Friday 24 June 2022

Another way of mashing Berliner Weisse in 1845

Here's the method recommended Gumbinner. It's main point of difference is the absence of a decoction. Something Gumbinner seemed to have a particular aversion to.

He was keen that Berlin brewers adapted his method, which he claimed produced a better and more stable beer, so they could see off the threat of Bavarian beer, i.e. Lager. He can't have had much success, as Berlin brewers were still decocting their Berliner Weiss 150 years later.

Mash in 2,887.5 kg wheat malt and 412.5 kg barley malt with 2,404.5 litres of water at 45º to 50º C.

While the water and malt were being mixed, water was brought to the boil in the kettle. This was slowly mixed into the grains in the mash tun, every five minutes adding more water. The temperature was taken regularly to see if the mixture had reached 65º to 67.5º C, which should occur when almost all the water from the kettle. In total, 3,206 litres of boiling water.

In winter, the mash was left to stand for 30 minutes, covered. In summer, 60 minutes, uncovered.

The mash tun was tapped and, when the wort began to run clear, it was pumped to the kettle. When the kettle was half full, between 122 gm and 176 gm of hops per 55 kg of malt were added. By the time it came to the boil, the kettle was full.

The wort was boiled for 20 to 30 minutes, then was filtered through a hop basket into the cooler.

More water (3,206 litres) was brought to the boil and slowly mixed with the grains. When all the boiling water had been added, the mash should be at 63.75º to 65º C. It was stood for 30 minutes in summer, 60 in winter.

It was drawn off and boiled in the same way as the first wort, that is, for 20 to 30 minutes. After which it went to the cooler. 

Recommended was to have two coolers allowing both worts to be cooled at the same time and blended together when the yeast was pitched. Though in winter, you could just throw the second wort into the cooler with the first wort.

There was a third charge of cold water, stood for 30 to 60 minutes, for Kovent.
"Handbuch der praktischen Bierbrauerei" by Dr. Julius Ludwig Gumbinner, 1845, pages 234 - 237.

All this and much more, will be in my book "Weisse!", which should be available soon. I just need to finish writing it.


Marquis said...

Very strange quantities measured. 3206 litres, 2887.5 kg malt. Nobody would measure to 5 significant figures .And yet the hop quantity is between 122 and 176g. Who would measure the grain with such accuracy yet just throw in a rough quantity of hops?
Was the article originally phrased in different units and a conversion factor used?

Ron Pattinson said...


the originals were in Prussian measures and I've converted them to metric. For example, 1 Prussian quart = 1.145 litres.