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One of the ways around the sanitation issue (at least in anglo saxon england) was having set brewery buildings. After a successfull brewery had been established it would be far more colonised by the desired yeast than anything else, so contamination wouldn't have been such an issue (setting one up at that period is generally thought to have involved a certain amount of luck!)In addition they used a "brewing stick" which was an apparently magical stick that would be used to stir all the brews and guarentee fermentation (using the same stick for all batches would inadvertantly transfer yeast accross to new batches) Also as previously mentioned brews generally weren't kept as long lessening the issues, which may be the most key part ;)
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