Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 Heineken Donker Lagerbier

Another example of Heineken’s weird period, when they to the old strength, but then watered it down, seemingly before fermentation. Enough to drop Donker Lagerbier under 3% ABV. I suppose it was just about intoxicating. Much like the weaker Mild Ales in the UK. I've adapted the recipe to take the watering into account.

Other than a touch of caramel, this is an all-malt beer, rice having been dropped from the recipe. I assume because of supply problems. Malt seems to have been reasonably available in the early war years. After the disaster in WW I, when imports of barley weren’t available, the Dutch started growing loads more during the interwar period.

The hops are a bit of a riddle again. One is, I think, described as “Sa” in the brewing record. Which I’m guessing is short for Saaz. The other is “Backa” which is what Vojvodina (in the North of Serbia) was called in German. Evidently, they have their own hop variety there. To be honest, there are so few hops you probably couldn’t tell what type they were anyway. Both were from the 1939 crop, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

1940 Heineken Donker Lagerbier
pilsner malt 5.75 lb 89.15%
caramel malt 60 L 0.25 lb 3.88%
caraamber 0.33 lb 5.12%
carafa III 0.05 lb 0.78%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.07 lb 1.09%
Hallertau 90 mins 0.25 oz
Hallertau 60 mins 0.33 oz
Saaz 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1029
FG 1007
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 75.86%
IBU 14
SRM 11
Mash double decoction  
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 48º F
Yeast WLP830 German Lager


Mash in at 35º C (95º F) 5 minutes
Warm whole mash to 52º C (126º F) 20 minutes
Rest whole mash at 52º C (126º F) (protein rest) 15 minutes
Draw off first mash and without a rest bring to the boil 30 minutes
Boil first mash 10 minutes
The rest of the mash remains at 52º C (126º F) 40 minutes
Mash at 70º C (158º F) 25 minutes
Rest whole mash at 70º C (158º F) (saccharification rest) 30 minutes
Draw off second mash and without a rest bring to the boil 15 minutes
Boil second mash 10 minutes
Mash at 76º C (169º F) and mash out 20 minutes


Maltydog said...

"Dating back to 1956, Backa is an old, rare variety of aroma hop with an unknown land race pedigree. It has the potential for high yield in its native Backa region of Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia) but doesn’t seem to do all that well elsewhere. It’s highly aromatic and is said to have similar qualities to many European “Noble Hops”. The USDA lists two strains of Backa (56002) and (21080), but there seems to be some disagreement as to whether or not they are identical."

Although the 1956 date is wrong clearly.

StuartP said...

FYI - yeast from very old McEwens Stout: