Het brouwproces in Brabant en Vlaanderen tijdens de late middeleeuwen en de nieuwe tijd



As is the case today the late medieval and early modern brewing process can be divided into
four phases: malting, brewing in the proper sense (boiling), fermenting and conditioning. An
analysis of these phases shows that technological and organizational progress was rather
limited in this period, especially when compared with the great innovations of the 19th
century. The brewer of the pre-industrial era relied on his sensory experience and based his
manual work on the orally transmitted traditions that from time to time were completed with
some tips from a written recipe or a printed beer manual. Prospective brewers learned their
craft as an apprentice to a master within the guild. The main innovation in the brewing
process was undoubtedly the full assimilation of hops as an essential raw material. Other
improvements must have occurred as well, though they are difficult to detect. The growing
size of the kettle provides a good indication of such improvements since it proves that the size
of an average brew was continuously increasing between 1400 and 1800.