The first is something I'd wondered about after hearing that some Hefeweizen was bottle-conditioned with bottom-fermenting yeast.
"3.1.5. Yeast. The bottom and top fermenting yeasts are clearly defined and simple control methods described. Bottom fermented beer must be pitched with bottom yeast exclusively, top fermented beer vice versa with top fermenting yeast, but in order to achieve a sufficient second fermentation 0.1% bottom fermenting yeast may be added to the bottle or instead of this 15% bottom fermenting Krausen. Mixtures of both kinds of yeast are not permitted. In order to suppress infections of coccae or other lactic acid bacteria the yeast is acidified by sulphuric acid to a pH of 2 for 3-4 hours. The acid has to be removed afterwards by washing in a conical vessel."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 90, Issue 6, November-December 1984, pages 353 - 354.
It seems a bit of a nonsense to me to insist that wheat beers can only be fermented by top-fermenting yeast but to allow secondary conditioning with a bottom-fermenting yeast. Where's the logic in that? If a Lager yeast is good enough for secondary fermentation why not for primary fermentation?
The harder I look at the Reinheitsgebot, the less sense any of it makes. Some things - like Lager yeast for bottle-conditioning - seem to be allowed just for the convenience of the brewer. And the stuff about sugar just a clumsy compromise to fit in with North German brewing practices.
In the North German Beer Tax Area, great quantities of light 'Exportbeer' were produced even prior to 1914. For these beers, which had to be kept apart from the domestic production, the use of maize, rice or sugar was permitted. This was a protective measure, to help the German export industry to meet the foreign customers' quality expectations and to attain a better shelf life. As stabilizer, tannin was used; its application had to be declared and controlled. The same referred to the use of ascorbic acid after 1948. The restriction on these raw materials and additives was that they may not exceed the amounts permitted by the regulations of the other countries. These dispensations had never been valid in Bavaria, Badenia and Württemberg. These countries had to brew their export beers according to the Purity Law. After 1948 the more liberal handling for the export beers was maintained, but the control measures achieved by the excise officers had been so tight and strong, that almost a brewery within a brewery was established. Thus, with the exception of some big export brewers the great majority of the others stopped the production of'Export-Beers'. This was favoured by the introduction of adsorbents for beer stabilisation like bentonite, but especially silica gel and PVPP. The use of tannin was dispensable."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 90, Issue 6, November-December 1984, page 354.
The North German Beer Tax Area is, of course, the Brausteuergebied. An area that covered most of the German Empire, with the exception of Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Alsace, Lorraine and Luxemburg. It had rather more liberal rules than the South up until 1906, when the Reinheitsgebot was applied to the whole of the Empire. So it's a little misleading to say that they were producing beers for export that contained maize or rice before 1914, because before 1906 such beers were also brewed for the domestic market. Rice beer was particularly popular.
Interesting that the reason they allowed adjuncts in export beer was so they could compete with foreign brewers. That's not very principled, is it? And I thought that was what the rules were all about, the principle of purity, not just commercial expediency. The foreigners like beer filled with crap? Let's brew it for them, then.
I'd love to know whether Beck's was brewed to the Reinheitsgebot. For a while - 1921 to 1949 - it wasn't sold at all in Germany and was a pure export beer. After Haake and Beck merged in 1921, I wonder if they used the Beck brewery just for brewing export beer? Presumably that would have masde it easier to comply with the rules if they were using adjuncts.