Thursday, 24 June 2021

Meibier in 1939

I’m not sure how many breweries participated in the Meibier experiment, but at least six did. Of these six, five were located in the Randstad, that is the large cities in the West of Holland. The exception being Grolsch, which was close to the eastern border with Germany.

The ones for which I have analyses all look generally similar to each. They’re generally towards the lower end of the recommended gravity range, all but two being under 16º Plato. The attenuation is a little lower than for Pils, leaving them mostly at around 6% ABV, though ZHB’s example is a little less than that.

There is a fair bit of variation in the colour. I’m not exactly sure which colour scale Heineken was using. But in other analyses, Pils is around 0.4-0.5, Donker Lagerbier 7.5 and Münchener 10.3, and Bok 13-16. Meaning even the palest Meibiers were darker than Pils, but the darkest were still far short of being brown.

Meibier in 1939
Brewer Town OG Plato FG Plato ABV App. Atten-uation Colour
Grolsch Groenlo 16.03 4.77 6.03 71.53% 0.85
ZHB Den Haag 15.91 4.85 5.81 70.82% 0.92
Amstel Amsterdam 15.66 4.35 6.03 73.43% 2.2
Oranjeboom Rotterdam 15.78 4.44 6.05 73.09% 2.1
Van Vollenhoven Amsterdam 16.43 4.95 6.13 71.20% 1.3
Heineken Rotterdam 15.83 3.84 6.40 76.86% 2.1
Source:
Rapporten van laboratoriumonderzoeken naar producten van Heinekenbrouwerijen in binnen- en buitenland en naar producten van andere brouwerijen hels at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 834 - 1794.



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




Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Heineken (Rotterdam) beers in 1941

Just about as soon as 1941 kicked off, the strength of Heineken’s beers was reduced again. Initially, by just adding more water. They must have got bored with that method of brewing, because in the summer they just started brewing the beers to the lower gravities and didn’t bother with the watering.

Though the beers were a rather watery lot. Even the two strongest, Pils and Beiersch, were only just over 3% ABV.  While the weak ones weren’t even 2.5% ABV. Not really intoxicating at all.

They can’t have had any trouble getting hold of hops, as the hopping rate, at least in terms of hops per 100 kg of malt, increased. In the case of Pils, from 1.33 kg to 1.5 kg. Though, because the beers were now so watery, the rate per hectolitre did fall.

Unsurprisingly, given the reduced amount of malt being used, the colours are all a little paler.

Heineken (Rotterdam) beers in 1941
Date Beer Style OG Plato FG Plato ABV App. Atten-uation kg hops/ 100 kg hops kg/hl colour
17th Jul Pils Pils 5.47 1.63 2.00 70.56% 1.92 0.13 3
16th Jul Donker Lagerbier Donker Lagerbier 6.44 1.85 2.40 71.74% 1.20 0.10 14
17th Jul Licht Lagerbier Licht Lagerbier 6.44 1.85 2.40 71.74% 1.60 0.13 4
15th Jul Pils Pils 8.46 2.41 3.20 72.24% 1.50 0.16 4
16th Jul Beiersche Münchener 8.46 2.41 3.20 72.24% 1.22 0.13 14
Source:
Heineken brewing record held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 834 - 1760.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Heineken (Rotterdam) output in 1941

It's taking me rather longer than expected to note down every brew Heineken brew in Rotterdam 1939 to 1943. Literally as much fun as it sounds. That is, none at all. Pretty sure it will be worth it.Pretty sure, but not totally.

In 1941, they brewed quite a lot of beer still - over 300,000 hl.I assume that they brewed a similar amount in Amsterdam. At an average OG of 8.1º Plato, isn't too bad. Bit look at the trend: downwards, finishing at under 6º Plato at the end of the year. To put that onto context, average UK OG in 1941 was 1038.5º - that's about 9.6º Plato. In just a few months, Heineken's beer had gone from being about as strong as that in the UK to being watery piss.

It's more beer than they manged to brew more than the previous year's 306,919 hl.* Not that bad a result, I suppose, 324,849 hl. in 1941. The trend did look to be downwards, with December output the lowest for the whole year.

Heineken (Rotterdam) output in 1941
Month Year hl. gravity points Average OG Plato
Jan 1941 42,347 390,432 9.2
Feb 1941 29,032 259,061 8.9
Mar 1941 37,632 347,112 9.2
Apr 1941 18,974 187,464 9.9
May 1941 20,572 203,422 9.9
Jun 1941 27,629 267,291 9.7
Jul 1941 39,629 297,548 7.5
Aug 1941 29,863 195,022 6.5
Sep 1941 23,010 157,429 6.8
Oct 1941 20,524 127,905 6.2
Nov 1941 19,916 114,759 5.8
Dec 1941 15,721 92,089 5.9
total   324,849 2,639,534  8.1
Source:
Heineken brewing record held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 834 - 1760.

* Heineken brewing record held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 834 - 1759.

 

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Best father's day present ever

This:

 


 And the bottle of vodka.

 

 

World beer production in 1913, 1920, 1929—1934

Some more lovely numbers from that Polish trade journal. I hope you enjoy them as mush as I do.

Just a couple of observations. I'm struck by how high up the list Belgium comes. For such a small country, ranking fifth in the world (as it did in both 1913 and 1934)  in terms of beer production is very impressive. Also note how far down the list the Netherlands is, producing not much more than 10% of what Belgium did.

Beer production fell almost everywhere after 1930, doubtless as a result of the worldwide recession. Also in just about every European country output was lower in 1934 than in 1913. One country which did show impressive growth was Japan, going from 100,000 hl in 1913 to almost 1.75 million hl in 1934.

It's weird that in some years more beer was brewed in tiny Luxembourg than in Mexico.

World beer production in 1913, 1920, 1929—1934 (1,000 hl)
Country 1913 1920 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934
USA 76,655 9,384 8,000 28,000 25,000 25,000 39,135 50,248
Germany 69,200 25,618 57,028 48,486 37,093 33,581 34,132 36,838
United Kingdom 58,805 44,822 31,789 30,770 26,788 21,639 23,414 25,388
Austria 22,709 600 5,275 5,083 4,385 3,058 2,522 2,419
Belgium 16,727 10,407 15,377 16,662 18,377 15,558 14,400 13,800
France 12,844 11,548 17,555 18,314 18,577 17,627 17,700 16,743
Czechoslovakia 3,874 12,162 11,410 10,380 9,648 7,964 7,990
Russia') 10,138 2,000 3,000 4,510 3,000 3,700 3,700
Ireland 3,480 3,663 3,129 2,779 2,941 2,924
Australia 2,936 2,852 3,350 3,025 2,529 2,265 2,387
Switzerland 2,969 1,068 2,541 2,610 2,621 2,526 2,419 2,465
Sweden 2,706 2,021 2,052 2,982 2,835 2,806 2,418 2,429
Poland 2,786 2,516 1,931 1,400 1,058 1,102
Denmark 2,465 2,374 2,118 2,291 2,212 2,005 2,023 2,161
Canada 2,353 1,680 2,793 2,653 2,100 1,950 1,707
Netherlands 1,780 1,200 2,273 2,316 2,280 2,103 1,609 1,513
Argentina 1,000 1,493 1,981 2,132 1,828 1,158 1,308 1,344
Brazil 700 819 1,766 1,766 1,456 850 900 925
Italy 673 949 1,127 902 718 397 339 372
Hungary 491 602 446 312 184 165 167
Yugoslavia 600 600 600 540 319 215 210
Norway 515 894 509 525 417 425 398 401
Mexico 500 300 680 720 719 418 520 673
Luxembourg 525 563 496 426 407 423
Chile 490 413 520 494 371 367 390 444
New Zealand 454 582 580 523 444 401 402
Japan 100 1,250 1,600 1,633 1,368 1,379 1,688 1,747
Romania 314 169 867 632 418 418 358 433
Finland 333 424 335 296 292 346
South Africa 300 350 349 323 314 273 270 327
Spain 310 302 744 794 744 719 632 749
Cuba 255 200 402 204 158 160 173 233
Bulgaria 166 139 84 51 48 91 60 46
India 170 161 118 95 88 81 69
Latvia 95 89 71 62 62 76
Lithuania 101 115 113 72 70 60
Turkey 97 100 40 41 36 32 23 22
Estonia 89 69 58 52 60 51
China 80 61 60 96 83 101 98 105
Uruguay 79 89 190 152 147 120 103 116
Peru 65 156 130 144 104 70 69 88
Ecuador 55 57 82 80 60 47 53 65
Colombia 55 85 315 200 130 142 200 375
Egypt 52 70 73 57 49 39 45 53
Bolivia 50 98 82 66 49 42 46 46
Gdansk 48 77 74 81
Portugal 40 56 100 83 59 56 59 55
Philippines 38 54 40 40 40 40 40 35
Algiers 35 35 100 140 140 108 113 91
Venezuela 35 30 150 111 118 65 71 55
Panama. 30 50 75 81 91 88 75 68
Belgian Congo 22 32 22 13 13 13
Paraguay 28 24 19 19 12 10 10 7
Greece 25 30 69 95 85 66 54 77
San Salvador 20 20 16 22 24 24
Costa Rica 18 15 12 10 14 11
Guatemala 15 10 30 11 10 7 9 8
Source:
Przegląd Piwowarsko-Słodowniczy: organ Związku Piwowarów w Polsce 1935 wrzesień R.1 Nr1, page 14.

 

 

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Let's Brew - 1940 Heineken Pils

During the war Heineken got up to some weird shit. Starting in November 1940. You can’t really blame them. Circumstances were beyond their control.

For the first months of the German occupation, Heineken continued much as before the war. The changes kicked off a week into November, when rice was dropped from the grist. The gravity had been reduced a touch towards the end of October, dropping from 11.8º Plato to 11.5º Plato. Not such a big deal.

The dramatic change happened on 17th November, when the gravity went back up to 11.8º Plato, but in was watered down with boiling water in the cooler to 10º Plato. It was the first in a series of dramatic changes which occurred in late 1940 and 1941. At least it was still just about 4% ABV.

I’ve not much idea what the hops were, other than mostly German. One is described as “A”, which could stand for Auscha, a Czech hop region.

1940 Heineken Pils
pilsner malt 8.75 lb 100.00%
Hallertau 90 mins 0.125 oz
Hallertau 60 mins 0.50 oz
Saaz 30 mins 0.67 oz
OG 1039
FG 1010
ABV 3.84
Apparent attenuation 74.36%
IBU 15
SRM 3
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