I’m returning to one my other 1,253 obsessions: Lager. Especially old Lager. And ones that aren’t pale. My life is made easier because it’s German beer. They were very into all the technical chemical stuff. Which means there are loads of analyses of beers available.
Like this one of Munich-brewed Dunkles from 1902. It’s particularly useful because it includes a colour measurement. OK, it’s one I don’t completely understand, but it’s better than nowt. In the original table, it’s described as n/100 iodine solution. With n presumably standing for the number in the table. If you understand how that relates to modern colour systems, let me know. I’d look it up on the internet, but I really can’t be arsed at the moment.
Even without knowing what it means on modern scales, we can see that there’s a big variation in colour between the different beers. Almost 100%. Also that the beers with the highest gravities, don’t necessarily have the darkest colour. While one of the darkest beers has one of the lowest OG’s.
What does that tell us? Either they were using base malts of very different colours. Or that they were using darker malt for colouring as well as base malt. I think the second is far more likely.
High OG, averaging at 13.52º Balling. That would count as Märzen in Bavaria today. But the FGs are high, too. A crap degree of attenuation is a typical feature of pre-WW I Lagers. These don’t disappoint.
I was surprised by the high levels of acetic acid. Anything over 0.10% is quite high. Especially in a Lager.
|Munich Dunkles in September 1902|
|FG||OG||extract||ABV||maltose||dextrin||lactic acid||real attenuation||colour|
|Bayerisches Brauer-Journal issue 49, December 1902, page 353.|