13th Century Brewing Poem

 “Ale shall now engage my pen
To set at rest the hearts of men
First, my friend, your candle light,
Next of spiced cake take a bite.

Then steep your barley in a vat,
Large and broad, take care of that.
When you shall have steeped your grain
And the water let out – drain

Take it to an upper floor,
If you’ve swept it clean before;
There couch and let your barley dwell,
Till it germinates full well.

Mault you now shall call the grain,
Corn it ne’er shall be again.
Stir the mault then with your hand,
In heaps or rows now let it stand;

On a tray then you shall take it
To a kiln to dry and bake it.
The tray and eke a basket light
Will serve to spread the mault aright.

When your mault is ground in mill,
And of hot water has drunk its fill
And skill has changed the wort to ale,
Then to see you shall not fail.”

– Walter of Bibbesworth 13th Century

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