Thursday 12 March 2020

The Storage of Beer and Ale (part four)

We've now arrived at the section which specifically deals with the storage. What fun. Though I have to admit to not completely understanding some of it.

"Lager beer cannot be kept at too low a temperature, and as it is inadvisable to rack it from the casks where it is once lagered until it is ready for storage, great care should be taken to eliminate, as far as possible before storing it, all elements that are likely to result in its deterioration."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Friday 01 September 1882, page 12.

The first phrase is anmiguous. Does it mean that it's impossible to store Lager at too low a temperature or that you shouldn't store Lager at too low a temperature. I think it's the latter. To be honest, I'm not sure whayt the second phrase means either. Surely the lagering would be the storage. Surely no-one lagered a beer then stored it afterwards?

The next part is more understandable.

"The secondary fermentation must be as nearly as possible concluded and the beer racked into the lager vats with great care, so as to take as little yeast and sediment as possible with it. It must be fined before storing in the usual manner. The use of a bunging apparatus for the control and observation of the development of the carbonic-acid gas, is now recognised as absolutely necessary in a well-appointed lager cellar Even when successfully stored, the brewer's vigilance should not cease and he must be on the look-out for internal changes that will sometimes occur inexplicably. As soon as any abnormal condition is recognised, the beer should be racked off for sale at once and no attempt made to keep it, on the supposition that it will come round, or that it can be fixed afterwards."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Friday 01 September 1882, page 12.

It makes sense that you'd want to leave most of the lees behind in the fermentation vessel. Though obviously not all of the yeast, as some fermentation still needed to occur to condition the beer.

Though the mention of "bunging apparatus" has me wondering this was some sort of artificial carbonation. Or was it simply some kind of regulator to allow control of the CO2 pressure inside the lagering vessel?

Just one more part to go.


Mike in NSW said...

AFAIK bunging is an older term for spunding so they could presumably set the required pressure in the vessel as it slowly fermented while lagering.

Anonymous said...

I thought lagers usually sat in temps near freezing for a long time. What would ruin them? Unless this is talking about during fermentation?

Yann said...

Isn't that "spunden" (DE) or "spunding" (EN nowadays) which is meant here then?