Brewing culture in Russia evolved over the centuries. Moreover, this product is difficult to call only Russian. Many nations that were part of the empire had their own beer history and practice. An example of this is Chuvashia. Beer here is allowed to drink even to children - because it is brewed in such a way that it allows you to quench your thirst and get enough, but not grow drunk. And do not favor drunkards.
I continue to acquaint readers with the work of foreign agents. Which, as it is officially considered to be, slander Mother Russia. And today - an excellent material from the portal Idel. Realia (daughter of Radio Liberty). I think it is not difficult to estimate how much impotent anger there is in which our haters fight. And at the same time understand how much we will lose in studying the traditions of the country because of this stupid search for the next "enemies of the people." In general, we read and rejoice:
Small Sundyr is an old picturesque village 25 km from the capital of Chuvashia Cheboksary. Once there was a Siberian highway, and in the village there was a large post-Pit station.Now in the Small Sundyr there is a huge ethnographic complex. Near the museum we are met by his caretaker and chairman of the council of elders of the Small Sundyr, Vladislav Elmen.
Elmen is an old Chuvash surname. "El" means country, "less", "man" - a man. Vladislav Elmen makes a ladle with beer and sings an old greeting. Then our guide, a philologist, scientist and chairman of the Central Council of Chuvash Elders, Vitaly Stanyal, will tell you that the greeting contains an old formula that can be translated as follows: if there is no honey beer, then we will find intoxicated broth. Honey beers - simbyl and sherbet - were considered expensive because the healing ingredient was the key ingredient - honey (honey beer, of course, also treated us). We try and thank.
"RECIPES - HOW MANY CHUVASH WOMEN"
There are a lot of varieties of Chuvash home-made beer. There are everyday (usual), festive (fortified), ritual (memorial), children's (maxuma). The most insidious, leaving without a leg after one glass of drink - this is kyrchama, fermented also on honey. All varieties have a high density, but different degrees.The recipes, our interlocutors proudly inform, as much as Chuvash women. Beer in Chuvashia was traditionally brewed by women and from generation to generation passed on the secrets of craftsmanship.
Apparently, thanks to the almost complete absence of degrees in everyday beer, home brewers were not persecuted even at the height of the Soviet anti-alcohol campaigns. Perhaps the most appropriate comparison would be a simple beer with homemade kvass. On the other hand, the traditional Chuvash brewing remained a thing in itself. Although in Chuvashia there is even its own analogue of the German Oktoberfest - the festival of autumn beer Ker Keri, it has not become a magnet for the mass tourist (unlike Germany).
Perhaps because in this drink in the Chuvash villages they do not see any special commercial value - they brew it mainly for themselves, like many centuries before.
The museum has an exhibition dedicated to brewing. The utensils presented there are at least a hundred years old.
Vladislav Elmen complains that there are almost no such utensils in the houses.But traditions are preserved. And those who keep these traditions.
Cooking goes in the back yard of the house Elmenei. The owner himself shows and tells, several women help him, and the relative is controlled by the relative - the oldest resident of the village, Maria Andreyevna Elman. The younger generation is also here: three girls in beautiful national costumes are closely watching what is happening. Someday they will brew traditional Chuvash beer.
The most difficult and long stage is the preparation of malt. First, it is sifted. The sieve is the wind. Then wash. Empty ("hungry") grains float. They are thrown away.
Grains are soaked for a day. Two days they will germinate. Then, to stop growth, the grains are poured with boiling water and put in the oven for 12 hours. In the oven, the grain swells even more, and it turns malt. It is poured onto the tray and put into the oven again. In the morning, malt can be threshed.
In the process there are many subtleties. For example, the stove must be given time to cool slightly so that the grains do not burn. Vladislav Dmitrievich complains that now even in the villages there are no traditional Russian stoves left. Rescues him, like many other home brewers, stove-heater in the bath.Adapted - it turns out no worse.
Brewing begins with the fact that sugar is poured into the pot (earlier, when there was no sugar, boiled beets). When the sugar becomes brownish, pour water and stir the broth. At this time, it is customary to commemorate the departed and to ask God that the beer should turn out to be “good” and “acceptable to all”.
In the sweet broth pour hops. It was accepted that women sing at this time, and children danced. The hops are poured only once and boiled for several hours so that the bitterness is gone. This is a very important point. The Chuvash do not approve of the drunken and bitter beer. Then add the malt and boil a few more hours.
All this time, the broth must be constantly stirring, otherwise settled to the bottom of the heavy malt can burn to the boiler. The resulting broth is filtered through the branches of raspberry, linden, birch and layers of rye straw (the branches serve as a coarse filter, and the straw - fine).
In the finished broth add yeast and sugar. Sugar is added in large portions and tasted every time. If honey beer is prepared, honey is added instead of sugar. Beer should ferment for at least a week, and all two are better.
"DO NOT DRINK, DO NOT LEAVE"
Since brewing beer is a complex and long process, it is brewed in large portions for large events: weddings, funerals, housewarming and various calendar holidays.Previously, the beer was kept for a long time, it was already boiled, and it was boiled again, dipping special red-hot stones right into the tub.
And still beer was stored (and stored till now) in an ice cellar. This beer is called snow (Juraj syri). It is served in a heated dish. Especially good snow beer in the heat.
The final, but no less important than the cooking itself, is the tasting stage.
Tasting is a solemn event. She passes in the house, behind the table, which is bursting with pies and snacks. The girls lead a dance, and the hosts and guests sing an old table song ("About twelve hoops a barrel, until we have a drink we will not leave").
The main taster is the oldest resident of the Small Sundyr Vasily Vladimirovich Elman. He tries the beer and then gives a speech. Vasily Vladimirovich praises beer and brewers. And he wishes everyone that "the world should hold fast."