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Thread: grains are evil, so drink beer page

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    mhoward's Avatar
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    Hello all,


    Just picked up a book - 'sacred and herbal healing beers'. It is partly a history of beer in the context of indigenous cultures and also the development of agriculture. The book argues that the earliest grain-farming was intended not for breadmaking etc. but for beer making.


    Of course, I'm not suggesting drinking excessively, and too much beer obviously can lead to fatty liver, visceral fat, etc.


    However, it is interesting that beer making is was a way to make grains digestable/better for human consumption. It renders the starches into simple, digestible sugar; increases the protein content (partly by the addition of tiny yeasts, themselves); and it adds complex b vitamins. I imagine it also removes the phytic acid, but I have no authority at hand for that idea. (Does it also eliminate gluten?)


    What do you all think? Making beer from grain is likely a neolithic invention. I wonder though, if it is a healthy part of a somewhat-primal diet. Should it be viewed as a legitimate food, rather than part of the 20% that we look down on?


    At the very least, it is interesting to think even neolithic cultures were aware that grains are best consumed only after soaking, germinating (malting) and fermenting.


    (Caveat - I am not suggesting that beer would be useful for those trying to lose weight under the PB. I am 6' and 163 lbs. Keeping it on is more of an issue)


  2. #2
    Mr B's Avatar
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    5' 11, 160lbs here...i feel ya on keepin' it on.


    i also love me some beer.


    and even though, i've read a number places of the possible nutritional "merits" of beer....i'd also venture to say that if people have to go to that much trouble just to make something edible...chances are they/we might not necessarily be meant to eat it in the first place.


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    DebFM's Avatar
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    Mhoward, Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers is one of my favorite books. I've made many of his recipes. As for the gluten, it sounds like it makes it into the beer. As for how much, I couldn't find a definitive answer & most of the articles I've read deal with how drinking beer would effect someone with full-blown celiac.


    You can make many of Buhner's recipes with just sugar. I've used a sucanat/brown sugar combo in both the nettle beer & in ginger beer and they came out well (= didn't last long!). My personal favorite to make, though, is mead. Made some lovely elderberry mead in November.


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    Fermentation does NOT remove gluten (it's a protein, after all). Fermentation provides a safer liquid than, say, a stream passing through a farming settlement, and it's that aspect of safety that was more important even through the 18th century than making the grains themselves easier to digest.


    Having spent a not-insignificant amount of time in the beer business, and as the current organizer of beer club (hosted by a bakery), I have struggled to figure out beer's role in my vastly more Primal lifestyle. I just toss it comfortably in my 20%, drink WAY WAY less (and I was not a big drinker in recent years - one a night kinda guy) and enjoy the hell out of the delicious craft beers I do drink. And yeah, once a month I "forget" about the grain thing and eat the astonishingly delicious sourdough our host makes ... it's almost worth the stuffy nose and bad sleep that night.


  5. #5
    Judymac's Avatar
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    You know the reason they brewed beer was because the water was undrinkable...cholera etc...


    If you are looking for old types of alcohol may I recommend meads and naturally fermented cider.


    The oldest form of documented beer was brewed using honey and meadowsweet flowers (oldest known natural beer yeast)...and yes I can bore you to death on this topic, I'm into homebrew and make mead, beer and cider.


    I can also say that our primal ancesters would have used freeze distillation to make a more potent brew. Stand container out in the cold, let it freeze for 2 hours, pour the alcohol out, and discard the ice cube. Though with normal winter temperatures it is unlikely that it would be more than 20% alcohol, normal homebrew beer being 6%, mead 12% and cider 9%.


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    arthurb999's Avatar
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    mmmm... beer.


  7. #7
    SerialSinner's Avatar
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    I used to think differently, but, except for rare cases, the insulin response and the gluten hangover make drinking beer no longer worth the hassle for me.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  8. #8
    Kaizen's Avatar
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    Well I've never been a fan of alcohol to begin with, so I'm a bit biased. In my opinion, like mentioned above, if you have to go through that much to make it 'edible', then you shouldn't eat/drink it. Personally I think having a "cheat" once in a while won't kill you, hell you're going from ingesting it on a consistent basis to having it once in a blue moon. Pretty sure you'll be safe, so have the good stuff, but don't make it a habit.


  9. #9
    one_eye_mike's Avatar
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    “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”


    Benjamin Franklin


    “Here's to beer: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.”


    Homer Simpson


  10. #10
    mhoward's Avatar
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    Awesome, and thanks in particular to DebFM and Judymac.


    Perhaps I should look into the mead being sold at the farmer's market. I had not specifically considered the fact that gluten would still be present in beer. In that case, it is a bit like liquid bread.


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