Saturday, 25 March 2017

Let's Brew - 1946 Tetley Mild

Here’s a beer with a very special place in my heart. Something which for seven years was about the only beer I drank.

It’s typical of a type of Mild brewed in Yorkshire, lying somewhere between pale and dark. Weirdly, all those years I drank it, I never realised that it wasn’t really that dark. More of a dark red than brown.

The effect of the war is plain to see in the grist. Flaked barley was forced on brewers as a replacement for flaked maize during hostilities. It’s interesting to see how Tetley’s adjunct usage changed over time. In 1939 it was grits, in 1941 flaked rice, in 1943 flaked oats, in 1944 flaked barley and flaked oats and in 1945 flaked barley. All mostly out of the brewer’s hands.

What I’ve interpreted as brown sugar was listed as Barbados in the brewing record. While what I’ve put down as No. 3 invert was mostly ERC with a touch of G & S. No idea what either of those were but No. 3 is probably the best substitute.

The hops were a combination of Kent and Worcester, with no mention of variety. Chances were that they were Fuggles.

Though there’s not much difference in the OG compared the version I drank, the high degree of attenuation leaves this beer about 0.6% ABV stronger. The gravity is quite high for a Mild of this period. 1027-1030º was more typical.

1946 Tetley Mild
pale malt 4.00 lb 59.26%
flaked barley 1.00 lb 14.81%
brown sugar 0.75 lb 11.11%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.00 lb 14.81%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1034.3
FG 1005.3
ABV 3.84
Apparent attenuation 84.55%
IBU 10
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 63.75º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale

Friday, 24 March 2017


Now here’s something you’ve probably heard of: Weissbier. And I think mostly of the Berlin kind.

The beer’s specs: high CO2 content and low gravity, certainly sound like Berliner Weisse.

Weissbier has a high CO2 and low alcohol content, is a particularly refreshing drink, especially in the summer, and has an OG of 7-8% Balling.

To brew it half barley, half wheat-malt are used which makes it tingly, refreshing, and extremely palatable; But can also be made using with rice flour or broken rice up to 20% (and more), but it must first be gelatinised or the decoction method used; however, the infusion method is generally used.

Hops. These are not boiled directly with the wort, but are first boiled and this hop water is used to produce a mild taste. Aromatization. In order to obtain the well-liked flavour, spices are boiled in small sacks shortly before the wort is run off from the copper: citrus or cinnamon peels, cloves, coriander, juniper berries (the latter stir up the wild yeasts and bacteria) or they are added to the barrel when it is filled.

In order to facilitate "settling" in the cooler, vegetable finings (Irish moss) are already added in the copper and the wort is boiled until it breaks. As real finings 2 to 3 gr. of isinglass per hectolitre are added.

Attenuation: 50, or also up to 45%.

Some brewers, to help further clarification, pass the beer through a filter. - Before racking the Weissbier, which has been lagered for longer than 13 weeks (at 4-6° R [5º - 7.5º C]), has 0.5 to 1 liter of Kräusen per hectolitre added to it.

The yeast sits firmly on the bottom.

The clarified beer must have a fiery glow and foam in the glass.”
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, pages 66 - 67. (My translation.)

There are several interesting points in there.

Boiling the hops separately in water I’m sure I’ve heard of before. Not sure in what context. It sounds like another way of avoiding boiling the wort, which later in the 20th century was the case for Berliner Weisse.

The sacks of spices don’t sound very Reinheitsgebot. Nor Berliner Weisse. This book was published at a very odd moment: just about when the Reinheitsgebot was being introduced to the whole of Germany. The author describes several practices which I’m sure became illegal. It’s an interesting collection of spices. Orange peel and coriander sound like a Belgian Witbier. Though that’s probably no coincidence. Witbier is at the western end of a wheat beer tradition that stretched right across North Germany to Berlin.

Interesting that both Irish moss, isinglass and a filter were used. Sounds like they wanted to get a sparkling clear beer.

The section on Weissbier ends with some analyses:

Analyses of Weissbier
ABW Extract minerals CO2
Berln. Weisse I 3.91 4.85 0.17 0.32
                   II  3.33 4.28 0.16 0.2
             „ Export 2.2 6.14 0.18 0.4
             „ Jost  2.6 2.6 0.17 0.5
Potsd. Weisse 3.26 4.72 0.19 0.39
Kölner       3.55 3.71 0.16 0.4
Münch.      3.51 4.37 0.15 0.4

Thursday, 23 March 2017

A day in Noord Brabant (part two)

Having successfully negotiated the main shopping drag, we emerge at the entertainment district at its end.

It’s basically a street with wall-to-wall pubs, two of which are in my little guide. But I ignore Café Hoegaarden, having decided that Taphuys looks a better bet beer-wise. If Dolores hates it – as I suspect she might – we can always toodle along to Café Hoegaarden. That will probably be more to her taste.

It looks like they’re still setting up at Taphuys as a waitress is fiddling with the furniture outside and firing up the heaters. Inside, it’s pretty quiet. And very modern, in a hard and metallic sort of way. Quite like a lot of beer places in the US. I’m pleasantly surprised that Dolores hasn’t recoiled in horror yet. I feared this place would be too crafty for her.

Along a long wall is a row of taps. Hence the name, I guess. Here’s the thing, they aren’t behind a bar. The idea, as the waitress cheerfully explains, is to serve yourself. You put money on a credit-card type thing which you slot into the tap. As you pour beer into your glass, it counts money off the card.

Dolores is strangely taken with the concept. “Tickers will love it. They’ll be able to drink a thimbleful of each beer and tick them off.” I point out. She pours herself, somewhat surprisingly, a Boon Kriek. I manage to resist Abt and get some Tripel or other. The beer list is slightly odd, with quite a lot of UK and US beer, but not that much Dutch.

It’s about 3 PM and Dolores is getting keen to head on to Breda. She wants to look at a Begijnhof there.

“How about dropping by Kandinsky? It’s on the way.” Which is true. We’ll have to virtually walk past it to get to the station.

I’ve been to Kandinsky before, obviously. It’s one of Holland’s oldest specialist beer bars, having been around for several decades. As far as I can tell, nothing much has changed. It has the same dark brown and beer memorabilia décor it always had. The beer list doesn’t seem to have changed much, either.

I’m struck by the small number of beer taps – just eight. Time was that 15 draught beers was a big deal in Holland. The newer crafty places can have as many as 50. Like many of the first-wave beer pubs, Kandinsky concentrates more on bottled beer, offering more than 100.

I reflect on the differences between the three pubs we’ve visited today. Anvers attracts a wide audience and had adjusted its beer range to cater for newer trends. Taphuys is a haunt principally of the young with a trendier range of beer, clearly influenced by the tsunami of new Dutch breweries. And Kandinsky, well, seems to be catering for my age group, with a beer range that looks quite old-fashioned. I suspect they’ll need to make some changes to survive long term.

We have just the one then trundle off to the station. Breda-bound.

Tilburg station is weird. Just a roof really, with a few portacabin-like bits underneath. Which would be fair enough, if the roof weren't for display purposes only. It's raining and quite windy. The weirdly-shaped roof soars above the platforms in places, yet doesn't stretch all the way to their outermost  edge. Result: you'll get soaked standing on the one platform if it rains.

Breda station is even worse than Tilburg's. Descending from the platforms, you enter a weird grey twilight world. Like a Doom level, but not quite as cosy and welcoming. I'm gobsmacked.

The exterior is just as bad. Without the NS logo, you wouldn't guess it was a station. More like a failed attempt to build a prison from lego, where there weren't quite enough bricks of the right colour. Leading to random substitutions in other shades.

As I’m taking a photo a couple about my age walk past and the man says “A beautiful station, isn’t it?” obviously mistakenly thinking that I’m snapping it because it looks nice. All I can do is roll my eyes in reply. Not sure if he gets what I mean.

Begijnhof. If you're too lazy to look that up on the internet, I won't be arsed to tell you tomorrow.

Café Hoegaarden
Piusplein 2,
5038 WL Tilburg

't Taphuys
Piusplein 10,
5038 WL Tilburg.

Café Kandinsky
Telegraafstraat 58,
5038 BM Tilburg

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1953 Adnams Tally Ho

Now Scotland is out of the way I can return to that most exciting of decades, the 1950’s.

This is a beer you’ve probably heard of, if you’re British, as it’s still being brewed. I always thinks that makes things more fun. Though my guess is that the recipe has changed a bit over the last 60 years. If only because the strength has dropped a little.

Back in the early 1950’s, this was about as strong as British beer got. I’m not sure if it was available on draught back then. It might possibly have been, as a winter seasonal. Even in my younger days beers like Marstons Owd Roger would appear in a pin on the bar when the weather turned cold.

Adnams were a bit of an oddity in that they didn’t use any unmalted adjuncts, just malt and sugar. The vast majority of UK breweries were enthusiastic users of adjuncts, mostly in the form of flaked maize. They were pretty simple with their sugars, too, using numbered inverts rather than proprietary sugars. Which makes like easier both for me and for you.

The recipe here is much the same as their XX Mild Ale and XXXX Old Ale: medium malt (which I’ve interpreted as mild malt), amber malt, crystal malt, No. 3 invert sugar and a bit of caramel. Amber malt is an unusual ingredient in this period. You don’t see it much in the 20th century and it’s usually reserved for Stouts.

As always, the hop varieties are a guess, A pretty conservative one and Fuggles and Golding accounted for around 75% of UK-grown hops at the time.

1953 Adnams Tally Ho
mild malt 13.00 lb 75.76%
amber malt 1.25 lb 7.28%
crystal malt 80 L 1.25 lb 7.28%
no. 3 invert sugar 1.50 lb 8.74%
caramel 0.16 lb 0.93%
Fuggles 120 min 1.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1080
FG 1016.1
ABV 8.45
Apparent attenuation 79.88%
IBU 47
SRM 32
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A day in Noord Brabant

Dolores bought some cheap weekend train tickets. Valid for anywhere in Holland. But where to go.

“Harlingen looks nice. I quite fancy going there.” I suggest.

“Too far. And you have to change twice.” Dolores shoots down that idea. “Leeuwaarden doesn’t appeal and I wasn’t that keen on Groningen.” That’s pretty much the whole north of the country ruled out.

“What about Tilburg?” I try.

“What’s there?”

“No idea. Pubs. I went to a couple when I visited with the kids.”

"You probably can't remember it then. I know what you mean by 'a couple of pubs'." Dolores is dishearteningly cynical at times.

Dolores pencils it in as a possible. Then goes away and does some research. It looks a decent-sized place so we can potter around the shops. She gives it the nod. Before giving me the job of finding some nice places to eat and drink. My speciality, really. I produce a map and a list of eight pubs.

Getting the shopping out of the way early, we hop on a bus to Amsterdam Zuid to catch our train. The closest station to us. Which, for operational reasons, keeps getting more and more services. Dead handy for us. No need to endure the tourist hordes in the city centre. Beyond a joke it is. Most Amsterdam residents avoid the centre like Watneys. (There’s a joke that only CAMRA members of a certain age will get.)

Station Zuid is brutally functional. Which is better than functionally brutal or plain disfunctional. Standing on the platforms is a lovely experience. Sandwiched as they are between the two halves of the A10 motorway. Nothing whiles away the time waiting for your train like watching cars race by 10 metres away. And what better way to top up on your exhaust gas toxins?

Before checking in, I tell Dolores I quickly need to visit the Kiosk, without saying why. When we’re safely sat down in the train I pull out a half litre can of Heineken. She doesn’t say anything, but gives me a look. What else does she think I'd buy? We've been married almost thirty years. She must have me sussed by now.

We have to change in Den Bosch, but it’s pretty smooth. Before we know it we’re detraining in the second largest city in Noord Brabant. Proximity of the station to the centre was one of Dolores’s criteria. Which it easily passed.

As it’s 1 PM, we head straight for Anvers Brasserie & Biercafé. I remember it from the visit with the kids. It offers 13 draught beers and around 100 bottled. Plus reasonably priced uitsmijters. Perfect for lunch.

Despite being enormous – there are several rooms spread over two floors – we have to search for seats. The place is bustling with Saturday shoppers of all ages, shapes and sizes. I guess that’s a good sign.

A dozen waitresses dart about like swallows and, despite the crowds, our drinks arrive before Dolores gets back from the toilet.

I suppose I should mention the beer a bit, shouldn’t I? On my last visit, around ten years ago, I recall it being mostly Belgian, with a smattering of offerings from newer Dutch Breweries. Belgium is still well-represented, especially in the bottled selection. But I was pleasantly surprised to see beers from Uiltje and the local LOC brewery. Whereas Dolores was delighted with draught De Koninck, something that’s becoming increasingly rare in Amsterdam.

 €7.50 for a three-egg uitsmijter is pretty good value. But being a fat gutsy bastard, I plump for a four-egg one. It’s going to be a long day, that’s my excuse.

Bellies full, we stretch our legs a little. The main square doesn’t have the most beautiful architecture in the world and it doesn’t detain us long. Luckily the next destination I’ve picked requires a walk along the main shopping drag. Something for us to look at. Like the hollowed out shell of a large shop.

“I bet that was the V & D,” I remark.

V & D was a Dutch department store that went but last year after BHS-like asset stripping. It's left a hole on many Dutch high streets. Literally, in this case.

I’m not sure how much Dolores is going to like the next pub. Sounds like it may be too crafty for her taste. Will she hate it or will she loathe it? We’ll find out next time.

Anvers Brasserie & Biercafé
Oude Markt 8,
5038 TJ Tilburg.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Doppelbier, Erntebier, Hamburger Bier and Broyhan

I’ve a whole clutch of top-fermenters for you. Which don’t seem to have a great deal in common, other than being brewed with top-fermenting yeast. And all coming from the north of Germany.

Starting off with something that, for once, isn’t watery:

Has an OG of 11-13% balling.

The fermentation takes place at 7-11ºR. [8.75º - 13.75º C.] and lagering at 5-6° R. [6.25º - 7.5º C.] in large lagering barrels: it is bunged and filled with sediment into transport barrels. The mashing process is as described above.

Kalina Malzbier, showed in analysis: FG 1019.1; Turning v. 22 23; Alcohol 4.99%; apparent extract. 4.77; real extract 7.11; OG 16.12%, Balling; real attenuation 56%; apparent attenuation 62.7%. The mashing process is as for Süssbier.”
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, page 65. (My translation.)

Erntebier means Harvest Beer. In the UK, that usually meant a beer that was lighter and less alcoholic than standard beer. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. I’m pretty sure the alcohol is given in ABV, making this a mighty 6.25% ABV. That’s hugely strong for a German top-fermenting beer.

Here’s a confusing one. I always though the local Hamburg style was a sort of pale Weissbier:

It is this a beer with an OG of 7-11% Balling, dark and sweet, and is brewed mostly in North German cities, especially port towns.

Tun fermentation at 12-14º R. [15º - 17.5º C.]

Lagering takes place in 12-20 hl. Barrels and usually takes 14 days.

Clarification takes place by the use of wood chips; after drawing off there is also an addition of Kräusen.”
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, page 65. (My translation.)

So dark and sweet and probably 2.5-3.5% ABV. Interesting that it was lagered on wood chips, which I’ve always thought of as a Lager-brewing method. The Lagering time is quite short, but the gravity is quite low.

Sadly, the description of Broyhan is rather brief:

Hannoversch Broyhan,
also called Breyhan, Broihan. It is supposed to have been named after a Braumeister Broyhan from Stöcken near Hanover, and, in first brewed in 1526, it was said to be a failed attempt to make Hamburger Beer. Hannoversch Broyhan is brewed with the addition of 20% wheat malt, is sweet, spiced and lightly hopped.”
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, page 65. (My translation.)

It also contradicts, in terms of the colour, everything I’ve ever read about Broyhan. Everyone else describes Broyhan as a Weissbier,  i.e. brewed from pale, air-dried malt. Had the colour changed over time?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Another link between William Younger and Carlsberg

Do you remember me posting about Carl Jacobsen, son of the Carlsberg founder, serving an apprenticeship at William Younger in the 1860's? It seem that the relationship between the two breweries didn't end there.

Because almost 30 years later John Simpson Ford, who set up the laboratory at William Younger, spent some time in Copenhagen. Reading between the lines of the report below, it's obvious Ford must have been at Carlsberg. Kjeldahl and Hansen both worked at the Carlsberg Laboratory.

—The death has occurred of Mr John Simpson Ford, F.R.S.E., F.R.I.C., scientific director of Messrs William Younger & Co., Edinburgh. Mr Ford was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh, and the Edinburgh University, where he studied as a medical student and after passing certain professional examinations he abandoned medicine for chemistry. After a session in the laboratory of Edinburgh University under Professor Crum Brown, he was awarded the Hope Prize Scholarship as the most distinguished laboratory student of the year. For two years he remained as junior assistant and demonstrator and in 1889 he was appointed chemist to William Younger & Co. In this capacity he had to create and organise a laboratory and devise methods of analysis and control, as at that time there was little or no science of brewing in this country. In 1895 he spent three months in Copenhagen, where he met Kjeldahl and Hansen and was able to bring the scientific methods he learned there into the process of brewing in the Abbey Brewery, Edinburgh. Mr Ford became the scientific director of William Younger & Co., and was largely concerned in organising the scientific development of brewing. His great work in chemical research was recognised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, who elected him a member, and by the Institute of Brewing with the award of the Horace Brown Memorial Medal, the highest honour which it can confer on its scientific and technical members."
The Scotsman - Wednesday 29 March 1944, page 3.

For an ambitious brewing chemist, the Carlsberg Laboratory would be an obvious place to spend time. It was at the forefront of brewing research. It still is today.

I have to admit that I experienced a weird thrill when I was there last year. Standing in Kjeldahl and Hansen's laboratory, which has been left as it was.

The Carlsberg Laboratory isn't just a room or two in the corner of the brewery. It's a whole complex of buildings housing dozens of scientists. It must Carlsberg a fair few bob to run it. And much of their research, as a century ago, is of use to the whole brewing world, not just Carlsberg. It's easy top slag off big breweries, but they have been responsible for most of the advances in brewing science.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Let's Brew - 1984 Maclay SPA

I may as well give you the full set of shillings, now we’ve had 60 and 80 Bob.

SPA, or 70/- or Heavy, wasn’t that old a beer. It only seems to date from after WW II. The first spotting I have of it is 1951. In the later war years, Maclay brewed just two Pale Ales, PA 6d and Export. PA5d, their weakest Pale Ale, was dropped, presumably because the strength of PA 6d had dropped to its level.

There was some rearrangement after the war and SPA was introduced as a new mid-strength Pale Ale.  It had about the same OG as PA 6d had had before the war. The stronger Export was emerged from WW II surprisingly unscathed, with an OG just a couple of points lower than in 1939.

Once they’d moved to this new three Pale Ale set up, Maclay brewed it relentlessly for the next forty years, with only small changes to the recipes and gravities. Incredibly boring, really. Which isn’t to say that the beers were bad, they weren’t. Just that for the historian there’s not a huge amount of material.

And there you have it: the full set of Maclay’s beers from 1984.

1984 Maclay SPA
pale malt 6.75 lb 89.82%
malt extract 0.14 lb 1.86%
No. 1 invert 0.50 lb 6.65%
No. 3 invert 0.13 lb 1.66%
Cluster 90 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1034
FG 1009
ABV 3.31
Apparent attenuation 73.53%
IBU 21
Mash at 148/157º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Friday, 17 March 2017

It all Grew from 'Kitchen' Brewery

Companies – not just breweries – love celebrating anniversaries. Especially attention-grabbing ones like centenaries and bicentenaries.

So it’s no surprise that William Younger would want to make a big fuss in its 200th year of existence. Except, it’s not quite as simple as that.

According to Martyn Cornell, and he’s someone I tend to believe, William Younger almost certainly never brewed. And the business bearing his name wasn’t started in 1749.

Evidence points to it being his widow Grizel who first got into brewing, through her second husband, Alexander Anderson. Anderson was a brewer in Leith and Grizel ran the brewery after his death in 1781. Archibald Campbell Younger, William Younger’s eldest son, started a brewery close to Holyrood House in 1778. This was the real start of the firm later known as William Younger & Co.

When you start looking closely at foundation dates is striking how often the one claimed is wrong. And it isn’t always too early, as in this case. The date claimed by Shepherd Neame, 1698, is much more recent than the real start of brewing on the site, which was probably a century or more earlier. At least that’s what they told me when I dropped by the brewery last year.

It all Grew from 'Kitchen' Brewery
A NOTABLE event in the brewing industry in Scotland next month will the bi-centenary celebrations of the Edinburgh firm of Messrs William Younger and Co., Ltd.

In 1749, William Younger — then only a lad in his teens — founded the firm whose ales and stout have become famous all over the world.

What was once a small "kitchen" brewery in Leith now covers many acres of land. Branches in London, Glasgow, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Belfast and elsewhere, coupled with Edinburgh, employ a staff of more than 1600. Last year's turnover was well in excess of £7,000.000.

Overseas Markets By the time of Waterloo there was scarcely a tavern in Scotland that did not sell Younger's Scotch Ale. A notable example was Johnnie Dowie's Tavern, regular haunt of Robert Burns, Adam Smith and Henry Raeburn.

In 1820, on the death of the oldest of the founder's three sons, the Younger brewing interests were consolidated under the trade name of William Younger and Co. Within a few years many overseas markets were opened in India, Australia. South America, the United States, and other countries.

A treasured relic of the Company is the last-known bottle of beer from a consignment specially brewed for the troops in the Crimea.

The present chairman, Mr Harry Younger, joined the board, at the age of twenty-one, in 1887 — the year in which Younger's was formed into a limited liability company.”
Aberdeen Press and Journal - Wednesday 30 March 1949, page 3.

I’m sure the numbers for 1948 are correct. 1,600 is quite a large workforce for a brewery. I wonder what that number included?

William Younger wasn’t the only brewery to produce beer especially for British troops in the Crimea. Truman in London produced a Crimea Porter. What type of beer did Younger brew? Their main export lines were IPA and Strong Ale but they might have made a Porter for the Crimea. That’s the type of beer ordinary soldiers drank. IPA would have been to classy and Strong Ale too expensive.

Younger was so proud of its 200 years that it released a beer in celebration, Double Century Ale. I guess you’d like to know more about this beer. Here you go:

William Younger Double Century Ale in 1949
OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp
1057 1017 5.29 70.18% 4.64 0.98 1.5 2 60º
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/88.

If you need any more information, buy my new Scottish book. It has a detailed recipe of 1949 Double Century Ale.

Thursday, 16 March 2017


Confusing, isn’t it, just how many different types of watery top-fermenting German styles there were?

Though this one does have a British equivalent. Which becomes obvious when you read the description of how it was brewed. That equivalent? Small Beer. Which is also a literal translation of one of the terms used for Enfachbier below, Kleinbier. Though even the smallest of Small Beer would have been more than 1% ABV.

(Scheps, Hansla, Erntebier).
Einfach- or Kleinbier is drunk in the warmer times of the year because it has a fairly high CO2 content in the bottle and so has a refreshing and thirst-quenching effect.

It is usually prepared by the method described for Jungbier, that is, after the first wort from the tun has been run off at a gravity of 10-11% the grains are sparged to obtain an Einfachbier of 5-7% Balling. - This light beer is then sold as "Weissbier", or, coloured with Couleur, as "Braunbier".

Analysis (on average): FG 1012; Turning v, 14 21; Alcohol 0.96%; apparent extract 3%, real extract. 3.43%; OG in Balling 5.36%; apparent attenuation 56%, real attenuation 44%.

Yeast pitching rate; 1 litre thick (yeast) yeast per Zentner [50 kg] of malt. Attenuation 40-50%.

Producing Klein- or Einfachbier in the above manner is now quite wrong; It is better to brew a special Einfachbier of 5-7% Balling single-gyle than to squeeze a heavier & a weaker beer from a single brew in the above way.

As a matter of fact, the yield is significantly higher if the Einfachbier is brewed single-gyle!

It is only allowed to use the return wort from the previous brew if brewing is continuous; it is best not to re-use it, however, and proper drainage of the grains is preferable. The former is not ideal, but the latter is!"
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, page 64. (My translation.)

The first method described is, as you should know by now, combined grist brewing. Which was practised in the UK in the 18th century. Brewing a weaker beers from the later worts of a stronger brew was a common way of brewing Small Beer. But even back in the 1740’s, advice was that a better Small Beer was obtained by brewing it single-gyle.

I’m assuming that the alcohol figure in the analysis is ABW. It’s still pretty amazingly watery. Really more a carbonated drink than an alcoholic beverage. The crap rate of attenuation doesn’t help. I used to think the attenuation of late 19th-century Lagers was crap. It’s wonderful compared to most German top-fermenters.

With their love of caramel colouring, they sound rather like the Scots.

Here are a couple analyses of Einfachbier:

Einfachbier 1879 - 1884
Year Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation Acidity
1879 Remmer Einfach Braunbier Braunbier 1038.5 1016.4 2.85 57.40%
1884 Hannover, Städtisch Einfacher Broyhan Broyhan 1031.4 1022.5 1.03 27.67% 0.158
"Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel" by Joseph König, 1889, pages 806 - 851
Wahl & Henius, pages 823-830

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

1984 Maclay Export

Seeing as we’ve had Maclay’s 60/- from the 1980’s, we may as well have the 80/-, as well.

The recipe is exactly the same, obviously. Maclay only had one recipe at this point. So exactly the same percentages of pale malt, malt extract, No. 1 Invert sugar and DCS. For the latter I’ve substituted No. 3 Invert. It seems a reasonable enough guess. Too match the colour of the original you’ll need to add some caramel. I’d guess it was around 8-10 SRM.

It’s a beer that I know I drank occasionally. Though, if it was available, my preference was the 60/-. A perfectly decent drinking beer. Which is exactly how it looks on paper. Not really sure what else I can tell you. Er, buy my new book. That’s a good one. This recipe isn’t in the books by the way.

1984 Maclay SPA
pale malt 7.75 lb 90.70%
malt extract 0.17 lb 1.99%
No. 1 invert 0.50 lb 5.85%
No. 3 invert 0.13 lb 1.46%
Cluster 90 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1039
FG 1011
ABV 3.70
Apparent attenuation 71.79%
IBU 24
Mash at 148/157º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Frisch or Jungbier (part two)

More from Braumeister Grenell on Frisch or Jungbier.

You'll be glad to hear that I could be arsed to convert all the temperatures to celsius. You wouldn't believe how much work it is to translate stuff like this. Even running it through a machine traslater. It still requires loads of fiddling with. The crap you get in the machine translation. "Verzuckerungspause" was translated as 'sacrificial pause". Weird, eh?

We're kicking off with a couple more mashing schemes:

"II. - Mash in in the copper at 30° R. [37.5º C.] and ca. 3 hl. water per Zentner [50 kg] Malt; leave to rest for 1 hour, then raise the temperature slowly (in 80 minutes) to 42° [52.5º C] and from there slowly (with covered fire and partly closed flues) in 40 minutes to 50-52° R. [62.5º - 65º C.] - Meanwhile leave enough hot water in the mash and lautertun, so that it just covers the false bottom. And then let down 1/3 of the mash out of the copper; this brings the mash to 52°R. [65º C.] - The rest (2/3) in the kettle is now quickly brought to the boil, boiling for half an hour and mashing out at 60-61° R. [75º - 75.25º C.]

III. For pure "barley" beer of 7-8% balling or "double barley beer" of 10.5-11%. Thick mash (1-2 hl of 32° R [40º C.] water per Dobbelzentner [100 kg] of malt). It is then underlet with water at 64º R. [80º C.], so that it reaches 50-52° R. [62.5º - 65º C.] after a half-hour, the temperature rising by almost 1° per minute. This dissolves the diastase, as well as nitrogen-containing components, which exert a favorable influence on the foam stability of the beer.

Saccharification at 50-52° R. [62.5º - 65º C.] which causes the formation of much maltose; after a 1.5 hour rest, the wort is pumped into the kettle, sparging the mash with water at 62° R [77.5 C.], and letting the stirrer to continue working for an hour and a half; after a successful saccharification, the wort is pumped off, etc.

If you want to make a low-fermenting, dextrin-rich wort and more tasty beer, after mashing in raise the temperature 1º per minute to 57-58.5° R. [71.25º - 73.125º C.]; the "free maltose" is greatly reduced by this procedure, but the quantity of malto-dextrins is increased and consequently the beer is more tasty!

IV. (In summer). As in the case of II., only at 52-54° R. [65º - 67.5º C.] there is a saccharification rest (1/2 hour) and the mash is not brought to the boil; the temperature is raised to 61-62° R. [75.25º - 76.5º C.], leave the mash in the covered and well isolated lauter tun, keep at the same temperture for a 1 hour rest and then draw off the wort."
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, pages 62 - 63. (My translation.)

It's clear that decoction mashing wasn't just limited to the south of Germany, nor was it limited to bottom-fermenting beers.

Method II has a step mash with rests at 37.5º C, 52.5º C and 65ºC. With a decoction at the end bringing the mash up to the mash out temperature of 75º C. Quite a complex mashing procedure for a low-gravity beer.

I was fascinated to see that in method III they raise the wort to the sacrificial, sorry saccharification, temperature with an underlet. That's oh so English. note that there's no dedcoction (the mash isn't boiled) in either method III or IV.

This seems to be describing combined grist mashing, that is making a different beer from each wort:
"The small brewer now usually works so that he obtains 3 kinds of beer from the same mash.

He carries out some sort of brewing process, and as soon as the first wort in the copper reaches 10-11% Balling, he boils this wort with hops and adds 10% dextrose to "sweet beer" just before emptying the kettle. - now as much wort as the amount of Malzbier required, is pumped into the cooler, and, after being removed from the cooler, is pitched with yeast, and coloured with Coleur. Now he pumps onto the part of the wort remaining in the kettle enough hot water that the resulting wort now attains 6-7% balling.

From this lighter beer, is now made:

A. Coloured with Couleur, Braunbier;
B. Specially treated, Berlin Weisse. (See under Weisse and Berliner Weisse)."
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, page 63. (My translation.)
It's odd to see Berliner Weisse mentioned again. I wouldn't have called that a Jungbier as it needed to secondary condition to acquire its finished character.

Brewing everything from pale-coloured malts and then using caramel to get the desired colour is very much like British practice at the time. Other than for Porter and Stout, obviously.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Something different

Six months ago I dropped down to working 90%. Which means I get every second Friday off.

Usually I spend the day writing and researching. Pretty dull stuff, chained to my computer. But it needs to be done. It was especially necessary in the rush to get my new Scottish book finished.

With the book and talk done, I had time for other stuff this time.

"I've won a bread baking workshop for two. Do you fancy coming along?" Dolores asked me on Tuesday.

"Yeah, why not? Should be interesting."

It involves yeast, baking. I can see a beer connection. I've never baked bread, either. Better than just sitting around the house drinking Abt. As much fun as that is.

The workshop is at one of Amsterdam's most famous bakers, Hartog's. A family firm that's been around since 1896. And for most of those 120 years they've milled their own flour. They don't trust industrial millers, evidently. Their main product is a compact, brick-like wholemeal loaf. It's incredibly popular, with punters cycling across time to buy it. There's always a queue in their shop.

We get to the bakery a bit early. But I've come prepared. I spotted a pub next door on the internet, Lokaal. They sell a couple of different beers, so it'll do. Not in the most attactive building in the world, but it's pleasant enough inside.

Dolores orders a Lowlander Witbier, but they give her an IPA instead. She's remarkably easy about the mistake. Especially seen how much she hates hoppy beers. I  play safe with a Zatte.

We're some of the first to arrive. Most of the others don't turn up until just before we're due to kick off. Most are obviously enthusiastic home bread makers. As is Dolores.  There's only one other novice like me. Before we get stuck into the neading, there's a bit of informal Q&A with the baker, which is dead informative. He's very enthusiastic and clearly knows his stuff.

We're making bread a very quick way. At the end of two hours we'll have a loaf of our own to take home. After a quick demonstartion from the make, we start getting our hands dirty. Very dirty, in my case.

The method we've been shown uses a very wet dough. It looks scary enough when the baker does it. I just end up with a sticky mess that gets all over the place but doesn't seem very keen on forming into a nice ball. Pretty sure it's going to be a disaster, at this point. The baker shoots me a few pitying looks.

Somehow I manage to get most of my streak of chewing gum into the baking tin. Apart from the half kilo or so stuck to my fingers. While it's baking, we get a tour aroung the bakery. I'm quite used to going around food production facilities. There a quite a few similarities with a brewery, mostly all the stainless steel.

Amazingly, my loaf has worked. It hasn't risen as much as Dolores's, but it's still proper bread. I feel ridiculously proud.

Hartog's Volkoren Bakkerij en Maalderij
Wibautstraat 77,
1091 GK Amsterdam.

Wibautstraat 85,
1091 GK Amsterdam.
Tel: 020 - 752 74 19

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1984 Maclay PA 6d

I forgot to post a recipe yesterday as usual. I’ve just been so busy with that Scottish book thingy.

No, this recipe isn’t in the book. That only goes as far as 1970. I’m trying not to post stuff from the book. Then you bastards have more incentive to buy it.

PA 6d, or 60/- as it was known in the pub, was a long-running beer of Maclay’s, being brewed from at least 1938 right up until they closed. In the 1930’s, it was their mid-strength Pale Ale at 1038º, slotting in between PA 5d and PA 7d, at 1032º and 1042º, respectively. After WW II, it was their bottom=level beer.

It’s a beer I was very fond of, when I could find it. A very pleasant Dark Mild. Oh yes, you’ll need to ass a shit load of caramel to get the right colour. It’s way, way paler as brewed, more like 4-5 SRM.

The malt percentage increased in the early 1980’s when Maclay dropped flaked maize. The recipe otherwise – No. 1 invert, a sugar called DCS and a bit of malt extract – remained exactly the same. I’ve substituted No. 3 invert for DCS.

The hops were a mix of British Columbian and English. As usual, varieties are my guess. You can swap them around, should you so be inclined.

The two mashing temperatures are for the initial infusion and after adding more hot water via the underlet after about 30 minutes. A sort of step mash, in effect.

1984 Maclay PA 6d
pale malt 6.00 lb 90.57%
malt extract 0.17 lb 2.57%
No. 1 invert 0.33 lb 4.98%
No. 3 invert 0.125 lb 1.89%
Cluster 90 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1030
FG 1007
ABV 3.04
Apparent attenuation 76.67%
IBU 22
SRM 25
Mash at 148/157º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Frisch or Jungbier

I’ll be straight with you. I haven’t much time today. It took long enough to produce this clumsy and probably not that accurate translation.

“These are called "simple" beers, which have only been fermenting for a few hours and do not show any hop deposit; Apparent fermentation degree: 35-40%. One can, for example, mash in in the evening, finish the mash at 6 o'clock in the morning and ship it already at 7 o'clock in the evening (with cotton wool filters, CO2 cartridges).

It is necessary to use the best quality malt and highly attenuating yeasts, so that the yeast sits firmly in the bottle. Pitching rate: 1-3 litres of yeast per hectolitre of wort.

- The strains of yeast used for Jungbier should ferment vigorously on account of its quick delivery to prevent the development of bacteria.

It is often collected by private individuals in buckets; The customer adds the same amount of water, lets it ferment, removes the cover and then bottles it or the brewer dilutes the beer with 1/3 of water, fills the beer into bottles, leaves it to ferment for one day and then corks it.

The fresh or young beer should only have a very thin head of yeast when the yeast is being ejected, and before being dispatched further should be pitched again; the pitching rate must then also be lower. To prevent infection, low-gravity beers must be pitched with yeast immediately after cooling.

Recommended mashing procedures.
I. Mash in at 30-32° R in order to have a temperature of 20º in the tuns, in one hour, the saccharification temperature (54°-60° R. 67°-70° C.), and, after an iodine solution has shown that saccharification has occurred, rises to 60° R. (75° C.), put a (thin) part of the mash into the tun, then bring the rest quickly to boil and boil the same (the thick mash) for 0.75 hours in the copper and mash as usual.

When using raw grain, it is previously gelatinised in the cooker or pre-mashing apparatus. As soon as the second water addition takes place, the copper is fired up for boiling, which lasts 1.5-2 hours (until a strong break).

Hopping rate: 1/2 to 1 pound per zentner [50kg] of malt. It is best to place 1/3 in the kettle as soon as the bottom is covered, the second third as soon as it comes to the boil, and the last third half an hour before emptying.”
"Die Fabrikation obergäriger Biere in Praxis und Theorie" by Braumeister Grenell, 1907, pages 60 – 62.

Did you notice the three hop additions?1º R = 1.25º C, in case you were wondering. Can’t be arsed to work them all out. A little arithmetic exercise for you.

Love the idea of fetching fermenting wort in a bucket. How medieval is that?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Munich Helles in 1902

To go with yesterday’s post, here’s one about fat old Dunkles’ slim blond younger brother. Helles.

It’s going to be a compare and contrast exercise. Which is always fun.

Let’s start with OG. 13.52º for Dunkles, 12.35º for Helles. What’s interesting, is that the average ABV of Helles is an eensie weensie bit higher – 4.65% compared to 4.62%. No surprise than that the rate of attenuation is higher for Helles.

Quite a lot more dextrin in the Dunkles: 3.22% to 2.26%. No shock there either, I guess.

Neither that Helles was much paler on average, 9.1 to 30. Though both styles had a difference of about 100% between the palest and darkest examples.

That’s me done. Free day tomorrow. And Abt to drink this evening.

Munich Helles in September 1902
FG OG extract ABV maltose dextrin lactic acid real atten-uation colour
1015.6 12.63 5.64 4.60 2.16 2.16 0.18 55.34 9
1012.5 11.89 4.87 4.60 1.17 2.09 0.16 59 6.5
1015.7 12.35 5.6 4.43 1.9 2.15 0.19 54.66 10
1014.8 12.96 5.52 4.42 1.5 2.42 0.17 54.98 11.6
1012 12.14 4.82 4.80 1.01 2.47 0.14 60.29 7.5
1017.1 13.17 5.99 4.80 1.96 2.51 0.19 54.52 10
1014.8 12.48 5.35 4.69 1.95 2.12 0.19 57.13 12.6
1016.1 12.64 5.72 4.55 1.1 3.23 0.17 54.75 10.6
1010.2 12.23 4.87 5.16 0.99 2.14 0.17 64.27 7.5
1011.4 11.78 4.57 4.71 1.26 1.88 0.18 61.21 8
1015.2 12.33 5.5 4.48 1.72 2.44 0.15 55.39 10
1016.2 11.81 5.6 4.06 2.16 2.09 0.16 52.58 8
1012.4 12.96 5 5.25 1.34 2.16 0.19 61.42 9.6
1014.3 12.81 5.47 4.89 1.95 2.12 0.16 57.3 8.5
1013.2 11.74 5.05 4.43 1.96 1.91 0.14 56.99 8
highest 13.17 5.99 5.25 2.16 3.28 0.19 64.27 12.5
lowest 11.74 4.37 4.06 1.01 1.88 0.14 52.58 6.5
average 12.35 5.27 4.65 1.61 2.26 0.17 57.32 9.1
Bayerisches Brauer-Journal issue 49, December 1902, page 353.