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Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation Paperback – September 18, 1998
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From the Back Cover
. . . The ancient beers, created . . . between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago, were quite different from what we know as beer today. Many were sacred beers, and hundreds contained medicinal herbs.--From the book
The author's beautiful and provocative exploration of the sacredness and folklore of ancient fermentation is revealed through 200 plants and hive products. Includes 120 recipes for ancient and indigenous beers and meads from 31 countries and six continents--and the most complete evaluation of honey ever published.
Top Customer Reviews
1) It's probably a good idea to try small doses of such recipes until you know how your body will respond.
2) It's probably a good idea to do further research before you make up your mind on these matters.
Now for a word on substance. This book is written from a very primitivist perspective. The author is upfront about his views in this area, and tries to share them. I didn't feel like the book was overly proselytizing in this area, though I recognize that some fellow reviewers differ here.
Secondly he advocates what one might call "unscientific brewing." I'm a big fan of unscientific brewing. I've brewed in similar ways for nearly two decades. In this way, sense, artistry, and experience are used to produce a beer, mead, etc rather than rigorous measurement and control. For example, I sterilize all my equipment with heat (I don't use chemicals), I don't even own a hydrometer, and and I brew beer using touch and feel rather than time and temperature. In this way, I sacrifice some repeatability for variation and an ability to improvise at each step.Read more ›
As for the beers themselves, Buhner takes a relaxed attitude. Indigenous people make beer without fancy equipment, and we can too. What matters most is what tastes good to us--which means we have to do a lot of experimenting! There are lots of recipes to try here, from the Middle Ages up to the present. But the choice is not as wide as it first looks, because not all of the ingredients are easily available. If you get into this, the next book you'll want may be "The Brewer's Garden."
Unfortunately, Buhner has an obvious agenda to push (he makes no bones about this), and can't resist continually beating the reader over the head with it. Even when I agree with a lot of what he says, it's very annoying to be reading an interesting passage about tribal prayer ritual and have him go off on a screed about how much better this is than traditional patriarchal western spritless yada yada yada... again.
Furthermore, he seems unable to list an ingredient without mentioning how it cures every disease known to man ('studies have shown') and that 'growing number of scientists' are 'just beginning to realize' how far superior this ingredient is to anything science has ever been able to produce. It gets old very quickly.
In spite of my negativity here, he has gathered a lot of fascinating information. If you love the idea of 'Beer Soup for the Soul', this book is absolutely for you. Or if you're looking for some neat information on the history of brewing, and you can stand wading through what my friend calls, less charitably the 'hippie dippie crap', give it a look.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I learned about this Author and book at a Tai Chi class. I ordered it right away. What a great historical and interesting read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Apolonia Galie
Fascinating book. Loved the history of beers and the recipes.Published 3 months ago by Doris C. West
Not quite what I had suspected bit quite enjoyable all around.Published 5 months ago by isaiah herbert
I really enjoy this book. It is not necessarily laid out like a recipe book but more of a history book that includes recipes. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LMT
A cobbled-together collection of 3rd hand information. Most of the recipes are garbage. The author has since stated that he never tested most of them. Read morePublished 5 months ago by anoplura