Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Bayerisches Lagerbier

Time to begin my summer decoction series. Let's kick off with a recipe from the 1860's. This is a loose translation of pages 215 and 216 of "Handbuch der Chemischen Technologie: Die Bierbrauerei" by Dr. Fr. Jul. Otto, published in 1865.

In the 19th century, especially the earlier decades, bottom-fermenting beer was commonly called Bayerisches Bier (Bavarian Beer) or Bayerisches Lagerbier. Because, well, Bavaria is where it was originally developed.

To brew 76 Bayerische Eimer (52 hl), you'll need 12 Bavarian bushels (1478 kilos) and 30 kilos of hops.

In the mash tun, Einteigen (make into dough) the malt with 89.5 Eimer of cold water (61.25 hl). The volume of the mash after Einteigen is 108.3 Eimer (74.1 hl). Leave the mash for four hours. Put 82.5 Eimer (56.5 hl) of water in the kettle.

When the water in the kettle is boiling, it will have reduced to 78.5 Eimer (53.7 hl). Pour the hot water into the mash tun and mash for 15 minutes. The temperature of the mash should be 37.5º C. The volume of the mash is now 186.6 Eimer (127.7 hl)

Take 80 Eimer (54.7 hl) of the mash and put it in the kettle. Boil for half an hour. This is the first Dickmeisch (thick mash).

Add the boiled Dickmeisch back to to the mash tun so that the temperature is raised to 56.25º C. Immediately take another 78 Eimer (53.4 hl) of the mash and put it into the kettle. Boil for 20 minutes. This is the second Dickmeisch.

Put the second Dickmeisch back into the mash tun and mash for 15 minutes. Draw off 92 Eimer (63 hl) of Lautermeisch (clear wort) and boil for 20 minutes in the kettle.

Add the boiled Lautermeisch back into the mash tun. Mash for 30 minutes at 77.5-78.75º C. Rest for 1 hour, then draw off the clear wort.

You should have 118.7 Eimer (81.2 hl) wort at a gravity of 9.37º Balling. Boil for two hours with the hops, after which there should be 107 Eimer (73.2 hl) at 11º Balling.

Cool the wort. There should now be 81.5 Eimer (55.8 hl) of wort at a gravity of 12.1º Balling. Ferment in an open tun for approximately 10 days. Put 76 Eimer (52 hl) into barrels at a gravity of 6.5º Balling, 3.2% ABW.

I'll make a couple of observations. Firstly, the efficiency of the mash is rubbish compared to British breweries of the same period. They usually reckoned on around 80 brewer's pounds of extract per quarter of malt. In this example they only managed 56.5. That's about the same as an English brewer would get from 100% brown malt. Perhaps the recipe is for all dark Munich malt. Secondly, the attenuation, at only 46%, is also crap. Thirdly, it was a very time-consuming process - 14 hours and ten minutes from Einteigen until the end of the boil.


Kristen England said...

I've found the problem lies a lot with the Dickmeisch and the dark munich. In most of the recipes Ive seen with a Dickmeisch I find the efficiency is pretty bad. However it seems to be a technique thing also. The dickmeisch usually takes a long time to get to the saccharification rests whereas when the mash gets less dick/more dünn the sacc. rests are either extended or gotten to more quickly.

The recipes Ive seen with the dickmeisch also have very long boil times of around 4-5 hours. This one you list is only 2 hours.

Ron Pattinson said...

It's gouing to be interesting to see how much the methods vary (or not) over time. I've just had a quick look in Kunze and that doesn't mention Dickmeisch. Does any commercial brewery still use the method?

I have to admit to being very ignorant about this sort of mashing. I must dig out the log of the experimental decoction-brewed Barclay Perkins Mild. Be interesting to see how they did it.

It's good fun looking into something I know little about. I should learn a lot.

Kristen England said...

I'm not sure of one that uses the dickmeisch specifically. I know Klosterbraueri Ettal and Andescher both do decoctions but they wouldn't go into much detail. With the flavors of both of their dopplebocks it wouldn't suprise me if they did.

Kristen England said...

De Clerck does a good job of describing 'classical' german decoction methods Here are a few short notes. Lots of the detail is left up to the brewer.

Three Mash system (Dreimaischverfahren)

- mash in cold, bring up to 35C with direct head or infusion

- decoction 1 - pull a third of the mash, boil for 10-15min pale beers; 20-30min for dark beers.

- add back to main mash; temp comes up to ~50-55C.

- decoction 2 - repeat decoction 1

- add back to main mash = ~62-63c

- decoction 3 - repeat decoct 1; boiled longer than first 2 decoctions

- add back to main mash = ~73-75C; let stand a few minutes then to lauter

Two-mash system
- mash in at 45-50C
- decoct, same time as above
- main mash up to 62-63C
- decoct, same time as above
- main mash up to 70-75C

One-mash system
- 'Schmitz process'
- mash brought to saccharification temp and rested
- pull off 1/3 (thin) and keep aside
- boil entire mash
- add thin pull back to mash; mash ~70C, rest, lauter

- boiled mash can be quickly or slowly added back to change the rate of the main mash temp rise

- Dickmaische (thick) for Munich beers

- Lautermaische (thin) for pilsner type beers

- Vormaischverfahren = prolonged steep in cold liquor for several hours; give better extract yield; good for dark beers, bad for pale

- pressure = may boil decoctions under pressure; better yield; lends spent grain flavor = good for dark beers

Jim Johanssen said...

There are three things that strike me as to why their malt utilization was so low, first is the fact that we do not know how modified the malt is, or how under modified the malt is. The second is that they do not perform a saccharification rest in the Dickmeisch when passing saccharification temperature (64 - 74C). (This is how I learned to do Decoction mashing - per G. Noonan)
The third thing is the saccharification rest at 15 minutes would be very short a time for full conversion, should it not be at the least 45 min. to and hour for under modified malts?
Ron, is there a temperature given for the saccharification rest of the second Dickmeisch?

Kristen, where did you get the under modified malt from? All I have seen lately is the well modified Durst and Weyermann malts since St. Pats has stopped selling their Czech malts.


Kristen England said...

It shouldnt be the saccharifications times. There is plenty throughout the mash, its just hidden. Im guessing the malt was quite modified also. Even in the early 1800's the was damn near as good as it is today. Ron and I have been talking a lot about this. Meaning how todays brewers think all the malt was piss then.

In ALL the brewing manuals (UK and German) Ive read from that time, all the pale malts gave great efficiency. Although they didn't understand the intricate science involved they completely understood the process.

The type of malt would be the biggest affecter. Same thing is seen in UK beers of the time with brown malt. When I compare the numbers, brown malt (1800's) seems to be damn near the same numbers as dark munich.

Its not the process. Decoction is known to increase efficiency quite a bit.

You can get unmodified malt. There are a few people that make it. Its not really good for anything other than making very light lagers. Meaning light in color.

Jim Johanssen said...

I understand your thoughts on the brown malt and low yields, I just thought that the Saccharification was partly at issue for the low yield given. Further investigation there seems that the lautering and sparging operations may be more of the culprit than the mash for the low yields. Even roasted barley gives you 65 pounds per Breiss . I agree with you on the thought that the maltsters made good malts and are not given credit for it. I think that the decoction mash method evolved because it was a reliable method to mash without having a thermometer and the maltsters adjusted their malts (chit malt) for the mashing method. This may well not be correct.


Ron Pattinson said...

Jim, that's a very good point about decoction being a pre-thermometer method. That makes a lot of sense, because you don't need a thermometer to tell boiling point.

I can't remember if a thermometer is used in the oldest decoction text I want to translate. I haven't looked at it for a while. It's from 1819.

Kristen England said...

The thermometer had been around for nearly 100 years by 1819. Im sure they had access to it. I do agree originally that decoction was an easy method b/c you could see boiling.

Ron Pattinson said...

kristen, if I recall correctly, the first modern hermetically-sealed thermomemters date from the 1660's of 1670's. But they weren't used in brewing until about 100 years later. That was in England. In continental Europe it was later.