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Word of the Day: braggot


A braggot is a mixture of honey and barley, used as an alcohol base (like malt for beer, or corn for moonshine). Remember, kids, yeasties eat sugar and pee alcohol!

I learned this word from this NPR story about reviving an ancient brew based on analysis of an archaeological find. Specifically: the cauldron in the picture. It was dug up and analyzed in Germany.

The 2,500-year-old brew was made with barley, honey, mint and meadowsweet. Barley and honey to feed the yeast, meadowsweet in place of hops as a bittering (and preservative?) agent, and mint for flavor, I guess. The author said it was strong and tasted pretty nice, but there are no plans to sell it.

I’m still unclear why alcoholic beverages need a bitter component, except hops are also a preservative agent. You would not believe how huge hop production was here until pretty recently. Even more so next door in Kent. The whole area is covered in old oast houses, once used to dry hops. Now converted into ultra expensive houses for the most part. They are dreadful cool.

Right! We know what tomorrow is. Friday. 6 WBT. DEAD POOL ROUND 90.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 17, 2016, 11:32 pm

As to the question “why alcoholic beverages need a bitter component” all I can offer is the anecdotal evidence that every time I have had a bit too much to drink of some sweet alcoholic beverage, I have had a hangover that made me want to remove my head from my shoulders and place it in the freezer for the next 12 to 18 hours.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 18, 2016, 12:47 am

Hops are pretty.

I know they got the yeast by catching “wild yeast”

They make beer making look so easy on Time Team I dont know why we arent all brewing it daily for “medicinal purposes.”

Comment from AliceH
Time: November 18, 2016, 1:42 am

I think adding something bitter to alcohol expands the complexity of the other flavors, like adding salt to applesauce or on watermelon. We’ve only got 5 “tastes” we can detect, and messing with the ratios even a little has a huge impact.

I doubt it needs to be so much to actually taste it independently, though if you like that sort of thing (I do) then you’d want to taste the bitter a bit. I think the amount needed to work as an effective anti-bacterial/preservative would have to be noticeable.

Comment from bds
Time: November 18, 2016, 3:28 am

I do not think alcoholic brews absolutely have to have a bitter component. I think it’s a matter of taste, so that it is not just cloyingly sweet.

Particularly something like beer. With cider or wine, there’s some natural tartness, more or less, depending on the specific fruit used. With beer, the sugary extract from malted barley or other grain is comparable to thin molasses. If you’re going to distill it down (whisky) it’s not too bad, but just drinking the direct product of the fermentation would be a bit much.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: November 18, 2016, 4:11 am

Dead Pool 90: Gah, so many good Arkancide possibilities to choose from this time round and the air is positively brimming with revenge and payback from that nasty old hag.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2016, 8:16 am

Did you see her appearance yesterday, Argentium. Holy shit, she’s aged a thousand years (or they’ve stopped propping her up with expensive drugs).

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: November 18, 2016, 2:15 pm

Yeah Stoaty, I saw. Given that the election is over, the tricks they used to make her look more vital and youthful won’t be in play anymore; no point now.

I suspect they were using several different things at various points during the campaign; botox, studio/video technologies, perhaps even a body double.

There was one appearance where a whole bunch of people were holding up their phones recording Hillary as she took the stage. The video on all of the phones didn’t match what was being shown to the viewers (room didn’t match and it was like Hillary was a vampire in front of a mirror – she simply wasn’t in the phones’ video screens.) I swear, most of this stuff is faked now so they can control their presentation and message better.

Check this out for instance: Age reduction VFX | De-aging | Digital Cosmetics – pretty impressive.

Hollywood and magicians use deception to entertain. Politicians use it to deceive and grab power. No wonder they get along so well.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: November 18, 2016, 3:27 pm

“Did you see her appearance yesterday, Argentium. Holy shit, she’s aged a thousand years (or they’ve stopped propping her up with expensive drugs).”

The side by side pic The Daily Mail had up last night looked like the before and after of Smeagol into Gollum. She almost had The Precious. Wonder if Bill will divorce her now…that would be delicious.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 18, 2016, 4:33 pm

Argentium: I saw a video like that. The camera phones did not match the room. The camera showed a huge crowd where there was actually a small crowd greeting her. I wonder how much time and money it takes to doctor video. Campaign workers recently complained that they had little money for a ground game in WI and MI and that is why those states flipped but Hillary was having huge celebrity fund raisers almost to the very end.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: November 18, 2016, 7:39 pm

I thought for sure a braggot was some sort of insult aimed at Brexit folks.
I need to get away from politics for like….. a decade.

Comment from Niña
Time: November 19, 2016, 3:17 am

I’ve made a braggot, and plain old mead, too. I hope I get to do it again one day.

I don’t drink it, but I love to make it!

Comment from BJM
Time: November 19, 2016, 3:49 am

OT but right up Stoatie’s alley… The Aberdeen Bestiary is now online. You can zoom in to drill down in the images …it’s wondrous.


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: November 19, 2016, 8:24 am

“hops are also a preservative agent.”

Anecdote (that is, I don’t know where I read this):

Hops were introduced in English beer as a preservative, and then banned as a nasty adulterant. Later on, the English decided they liked hops in beer, so the ban was rescinded.

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Time: December 1, 2021, 1:45 pm

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