Thursday, 22 July 2021

More Heineken information, more work for me

I should be pleased, really. Peter Symons has been busy again getting the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief to digitise records. And he's come across something that I looked for, but couldn't find. Details of Heineken's brewing process. In the nattily=named document "Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, met daarin tevens opgenomen gegevens van de gist- en legkelder. , 1935 - 1957".

Unlike the brewing records, it lists the brewing process in great detail. In particular, the mashing and boiling schemes. Things I had to just guess at before. Great, in the greater scheme of things. But it means that I have to rewrite all the Heineken recipes in "Blitzkrieg!".

Some of my guesses weren't far wrong. The Pis did have a double decoction, not much different from my guess. And I was correct about some numbers signifying the hop addition quantities. Which, weirdly, increase the later the addition. The timings I got wrong, however. Rather than 90 minutes, 60 minutes and 30 minutes, they were 120 minutes, 60 minutes and 20 minutes. Not so far wrong. I'm pleased that I got that close.

Beiersch is where I was the most wrong. That had a triple decoction. But most unexpected was that the kleurmout - a roasted malt similar to black malt - was added to the lauter tun around the time of the third decoction. No way I would ever have guessed that.

Here are the mashing details of a test batch of Beiersch. Where they were looking at the difference between using well water and mains water.


Anonymous said...

Am I correct that this illustration is a preprinted form with fields that got filled in (or crossed out) as needed?

Did any other brewers show this lrvel of organization or was Heineken unusually organized?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, it's a pre-printed form. That's what most UK brewing records were like. Though there wasn't usually quite as much detail as in the Heineken ones.