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Check It Out with Chelsea: Medieval stein brew

Newswatch 16's Chelsea Strub gets a lesson in Lackawanna County in a craft that goes back more than 500 years

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — A step into a Newton Township backyard in Lackawanna County appears to be a step back in time.

"Today we're doing a stein brew. This is medieval brewing, so the way beer was made 500 years ago," Scott Hercher explained. "Before we had fancy copper burners and gas things — we're doing it the old-fashioned way."

The Scranton Brewers Guild has been together for 12 years.

"We meet the last Wednesday of every month at Cooper's Seafood. We also usually do a second meeting at various other establishments in northeastern Pennsylvania."

These hobbyists say beer was the drink of choice during medieval times.

"They didn't know that if you just simply boiled the water, that would sterilize it, kill any bacteria, and it would be perfectly safe to drink. But they did figure out that if you brought your beer up to a boil before you fermented it, it would make a really great product."

These brewers walked us through the process, first taking grains, soaking it in hot water, and making a mash. The mash goes in the barrel with the hot stones.

"Then we'll run that beer into this big whiskey barrel," Hercher said. "Once we have all the beer in there, that's when we'll add the stones, which we're heating up in this fire."

"We have to get it down to red hot coals," said Sean Wolfe. "Takes about two and a half hours. Then we add all of our rocks in the top, and you can see that we have a couple in here that are almost ready to brew."

When the time comes, they'll add honey and yeast.

The results will be ready to drink around Thanksgiving

RELATED: Brewing Beer In A Wooden Barrel With The Scranton Brewer's Guild

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