Tuesday, 7 October 2014

German brewing in 1960

Right. More Lager. I seem to have gone back into bottom-fermenting mode. No idea why. Just interesting stuff I tripped over, I suppose.

This is the second part of a Journal of the Institute of Brewing article on Danish and German brewing. We'll dive right in with the introduction.

"West Germany
In West Germany, beer is subject to the Purity Law which forbids the brewing of beer from materials other than malt, hops, yeast and water. This restricts brewing to all-malt mashes and prohibits the use of soluble chill-proofing agents. Adsorptive materials have, however, long been allowed, and where formerly beech shavings were added to the lager cask, silicate earths such as bentonite are now widely used for clarification.

Great changes have been made in the last 15 years with rebuilding, particularly in the war-damaged areas of the North which now holds a distinct technical lead in modern plant over the old-established centre of Munich. With the growing popularity of pale Dortmund beers, there are now, in Dortmund, the four largest single German breweries with a combined output of over 2.5 million brl.; this represents about 8.2% of the total German beer production."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 66, 1960, pages 498 - 499.

He's not quite correct there with the Reinheitsgebot - it allows sugar in top-fermenting beer. I like the mention of beechwood shavings, a practice I seem to remember an obscure American brewery employing. I know what the argument is for allowing things like shavings and silicate earth: they didn't end up in the finished beer, ergo weren't ingredients. It's a bit of a fiddle.

Interesting that the focus of the industry was moving north from Munich to the Rhineland. Though I guess I should have known that, as Dortmunder Export was all the rage after WW II. That growing popularity was just about to end, as this table shows:

German beer production by beer type (%)
type 1968 1970 1976 1992
Export 57% 50% 32% 10.1%
Pils 19% 25% 41% 64.1%
Die Biere Deutschlands, 1993.
Brauwelt Brevier 2003

2.5 million barrels isn't a great amount for the four largest breweries in the country. That's only an average of 600,000 barrels each. It shows how much less concentrated the German brewing industry was than the British one. The largest British breweries in the late 19th century brewed over 1 million barrels a year. The four largest UK breweries would have produced way more beer than that in 1960. 

Now something on beer types:

"In general, beers fell into three types: the dry, highly-hopped Pilsner, the fuller and less bitter Dortmund and Bavarian voll-bier type, and the heavy dark Munich type. Barleys were obtained from Central Germany and Czechoslovakia, and those from the latter source, being generally finer in quality and of lower nitrogen content, were used extensively for Pilsner brewing. Australian barley was also bought direct ex-farm at competitive prices, but extensive screening was needed before it could be used."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 66, 1960, page 499.

It's indicative of how marginal Weissbier was at the time that it doesn't even get a mention. By Bavarian Voll-Bier they mean Helles and "the heavy dark Munich type" is Dunkles. Which was already starting to become rarer. As this table demonstrates:

Löwenbräu Munich sales by type %
1938/39 1950/51 1960/61 1970
Dunkles 64 17 11
Helles 36 83 89
draught 80 56 41 37
bottled 20 44 59 63
"Löwenbräu, Von den Anfängen des Müunchner Brauwesen" by Wolfgang Behringer, pages 268 - 269.

And that's a brewery in Munich, a place where Dunkles remained relatively popular. Be interested to know what the proportion of Helles and Dunkles is today.

Not having seen German brewing logs, I didn't really have idea of the source of their barley. Czechoslvakia is pretty obvious, other than the Iron Curtain thing going on at the time. But I wouldn't have guessed Australia. Obviously Britain, with its global Empire and international trade plucked raw materials from every part of the world.

Now let's look at German malting:

"Malting.—The main malting procedures observed are outlined in Table III. Aeration in steep was always abundant and was usually in-place, but occasionally involved transferring to another cistern. All six makings visited had modern Saladin installations, although Munich and Märtzen malts were still made on the open floor.

Kilning provided many examples of modern plant operated with much reduced labour forces. A common feature was the singlefloor construction with forced air draught provided from a pressure heating chamber below, with turning in this case unnecessary. Quantities of the order of 100 Qr. were kilned at one time, with a limiting depth of about 30 in. Heat supply to the calorifier was either steam or super-heated water in a closed high-pressure circuit at temperatures well above boiling point. Temperature-recording at various points in the piece was common, and in one plant the rate of ventilation was electrically coupled to the relative humidity of the exhaust air. Some kilns could be tilted for discharge; others used a manually-controlled stripper. Central relay panels incorporating the temperature charts were used to control kilning."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 66, 1960, page 499.

Interesting that they stuck with floor malting for the darker malts. Speaking of which the article includes a nice table of the different malts:

West German Malts
Pilsner  Martzen or Vienna  Munich
Steep temperature About 60" F. 60-66° F. 50° F. (3-4 days)
Germination 8-day, rising to 63° F. 8-day, rising to 68° F. 8-day, rising to 76° F.; stewing on last day
Kilning 20-hr. Maximum draught early. Temp. to 160º F. 20-30 hr. Maximum draught early. Temp, to 190-220° F. Less draught early. Finished at 230-240° F.
Colour (E.B.C.) approx. 3° approx. 6° 9-12°
Fine/coarse difference (lb. per Qr.) 4 2 - 3 -

How does that compare to British malts? I thought you might ask that. SO I prepared another table:

British and Continental malts

Pale Ale Mild Ale Pilsner   Vienna  Munich
kilning 203-221º F 158º F 194º F 212-221º F
Colour (E.B.C.) 4-6º 6-9º 5.5-6º 15-25°
"Brewing Science and Practice" by Dennis E. Briggs, Chris A. Boulton, Peter A. Brookes and Roger Stevens, 2000, pages 27 - 28.

The Pilsner, Vienna and Munich malts are of continental manufacture. Pale ale malt fits in somewhere between Vienna and Munich malt. The big difference in colour in the Munich malts tends to make me believe that they are different types. The one from the Journal of the Institute of Brewing being pale Munich, the other dark Munich.

Next time we'll be looking at brewing.

1 comment:

StuartP said...

It's funny that I have never much liked Lowenbrau. The dunkel is the least-worst option IMHO.