beverage are many times proved. The virtues being it comforts the spirit, it preserves youth of man and helps inward diseases coming of cold against the shaking of the palsey. It ccures the contraction of sinew and helps the conception of women that be barren. It kills worms in the bell and it helps the cold gout. It helps the tooth ach it comforts the stomach very much and it cures the cold dropsie. It helps the stone of the bladder and it cures the canker , it helps shortly of stinking breath and who uses this water now and then but not too often it preserves him in good liking making one seem young very long. You must take but one spoonful of this water fasting but once in seven days for it very hot in operation (flavor). It preserved Doctor Stevens that he lived 98 years where the last twenty he lived bed ridden.
Mortar and Pestle Glass Jar
I felt that although Gascony wine was readily available, this would end up being seen as a Cordial category item so I instead used the Roman wine I had created for my previous paneling as the base for this beverage. It qualified as a rose wine and would easily substitute for a Gascony Rose’ or red table wine.
The following spices were obtained from my own garden with help from a fellow scadians:
The following could not be obtained for this recipe
Pellitory of the Wall used hops instead as they are part of the same family (4)
Avens- flavor similair to cloves which was already an ingredient(5)
Greyns- no clear definition could be found so I guessed they mean “Grains” so a dram barley grains were ground up and used in place. (** I later found out they were referring directly to “Grains of Paradise”)
The beverage was put into a glass container and then stirred together at various times according to the original recipe. As we were not able to use the Alembic aspect to distill, it was felt that running the mixture through a cloth to clarify it and then adding roughly 4 oz of vodka to emulate the effects of distillation would be a legally prescribed alternative.
(1) Definition of a Gallon by medieval standards was 156.4 oz English system gallons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallon#English_system_gallons )
There were more than a few systems of liquid measurements in the pre-1884 United Kingdom.
(2) Gascony is a region of Southwest France which was part of Aquetaine during the middle ages (13th century) ruled by the English for about 300 years. https://winefolly.com/review/wines-of-southwest-france/
Dram- the word dram itself. It is derived from the Greek drachm, an ancient weight of ca. 4.37 grams https://www.dramming.com and http://home.clara.net/brianp/weights.html
Pellitory of the Wall – https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pelwal22.html
Avens- Tastes like cloves so I used extra cloves https://en.heilkraeuter.net/herbs/avens.htm
Divers times- divers times or in various ways; — used to qualify nouns in the singular number.
Limbecke or Alembic is the pot still version of distillation https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/alembic
Original recipe found in The Haven of Health 1594 by Thomas Cogan. Later Hugh Platt plagerized the recipe in his 16th century book Delights for Lady’s
**This beverage shows concepts the same as either a Maywine, Claree or Hypocras where in most cases a low grade wine is spiced with intent to improve the flavor. The biggest difference is that it specifically calls for a better grade of wine specifically of Gascony. This may be because the English had control of this region up until the 16th century and considered it better than French region wine.
Presented in a glass bottle:
This picture featured is not the concoction I made. Strangely enough, I was so busy I didn’t even think to take pictures of the process I followed as I normally do. I apologize for the lack of pics. The beverage was submitted at Panteria to my panel of judges and ended up with a 77 score (Master level/ even by the new rules). Along with myself, we also saw Brother Robert aka Baron William Graham achieve Master level. Here’s a picture of both of us and our judges:
(Left to right) Me, Master Otto, Baron William, Marieka and Cenwulf pointing to the Master level scores. Picture by Duchess Marieka
We were both very proud of our accomplishments and figured that was the end but we were both told to be in court that evening. So I and William both ended up in court where Mistress Marieka presented us formally to the populace as Master Brewers. Here is the link provided with thanks to Yona Carmichael:
There was a little SNAFU with having enough Medallions but it was all in good fun that we made a little schtick about it. So now I’m a Master Brewer. It’s humbling because I know enough to know I don’t know a damn thing about brewing. Or maybe it’s better to say the more I learn, the more I realize how much more about brewing there is out there.
So Grand Master is the next step. It’s a whole different set of rules for that one so this may take some time. The question I’m left with: What do I brew next? How do I top what I’ve done already?