uMqombothi in Ancient Egypt and Today

uMqombothi was generally known as “Hqt” (“heqet” or “heket”), but was also called “tnmw” (“tenemu”) and there was also a type of Afrikan Ancient Traditional Beer known as haAmt (“kha-ahmet”). The determinative of the word Hqt (beer) was a Beer Calabash.

It is no exaggeration to say that Afrikan Ancient beer was of central importance to ancient Egyptian society as it is still today.  Afrikan Ancient Traditional Beer was enjoyed by the African community, was the staple ordinary Egyptians but was also central to the diet of wealthy Egyptians. The Gods were often made offerings of beer and beer was mentioned in the traditional offering formula.

There is some evidence that uMqombothi was a staple foods in Ancient Egypt. Umqombothi was and still is used as an offering to the Ancestors. It summons the Spirits during rituals, ceremonies or any celebration.

One have to brew to celebrate the birth of a child, wedding, rites of passage and other ceremonies related to Ancient rituals. UMqombothi is brewed for the whole week and sieve on the third day. thick and sweet. However African Ancient Traditional Beer could also be as intoxicating. Rather it was nutritious.

A popular myth tells how Umqombothi saved humanity when Sekhmet (in her role as the “Eye of Ra”) was tricked into drinking coloured beer which she mistook for blood and became very drunk, passing out for three days! Although the above three goddesses were closely associated with Umqombothi, it was Tjenenet who was the official ancient Egyptian Goddess of beer.

According to legend, Osiris taught Ancient Egyptians the art of brewing African Ancient Traditional Beer, but the brewing was traditionally but not exclusively a female activity though which women could earn a little extra money (or bartered goods) for themselves and their families.

The main ingredient in the beer was bread made from a rich yeasty dough possibly including malt. The bread was lightly baked and crumbled into small pieces before being strained through a sieve with water. Flavour was added in the form of dates and the mixture was fermented in a large vat and then stored in large jars. However, there is also evidence that beer was brewed from barley and emmer which was heated and mixed with yeast and uncooked malt before being fermented to produce beer.

Today we still use Umqombothi is a traditional beer made from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt -Amabele , brown Whitty Nut Flour and water.

You will need:

  1. 25 L bucket
  2. Umphongolo (Large containers for liquids that should be able to hold around 40 L. Consider using buckets that you have at your disposal if you don’t have large containers.)
  3. The largest pot you have in your house to cook… or Black iron pot
  4. Ivovo (sieve)
  5. Ukhamba (calabash) to serve the beer

Ingredients:

  1. 5 kg mealie meal
  2. 1 kg Whitty Nut Brown Flour
  3. 4 kg umthombo wamabele (wheat malt)
  4. Cold water
  5. Boiling water

It takes 4 days to make umqombothi using this recipe.

Method to Produce uMqombothi

Day 1

  1. Mix 5 kg mealie meal, 1 kg whitty nut and 1 kg wheat malt in the 25 L bucket.
  2. Add cold water to reach ¾ level of the bucket and add 1 kettle of boiling water.
  3. Mix all these ingredients together, place the lid on the bucket (But do not seal the lid, just place it on top.)
  4. Leave the mixture to ferment overnight on a mat in a warm room.

Day 2

You should start to see the results of the fermentation in the mixture (it should be foamy).

  1. Stir to lift ingredients resting at the bottom of the bucket.
  2. Fill the large pot with 3/5 of water and heat it to boiling point.
  3. Slowly add the fermented mixture to the boiling water until it forms the same texture as that of porridge.
  4. Once cooked, empty some of the contents of the pot into the large container and leave a little cooked mixture in the pot.
  5. Slowly add more of the fermented mixture to fill the pot. You will have to keep adding warm water to ensure the porridge is smooth.
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 until all the fermented contents of the 25 lt bucket are cooked.
  7. Leave the cooked porridge in the large container with the lid on top (do not seal the lid, just place it on top).
  8. Allow to cool for the rest of the day and overnight.

Day 3

  1. Add the remaining 3 kg wheat malt – Umthombo to the cold porridge mixture and stir the ingredients together.
  2. Leave the cold porridge and wheat malt mix in the large container with the lid on top. Do not seal the lid, just place it on top.
  3. Leave the mixture to ferment overnight on a mat in a warm room.

Day 4

  1. On the morning of day 4, the contents of the pot should have the appearance of umqombothi – a thick, rich foamy layer flowing out of the container.
  2. Stir the ingredients
  3. Ivovo is a woven sieve and it is ideal for brewing umqombothi. Fill it with the mixture and twist to strain the liquid into the second large container.
  4. Empty the sieve of the grains and repeat step 3 until all the mixture is strained.
  5. Bring out ukhamba, the calabash, and serve your umqombothi…

Ancient Afrikan Knowledge..

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