There are other things I should be up to. Like researching Dutch Lager styles. I'm supposed to be giving a talk on that soon. Or German sour beers. Another topic I'll soon be lecturing about. So far I've only piled up Dutch brewery histories on the floor behind me. I spent a big chunk of yesterday hunting for a Heineken history, only to find it within reach of where I sit. That's the main drawback of my way of sorting my books. The just-remembering-where-it-is method.
But I digress. I'm supposed to be telling you aboout rice in German beer, amongst other things. Spinning a tale around a table of dull statistics from a hundred year old chemistry magazine. (Jahresbericht über die Leistungen der chemischen Technologie, if you're interested.)
I guess first I'd best explain what the statistics are for: the Brausteuergebied. What was that? The part of the German Empire with a unified beer tax regime. It literally means Beer Tax Area. It's easier to explain what it wasn't, rather than what it was. Everywhere except Bavaria, Baben, Württemberg and Alsace-Lorraine. Most of the country, really, but missing the major brewing areas in the South.
Right, what to tell you first? One of the most obvious is the rise of Lager. While the output of top-fermenting beer was flat, the production of bottom-fermenting beer more than tripled. The result was that the chare of top-fermenting beer more than halved from 36% to 16%. It was a trend that continued in the 20th century.
|Use of taxable raw materials and beer production in the Brausteuergebied|
|tax year 1 April - 31st March||use of taxable brewing materials|
|grain||malt substitutes||quantity of beer brewed||in 1 hl of beer|
|total||ground barley malt||total||rice||all types of sugar||all types of syrup||top fermenting||bottom fermenting||top fermenting||bottom fermenting||grain and rice||malt substitutes|
|The taxed export beers of Bremen are not included|
|Jahresbericht über die Leistungen der chemischen Technologie, 1903 page 446.|
Rice was by quite a long way the most popular adjunct, though in comparison with barley malt, not a great deal was used. I'm surprised at how little sugar was used. It's such handy stuff. It would be great to have figures for how much sugar is used in German brewing today. I can't remember ever seeing statistics for that. The Deutsche Brauerbund probably isn't keen on advertising the fact German brewers use sugar. Even though they always have. (The Reinheitsgebot allows sugar in top-fermenting beers.)
Just for fun, I've calculated the average OG of the beers. I've based it on 80 brewers pound per quarter of malt. A hectokilo, the unit used in the table, is just about exactly two hundredweight, or two-thirds of a quarter. You can see that it looks much like modern German beer, strength-wise:
Was gravity really falling or were they just getting more from the malt? I'd suspect the latter, but could be wrong.