Tuesday, 8 February 2011

What exactly is an Oast House?

oast [əʊst]n Chiefly Brit
1. a kiln for drying hops
2. Also called oast house a building containing such kilns, usually having a conical or pyramidal roof

From Wikipedia:
"They consist of two or three storeys on which the hops were spread out to be dried by hot air from a wood or charcoal-fired kiln at the bottom. The drying floors were thin and perforated to permit the heat to pass through it and escape through a cowl in the roof which turned with the wind. The freshly picked hops from the fields were raked in to dry and then raked out to cool before being bagged up and sent to the brewery. The Kentish dialect word kell was sometimes used for kilns ("The oast has three kells.") and sometimes to mean the oast itself ("Take this lunchbox to your father, he's working in the kell.")."

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