Beer – the Prepper’s Beverage
In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be nice to dwell a little on why brewing beer should be a staple of your prepping repertoire.
First a little history, the ancient Egyptians were known to include breweries in the massive worker complexes. It was considered to be a gift from the gods and of course, if you spent the day hauling massive rocks on top of pyramids, I am pretty sure you would have enjoyed a good frothy ale in the evening too. But on a more practical side, brewing beer includes boiling the mixture and that means that beer is not harmful to drink (as opposed to taking big gulps of raw water from the Nile). Those pyramids and temples would never have been built if the work force was crippled by disease from contaminated water.
And as discovered by Dr John Snow (who as far as I know was not a bastard, as opposed to one of my favorite characters in Game of Thrones Jon Snow) in 1854 during the cholera outbreak in Soho, London. He used a dot map to pinpoint the contaminated water source (one well dug too close to a leaky septic tank) but was perplexed that none of the monks in the nearby monastery were afflicted by the disease. Turns out that they were drinking beer which during the brewing process, was sterilizing the water. Thus refuting my wife’s animosity towards my beer consumption – Beer is healthy! It is a medically proven fact.
Ok, so the process of making beer is pretty simple:
- Malted barley is soaked in hot water to release the malt sugars
- The malt sugar solution is boiled with hops to season the mixture
- The solution is cooled and yeast is added to start the fermentation process
- The yeast ferments the mixture, consuming the sugar and releasing carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol
- Once the main fermentation is complete or near finished, the beer is bottled with a small dose of sugar to continue the fermentation and carbonate the beer (the carbon dioxide is forced into solution as the bottle is sealed and the contents are under pressure).
While the process sounds simple, there is some finesse to the art of brewing beer and you can discover the joy of making your own brew by getting a kit and following the directions and experimenting with recipes. Design your own label (Prepper’s Harvest or Survivor’s Golden Ale) and have a little fun with your new-found skill. Not to mention the enjoyment of imbibing the fruit of your labor. And if the grid goes down, your home-made beer may help lubricate social interaction among your survivor community in the absence of television, video games, and social media. Beer can be part of your post-apocalyptic entertainment plan.
Finally, in addition to the health benefits (avoiding contaminated waterborne diseases) and social benefits, you might also discover that beer enhances your value to your survivor community – nobody wants to mess with the guy who brews the beer for the tribe! And of course, beer is a great barter item. Either as part of a post catastrophe business or simply a straight product for swapping.
Furthermore, your watering hole might be the place to catch up on news and exchange information (which in and of itself will be valuable as people will be yearning for news in the area).
So take a little time this holiday season and see if a beer making kit might be more than just a thoughtful present to a loved one – it might be a great addition to your prepper quotient.
De Oppresso Liber