Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Malzbier between the wars (part two)

Time for more watery Malzbier fun with Schönfel. Though this time there are some of almost normal strength.

"In addition to them, there were a number of stronger beers, mostly with 7-9% and sometimes also with 10-12% E. gravity, which soon bore this, now that name, and to which the multiple wheat malt beers (beers made from barley and wheat malt), Hannoversch Broihan (also a wheat malt beer of 7-9% gravity flavored with cloves, cinnamon, anise, etc.), Werdersches Bier, the Braunbier of the Kretschmer breweries in Breslau, the beers produced in East and West Prussia, and many others. They were all poorly attenuatted and mostly deeply dark in color. Some agricultural areas were offered a so-called harvest beer in the summer, which was brewed strong and well-hopped.

Mostly made from pure barley malt, but often with the addition of sugar, which could account for up to 20% of the mash material, they were more or less characterized by a mild and malty-sweet taste."
"Obergärige Biere und ihre Herstellung" by Dr. Franz Schönfeld, 2nd edition, Verlag von Paul Parey, Berlin, 1938, page 133 - 134.
None of that sounds very Reinheitsgebot-compliant. I can't remember coming across Broyhan having so many spices added to it before. Though I know that spices were used to flavour beer. Even in Bavaria, where for a while coriander was allowed.

That's odd with the harvest beer. In the UK, beer intended for harvesters was weaker than standard beer, as it was intended to refresh rather than intoxicate.

"The fermentation took place either in vats or in barrels, from one-ton pieces up to casks of 6-7 tons.

The fermentation period was finished in 2-3 days at the usual temperature of 15-18 ° C.

For barrel fermentation, especially when using small barrels, slightly higher temperatures (20-22 ° C) were advantageously chosen, so that the yeast could be better discharged.

The barrels lying at an angle during the main fermentation were straightened after the yeast growth had ended and, with constant refilling and keeping it full up to the the bung, left to rest for 1-2 days for a short fermentation and 8-10 days for a longer fermentation."
"Obergärige Biere und ihre Herstellung" by Dr. Franz Schönfeld, 2nd edition, Verlag von Paul Parey, Berlin, 1938, page 134.
Barrel fermentation sound rather like a ponto: having the barrel at an angle tso excess yeast could be discharged and refilling with fresh wort.

Here are a few beers of these types:

Broyhan and Braunbier 1850 - 1890
Year Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation pH
1884 Hannover, Städtisch Einfacher Broyhan Broyhan 1031.4 1022.5 1.03 27.67% 3.78
1884 Hannover, Städtisch Doppelter Broyhan Broyhan 1053.4 1043.6 1.20 17.55% 3.99
1850 Unknown, Halberstadt Halberstädter Breyhan Breyhan 1034.7 1012.7 2.84 62.59% 3.32
1850 Freundes Braunbier Braunbier 1056.9 1036.6 2.60 34.57% 3.56
1850 Unknown, Berlin Werder'sches Braunbier Braunbier 1030.4 1012.0 2.37 59.74%
1850 Unknown, Berlin Berliner Braunbier Braunbier 1058.1 1041.4 2.12 27.63% 3.52
1879 Remmer Einfach Braunbier Braunbier 1038.5 1016.4 2.85 57.40%
1879 Unknown, Bremen Braunbier Braunbier 1059.1 1010 6.42 83.08%
1879 Unknown, Bremen Braunbier Braunbier 1057.3 1014 5.63 75.57%
1879 Unknown, Bremen Braunbier Braunbier 1049.9 1022 3.59 55.91%
1879 Unknown, Bremen Braunbier Braunbier 1049.5 1012 4.87 75.76%
1879 Unknown, Bremen Braunbier Braunbier 1044.5 1012.5 4.15 71.91%
1879 Unknown, Bremen Braunbier Braunbier 1061.1 1012 6.41 80.36%
1890 Löwenbrauerei Doppelbraunbier Braunbier 1029.9 1015.5 1.85 48.24% 3.65
Wahl & Henius, pages 823-830
“Archive der Pharmacie”, 1855, pages 216-217
Handwörterbuch der reinen und angewandten Chemie by Justus Liebig, Johann Christian Poggendorff, Friedrich Wöhler, 1858, page 1038
"Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel" by Joseph König, 1889, pages 806 - 851
"Handbuch der chemischen technologie" by Otto Dammer, Rudolf Kaiser, 1896, pages 696-697

You'll see that some of the beers are stronger than Schönfeld writes. Five of the beers in the table have an OG of over 14º Balling. Some are also pretty sour.


Phil said...

I think traditionally they'd bring out the good stuff for the "harvest home", the big knees-up to celebrate the end of the harvest - that may be the kind of "harvest beer" they're talking about.

Broyhan was pretty weedy, wasn't it? And I wouldn't have thought it'd be a great thirst-quencher, with all those cake spices. Those wacky Germans.

Duffbowl said...

By "which was brewed strong", could Herr Doktor meant more highly attenuated?

Anonymous said...

Up until ten-ish years ago, you could buy Hacker-Pschorr Nährbier (nourishing beer) in Munich. Very low in alcohol, but very sweet. It would have made sense to give beer like that to farm workers to provide energy without intoxication, wouldn‘t it? https://brand-history.com/hacker-pschorr-brau-gmbh/hacker-pschorr-munchen/hacker-pschorr-sind-s-die-nerven-dann-nahrbier-das-altbewahrte-nervenberuhigende-naturliche-kraftigungsmittel-arztlich-empfohlen-es