Centuries ago, European farmers brewed beer from their own grains, a tradition made obsolete as technology developed. However, a primitive form of farmhouse brewing has been preserved in some of the northernmost European countries, including Finland. There, the production of sahti, an ale made from malted and unmalted grains such as barley, rye, and oats, lives on as one of the best examples of what European beer was like before the Middle Ages.
Author and brewer Mika Laitinen, who lives and brews in Finland, not far from the sahti heartland, was able to fully immerse himself in the ancient brew. He takes readers on a lavishly illustrated tour of rustic farmhouses fueled by wood and passion, covering the tradition, culture, and history behind sahti and other farmhouse ales.
Laitinen writes about the craft of farmhouse ales, with chapters on farmhouse methods for harvesting and maintaining yeasts, the Nordic preference for juniper infusions, and regional grains and malts and related practices, such as the now-defunct Finnish tradition of using saunas for malting. He also teaches readers how to make their own sahti and other Viking and medieval ales, providing recipes and step-by-step instructions.
As the first English-language book to describe the tradition, history, and hands-on brewing of this ancient ale, Viking Age Brew: The Craft of Brewing Sahti Farmhouse Ale is perfect for history buffs and brewers of all experience levels who want to take a trip back in time.
Viking Age Brew: The Craft of Brewing Sahti Farmhouse Ale
Part I: Tradition, Culture, and History
Chapter 1: An Introduction to Farmhouse Ales
A Few Sips and the Bigger Picture
Chapter 2: Brew Day with a Master
Learning the Craft the Traditional Way
Chapter 3: The Landscape of European Farmhouse Ales
A Family Tree of Folk Beers
Chapter 4: History of Farmhouse Ales
What Beer Was Like a Thousand Years Ago
Chapter 5: Drinking Sahti
Is It a Beer Style?
Chapter 6: Commercial Production
Chapter 7: Low-Alcohol Farmhouse Ales
Nourishment for Work
Part II: The Craft of a Farmhouse Brewer
Chapter 8: Grain and Malt
Once Brewers Did It All Themselves
Chapter 9: Yeast
That Mysterious Touch in Liquid Lore
Chapter 10: Brewing Herbs
Preserving, Filtering, and Flavoring Too
Chapter 11: The Brewing Process
How Sahti Is Born
Part III: In Your Kitchen or Brewery
Chapter 12: Doing It Ourselves
Tips for Brewing
Chapter 13: Re-creating Medieval and Viking Ales
Brew Like a Viking
Chapter 14: Recipes
Examples and Starting Points
A Review of References and Bibliography
Publish Date: 2019
Format: 6" x 9" softcover
Publication Weight: 2 lbs
By Mika Laitinen