Sunday, 21 September 2014

Brewing in Denmark and Germany in 1960

I didn't want to let up on the Lager deluge while I was busy harvesting analyses. In the meantime I'll be plucking the plums from a 1960 article from the Journal of the Institute of Brewing about brewing in Germnay and Denmark. I don't know about you but I can't get enough of this stuff.

It was written by A. J. Mayfield of Truman. He'd won an award in 1959 and it seems to have allowed him to study in Denmark and Germany for a year. The article is a report of his studies.

First a quick introduction to brewing in the two countries:

In this study of certain Continental brewing methods, it was found essential to relate variations in procedure both to local taste and to the brewing laws prevailing in the areas concerned, in order to see how individual brewers satisfied local demands with the means at their disposal. Thus, Danish brewing, although founded on the Bavarian methods of last century, is now allowed far more scope in the matter of adjuncts and beer additives than is its German counterpart, and this provision is reflected in many aspects of the brewing process.

Classification for duty in the two countries is rather similar and involves a few well-defined groups of beers covering the whole gravity range, the tendency being for certain popular gravity types to be brewed at the top of the range allowed. The common beer in Denmark was at 1043° and in Germany at 1044°. German export beer, pale or dark, was generally at 1052°, Bock was at 1065° and Double Bock at 1075°."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 66, 1960, pages 494 - 495.

Though not mentioned there by name, the Reinheitsgebot dictated differences in German and Danish brewing practice. The Danes had indeed founded their modern brewing industry on Bavarian traditions and techniques. Carlsberg's first Lager was in the dark Munich style.

I'm not sure what the "common beer" in Germany was. 1044º is at about the bottom end of a Pils gravity. But in 1960 Export was the most popular style. I'm a bit flumoxed because the gravity is too low for Helles.

Now a little more detail about Danish brewing:

Malt adjuncts and soluble chill-proofing agents are allowed and artificial carbonation is practised. Maize was the usual adjunct, up to 30% being used, and tannic acid and enzyme treatments were employed in the lager tank and at bottling."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 66, 1960, page 495.

30% is a lot of maize. English brewers rarely used more than 10-15%, though William Younger in Scotland sometimes had 40% maize grits in its beers.

Now malting:

"Malting.— Malting barley consisted mainly of the Scandinavian varieties, Carlsberg II, Herta and Hafnia, with nitrogen contents usually 1.6-1.8%. Pilsner was the basic brewing malt, with the high diastatic power essential for maize conversion; values of 50-60° L. were normal. Extract (Congress wort) ranged from 98 to 104 lb. per Qr. and the difference between fine and coarse extract could be as much as 6 lb. per Qr., the resulting malt having a characteristic gritty bite.

The two major maltings visited (Carlsberg and K.B.) provided extreme variations in the production of this type of malt. One favoured a long cool process with 45-65 hr. in steep at 50° F. and an 8-day germination rising to 60° F.; the other preferred 40-60 hr. in steep at 69° F. and a 6-day growth to 64° F. Subsequent kilning was identical, with the temperature rising to 190° F. in 24 hr."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 66, 1960, page 495.

98 to 104 lbs of extract is very high. Somewhere in the 90's is the best I've seen in British brewing records. Though this is doubtless a lab extract rather than one from an actual brew.

Hang on. I've analyses of British malt from the 1930's. here you go:

2 row Malts in the 1930's  
Pale Ale malts Mild Ale malts malt from foreign 2-row barley
Spratt-Archer Plumage-Archer Plumage-Archer Spratt-Archer Yorkshire plumage Moravian Chilean Chevalier Bohemian Hanna
moisture % 1.5 1.8 1.7 2.1 2 1.8 1.6 2.5
Extract, lb. 336 lb 100.5 100.6 100.6 99 99.4 98.9 99.9 99.8
colour, 1 inch cell 4.5 4 6.5 6 7 6.5 6.5 4
cold water extract % 18 18.7 19.1 18.7 17.7 17.1 18.7 20.2
diastatic activity Lº 36 37 32 35 32 37 38 35
extract on dry malt 102 102.4 102.3 101.1 101.4 100.7 101.5 102.3
total nitrogen % on dry malt 1.342 1.314 1.322 1.4 1.469 1.518 1.48 1.52
PSN % 0.51 0.509 0.488 0.541 0.469 0.562 0.618 0.6
PSN % on total nitrogen 38 38.7 36.9 38.6 33.3 36.9 41.8 39.5
PSN % on total wort solids 0.67 0.67 0.64 0.72 0.65 0.75 0.82 0.79
"Brewing Science & Practice" H. Lloyd Hind, 1943, p. 254, 256 & 258
PSN = permanently Soluble Nitrogen

You can see that the moisture content and extract are pretty similar to the Danish malt. The diastatic power of the latter is indeed much higher, by something like 50%. Doubtless the pale malt was darker in colour, too, than Danish pilsner malt.

You can probably guess what I'll say next. Loads more of this to come.

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