Tag Archives: resources


We hold these truths about shopping for honey:

  • It’s heavy and expensive to ship
  • It should only travel in food-safe plastic in case you drop it.
  • The golden goose is getting real honey at $3 a pound, but the only reasonable way to do that these days is to buy in bulk. Honey is 12 lbs per gallon. You can go in with friends to buy a 60 lb. pail – that’s only 5 gallons.

The Bee Folks in Mt. Airy, MD.  If you do not live close by, check with friends in Highland Foorde, Storvik, or Bright Hills to see if they could pick up your order and bring it to you at an event. The Bee Folks also have a booth at Pennsic.


books from Sir John Soanes MuseumSecondary Sources: Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources. Generally, they are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. However, what some define as a secondary source, others define as a tertiary source. Context is everything.
from http://www.lib.umd.edu/tl/guides/primary-sources accessed 9/15/2014

Where possible we have linked to free sources: Project Gutenberg, Google Scholar, anywhere we can find a free version that you could read or possibly download.  For a couple we have only found partial  free versions, or free versions only through JSTOR, which is an academic paid-subscription database.  If you are a university student, or work at a university, you probably have access. If you’re not, find someone who is and ask very nicely…

If you don’t have any other book on SCA-period recipes, get this one:
A Sip Through Time: A collection of old brewing recipes.  Cindy Renfrow. 1994, 1997. Published by the author, Sussex, New Jersey, 1994.” ISBN 0-9628598-3-4

Primary sources: Primary sources are original materials. They are from the time period involved and have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation. Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are usually the first formal appearance of results in physical, print or electronic format. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information.
from http://www.lib.umd.edu/tl/guides/primary-sources accessed 9/15/2014

A couple of the books below were published after 1600.  It is generally accepted that the recipes themselves were collected and date before 1600.

Some places to find great primary sources on brewing: Google Books, Googls Scholar, Gutenberg Project, your local University library – and other medievally-minded brewers!

Some basic period-appropriate books we all reference:
Curye on Inglysch (Middle English recipes) (Early English Text Society Supplementary Series). Hieatt, Constance B., and Sharon Butler.   Early English Text Society. Second Series 8. London: Oxford UP, 1985.  JSTOR allows you to read online for free but charges for downloads.

The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. Opened:  Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wie, &c. Together with Excellent Directions for Cookery As also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c.    Digbie, Sir Kenelme (1669).  H. Brome, London.  Reproduced by the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works, 1967. Available through Project Gutenberg, which has .html, Kindle, .ePub, plain text, and other versions.

Delightes for Ladies   Plat, Sir Hugh.  Humfrey Lowens, London, 1602.  London:  Crosby Lockwood & Sons, Ltd., 1948. Available through Gutenberg, text directly from Elizabethan manuscript.

The Domostroi:  Rules for Russian Households In The Time Of Ivan the Terrible.   Pouncy, Carolyn Johnston (1995).    Cornell University Press, New York. Google has it in several editions, so this link is to the search page so you can make your own choice.

The English Housewife   Markham, Gervase,  1615.  Best, Michael R., ed.  McGill-Queen’ s University Press, 1986, 1998, 2003; ISBN10 0773511032,
ISBN13 9780773511033 Linked to Google Books.

The English Husbandman The First Part: Contayning the Knowledge of the true Nature of euery Soyle within this Kingdome: how to Plow it; and the manner of the Plough, and other Instruments   Produced by Louise Pryor, Jonathan Ingram and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net.  Multiple versions on Project Gutenberg. Has chapter on managing a hop garden.

The Jewel House of Art and Nature, Containing Divers Rare and Profitable Inventions, Together with Sundry New Experiments in the Art of Husbandry : with Divers Chimical Conclusions Concerning the Art of Distillation, and the Rare Practises and Uses Thereof.   Plat, Sir Hugh. Manuscript available through Google Scholar.

Le Ménagier de Paris, or The Goodwife’s Guide.  Trans. Greco, Gina L. and Rose, Christine M.  Cornell University Press; First Edition  2009.  ISBN-10: 0801474744; ISBN-13: 978-0801474743 . You have to have JSTOR access – usually via a university – you can check with friends who are students or work at one.

Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery   Hess, Karen, ed.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1981, 1995; ISBN10 0231049315, ISBN13 9780231049313. This is a partial view only, it doesn’t include all the pages.

Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks. Hieatt, Constance; Hosington, Brenda; and Butler, Sharon (2004). University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. You have to have a JSTOR account, usually via a university – you can check with friends who students or work at one.

(In a bit of shameless self-promotion, there are longer lists at Sorcha’s own brewing blog. Go to http://www.elspethpayne.com and search on “Books for Brewers”, where there are lists for primary and secondary sources, modern brewing books and books on honey and beekeeping. Or, go directly to (primary)  http://www.elspethpayne.com/2012/06/21/historical-primary-sources-for-brewers/ or (secondary) http://www.elspethpayne.com/2012/06/21/historical-brewing-secondary-sources/)

Notes from Lord Brynjolf’s First Guildhall meeting

Sept. 13, 2014: Guildmaster Lord Brynjolf Rauðskegg held a Guild Moot at Battle on the Bay in Storvik. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think would be interested, including local branches and households.

Also, keep in mind that no decisions on any subjects are being made until we’ve had a few more meetings. This is just brainstorming…Present were Baron Drogo Dragonara, Mistress Sorcha Crow, Lord Mikhail Novgorodets, Lady Cristofana di Lorenzo, Lady Rúna Hóvmansdóttir, Lord Hrothgar Ioanesson Berglund, Lord Dughall-Eoghann LeGrande, and myself [Lord Brynjolf]. 

– To encourage brewing and a forum for networking.
– Special focus on encouraging and supporting new brewers.
– A need to change the perception that the Guild makes drink just to get drunk; and to counter by raising/reinforcing the Guild’s A&S profile.
– “More advertising, better marketing.”
– A need for more policing.
– Better exposure (articles in Tournaments Illustrated, etc).

– Abandon the competition-driven model?
– Abandon the apprentice/journeyman/master structure (while period, it conflicts with the apprentice/laurel relationship).
– Leverage the existing award structure (Coral Branch/Opal, Pearl, etc.) instead? Make award recommendations as a Guild…
– Use Atlantia’s Silver Spindle’s skills check-list format? Multiple tracks to accommodate individual styles (mead, beer, cordial, etc).
– Internal awards for brewing achievements?

– More focus on enjoyment of the beverage.
– More focus on learning and feedback instead of “winning.”
– Competitions versus Round Tables were discussed.
– Again, better advertising and marketing (especially with advance notification, announcing a competition three weeks before the event does no good).
– Working more with autocrats to better promote competitions.
– Reinforce the policy of not judging any entries that do not include an ingredient list (safety).
– We briefly touched on reviewing/revising the judging rubric.

– Resources page, with bibliography, book reviews, links to suppliers, etc.
– Compile a list of wet event sites.
– Consider adding a list of active participants (members).
– Abandon the Yahoo list and add a Forum to the website?
– Move the listserv to the Seahorse server?
– New brewer resource, including simple medieval beer and mead recipes.

– Discussed site limitations and how to leverage “wet” sites.
– Exploring sites in Stierbach and Spiaggia Levantina were mention specifically.
– More brewing-oriented Universities/University-style events (sites are an issue).
– Discussed ideas for a Guild table at KASF 2015. We’ve done them in the past and they’ve been a success.

Good lord. Did we really discuss all that…?

Anyway, that’s the basics. Again, feel free to share with local branches and households.

Also feel free to post questions/comments/additions/corrections. Seriously. We are soliciting feedback and looking for ideas.

The next meeting is scheduled for War of the Wings, Friday night, 7:00 at the House Barra camp. This will be a fairly short meeting, since the Sapor Secui! open tasting party follows at 8:00.

Lord Brynjolf