Friday, 30 August 2013

Grätzer/Grodziskie analyses

Nothing very long today. It really is just a couple of analyses of Grätzer and nothing else.

Thanks to Marcus Schmitz for going to the trouble to transcribe these from a handwritten laboratory manual of 1936 by a former Engelhardt-Brauerei Brewmaster.

What's particularly pleasing is that there are examples from both Poland and Germany. In fact, the examples are from all the breweries brewing Grätzer/Grodziskie after WW I. Which was one in Poland and two in Berlin.

Unfortunately, there was no measurement of the level of acidity. Probably the detail that I would most have liked to see. I really want to kill the myth of Grätzer/Grodziskie being a sour beer once and for all. Though I fear I may already be too late. Once a piece of shit information gets out there, it's repeated endlessly until the end of time. Or at least that's what it feels like. I suspect I'm going to be arguing about this one for decades.

I was slightly disappointed, having read that 7.9º Plato was the standard gravity for Grätzer/Grodziskie, to discover that two of the samples were lower than that. The Hochschulbrauereiversion was bang on 7.9º Plato, but Vereinigte Grätzer Bierbrauerei's was only 7.36º Plato and Monopolbräu's only 7.03º Plato. Due to the reasonably high level of attenuation, all come out close to 3% ABV.

I'd love to know how that colour measurement relates to any scale I can understand. As it is, the colour numbers only tell me one thing: that the Hochschulbrauerei version was darker than the other two.

Grätzer in 1936
Year Brewer country Beer Style OG FG Colour ABV Apparent attenuation
1936 Vereinigte Grätzer Bierbrauerei Poland Echt Grätzer Bier Grätzer 1029.1 1007.7 0.45 2.77 73.56%
1936 Hochschulbrauerei Berlin Germany Hochschl. Grätzer Grätzer 1031.3 1006.8 0.9 3.13 78.40%
1936 Monopolbräu Berlin Germany Mon. Grätzer Rauchb. Grätzer 1027.7 1005.7 0.45 2.84 79.60%
handwritten laboratory manual by a former Engelhardt-Brauerei Brewmaster

I told you I was going to be brief today. Not worry, I've got a real monster of a post coming up. I'd wondered what the maximum size of a post might be. I think I've found out.


BrianW said...

I've had about 5 or 6 different American brewed Grodziskie/Gratzers this year. This includes the White Birch First Sparrow ( and probably four different ones at the National Homebrewers Conference in Philadelphia (including the one that I brewed). The good news is that none of them were sour (intentionally or not), so I think your fears are (hopefully) unwarranted. None of the major recipes out there that I have seen (Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing, 2004 or Stan Hieronymous' Brewing with Wheat, 2010) suggest that it is a sour beer, so I think that the battle is being won, at least here in the States.

Andrzej said...

0.45 on the iodine scale equals 7.3 EBC units. Accordingly 0.9 = 13.6 EBC

In the 1950-ties brewery in Grodzisk imported yeast from Berlin's Groterjan brewery which used to brew Berliner Weisse. So the yeast were often heavily contaminated by Lactobacillus bacteria which were not welcome by brewers in Grodzisk. Ergo, Grodziskie was not a sour beer.