Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Let’s Brew Wednesday – 1933 Oranjeboom Bok

Loving Lager. Apparently none of us snobby beer writers do. That’s why we never write about it. Guess I don’t count as a proper beer writer, then, because I spend quite a bit of my time banging on about Lager.

Not just that. I’ve published quite a few recipes, too. We’ve another today. From one of Holland’s less fashionable breweries Oranjeboom.

When I lived in Rotterdam in the 1980’s, the Oranjeboom brewery, on the south bank of the river, was still operational. At the time it, along with Drie Hoefijzers in Breda, was owned by the British group Allied Breweries. The brewery was a purpose built Lager plant, which opened in 1885, though the business dated back to the 17th century. It closed in 1990.

I’m trying to remember if I ever drank their beer. Possibly. I definitely had stuff from Drie Hoefijzers. I may have tried Oranjeboom Bok. And that pub around the corner from where I lived. Did that sell Oranjeboom? If it did, I must have drunk their Pils. Just shows how memorable a beer it was. Didn’t register at all.

A reasonable number of Dutch brewing records have been preserved. If I weren’t so busy with other stuff I might have attacked them more systematically. I really should find time one weekend to revisit the Amsterdam archive and finish off the Heineken and Amstel records they have there.

Form the look of it, this beer doesn’t differ much from a modern Dutch Bok. About the same gravity and colour. Just the attenuation is a bit lower. What else can I say? Nothing really.

So . . . . welcome back Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version
Notes: Wow. These logs are b.o.r.i.n.g. and bloody sparse. Everything uses different amounts of pale malt, caramel malt, roast malt and ‘caramel’. Very little in the way of temps, times, heats, etc etc. So we make some assumptions, just to make something like this. The gravities are correct, same for the grist and hops, so we are pretty damn close already.

Malt: Pretty simple. Pale pilsy malt, 200EBC (100L) caramel or there abouts and a touch of caramel. Not sure why, doesn’t really add much but go ahead. I’d use some MFB pilsner malt as a nice mix, probably 50:50 of CaraMunich80 and 120, got get near enough 100L and keep the Be-Ne-Lux love going.

Hops: Something nice, doesn’t have to be something Germanic but it’s hard to argue Hallertauer aren’t pretty damn great. Really, just choose something nice please. Something that doesn’t smell like a hobo or ‘lemon wash up liquid’ as Ron always complains about…

Yeast: Any solid lager yeast. W34/70 is easy. I prefer 833. You want that gravity, 833 is what you want. If not, it’s a bastard to keep from drying out.

Cask: Standard procedure… Seriously guys, not this time…


Roel Mulder said...

Hi Ron, nice to see some of the Oranjeboom records turned into a recipe. If you have some for me to try...
I'd be interested to knwo how you guys figured out what malts to use, because I had some trouble there when looking at these records. Did you guys manage to make sense out of their stout recipe, with a lot of sugar that presumably also provided most of the colour?
Side note: though the South Rotterdam brewery produced an awful lot of lager, they started out brewing top-fermenters there initially, and they continued to do so on a small scale until at least the 1920s.
For the whole story, see and

Kristen England said...

Roel email me at kristen at bjcp dot org and you, me and Ronski can have a more indepth convo on these logs.