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Home » Recipes » Gilgamash Sumerian Beer
Gilgamash Sumerian Beer
Combining a love of history and brewing and aided by information freely available on the web, including Anchor Brewing. The idea was to recreate something similiar to what is described in the Hymn to Ninkasi. The basic idea is to recreate the bappir bread of old. Think of bappir as a Sumerian Energy Bar. Barley Flour, Dates and spices baked together and dried out. The bappir is then crumbled into a hot water mash with more malted barley.
Notes on baking the bappir and brewing the beer here.
It should also be noted that as none of the Falcons are actually Ancient Sumerians, we're probably wrong on what bappir consisted of and how the beer was actually brewed. As a side note, we'll probably go ahead and brew a modern version of this beer with at least a brief boil, a quick cooldown and tight sanitation and fermentation controls.
Photos of the Baking and Brew sessions
Style:    Historical/Experimental Beer
Brewed by:    Drew Beechum and Cullen Davis
Batch Size:    5.5 Gallons
Boil Time:    0 Minutes
Actual OG    1.044
Est. IBU    0 IBUs
Efficency    54%
Est. Color    11.1 SRM
Recipe Index | Promash File
Grains, Extracts, Sugars
Malt Name Maltser Amount Percentage
Domestic 2-Row Great Western 6.0 lbs 50.0%
Bappir Bread 6.0 lbs 50.0%
Bappir Bread (enough for 2 batches)
Malt Name Maltser Amount Percentage
Domestic 2-Row Great Western 6.0 lbs
Zahidi Dates 3.0 lbs
Flaked Barley 1.0 lbs
Special B Malt Dingemans 0.50 lbs
Carafa Malt Weyermann 0.25 lbs
Spices and Other Ingredients
4   Large Radishes, Grated
3 tsp   ground Yellow Mustard Seeds
4 tsp   ground Coriander Seeds
4 tsp   ground Anise Seeds
3.5 quarts   Water
Man. Code Name Type Amount (Starter)
Safale US56 American Ale Ale 2.0 Packets
Mash Schedule
Step Rest Temp Rest Time Heat Water
Mash In 150°F 60 minutes Infusion 3.5G
Sparge 150°F 3.5G

Brewmaster Bread Notes:

Malted barley was ground into flour using the club's old Corona mill. (1 hour of hard work to grind 6.5 lbs of flour.)

Zahidi dates were chosen because they're regionally appropriate and they impart a golden caramel flavor.

Bappir ingredients were mixed together using a large stand mixer.

Dough was kneaded until the water was worked through the dough and it held together and looked smooth.

Dough was formed into 8, 1 inch loaves.

Loaves were baked for 35 minutes at 375°F on a baking stone.

After being cooled, the loaves were baked again for 15 minutes at 350F to further dry.

Bread was baked several days before the brew session.

The bappir was dense and chewy with a large spicy anise character. Really would store well in the desert and was surprisingly moist thanks to the dates.

Brewmaster Beer Notes:

Strike water was combined with the malt and then the bappir was crumbled into the mash and stirred. By the end of the mash rest, the bread was completely dissolved.

This mash stuck. Not a little, a lot. In order to keep things sane, a pound of rice hulls was stirred in. A basic vorlauf was performed, but it wasn't pushed too far towards clarity.

Beer was NOT boiled.

Mash was aromatic and flavorful, full of the spice aromas from the bread.

The beer was cooled to pitching temperature naturally (~16 hours) in the carboy before being pitched with yeast.

Sanitation was just a wee bit loose on this batch of beer. We'll see if it bites us.

Final product is intended to be served quickly (6 days)

Special Thanks to Di for coming up with the name of the brew.


Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.