Saturday, 24 July 2010

Broyhan recipe

Time to swap obsessions again. Back to extinct German styles. The king of extinct German styles, to be precise. Broyhan.

Usually I find and translate these things myself. This one I didn't. That honour went to Barm. Saved me some work, I can tell you. Thank you Barm.

Where was I? Broyhan. King of extinct German styles. One of the commonest beers in North Germany for 300 years that has somehow managed to slip beneath the waves leaving barely a ripple. I've been on the look out for a decent recipe for years. Finally, I've got one. So I had to share it with you.

A word of explanation first. Broyhan is usually called a Weissbier. It has nothing to do with wheat. It refers to beer that has been brewed using air-dried malt, called Luftmalz. I've seen a variety of different grists for Broyhan, many of which were all barley, but some including wheat.

Enough chat. here's the recipe:

"To brew Broyhahn, after Hermstädt.

This beer is named after its creator, Cord Broyhahn, who first brewed it in 1526 in the brewhouse of Hans von Sode in Leinstrasse, Hannover. The genuine Broyhahn is very pale, similar in colour to young white wine, has a winey aroma and a pleasant sweetish yet acidic taste. Broyhahn differs from other white beers chiefly in that it is brewed from pure barley malt without the addition of wheat malt or hops.

For a brew of 2000 Berlin Quarts [1 Berlin quart = 1.14053 litres] are needed 26 Berlin scheffels (1560 pounds) of pale barley malt, air malt or Welkmalz (?) . The grist has 800 Berlin Quarts at 30º R [37.5º C] poured over it and it is worked through until all the malt is mixed well with the water and no more lumps can be seen. Then the whole is left to rest in the covered tun for half an hour. A second watering follows with 1700 Quart boiling water; it is well mashed for an hour and then the mash is left in the covered tun for a further hour.

After the wort has been drawn off, it is gently boiled in the previously cleaned copper until it evaporates down to 2000 Quarts and then allowed to cool down to 14º [17.5º C] R in the coolship.

In the fermenting vessel the wort is finally inoculated with 6 Berlin Quarts of good yeast, preferably taken from good white beer, well mixed and immediately brought into the barrels in the cellar to ferment out, which takes about 36 to 40 hours, after which the barrels must be tightly bunged. This Broyhahn keeps about 14 days in summer, and in winter 24 days in cool storage, without becoming sour.

The spent grain is once again infused with 500 Quarts of boiling water, mixed well, so that after half an hour the wort can be drawn off, which is inoculated with yeast and processed into Kovent. "
Source: "Grundsaetze der Bierbrauerei nach den neuesten technisch-chemischen
Entdeckungen" by Christian Heinrich Schmidt, 1853, pages 444-445.

I've just done some quick calculations to get some idea of OG. 2,000 Berlin quarts is about 14.5 barrels. 1560 pounds of mallt about 5 quarters. Assuming a fairly low yield of 60 brewers pounds per quarter (the air-drying process isn't the most efficient) I make the OG 1058.5. Which isn't a million miles away from an anlyses I have of Doppelter Broyhan from 1884. That had an OG of 1053.4.

I was a bit surprised at the lack of hops. I've never seen that mentioned before. It could make this an unusual, if unstable, beer to brew. Anyone fancy giving it a go?


Martyn Cornell said...

And so much, of course, for "what a surprise the pale colour of Pilsner Urquell was …"

Gary Gillman said...

This style seems flexible and probably was made different ways by as many brewers. I just read a 19th century description which stated it was "wheaten" and also sweet and spiced. I can't recall now all the details of that earlier discussion of Lindener Gilde's version, but I thought the latter was all-malt and top-fermenting, which sounds not dissimilar to this version mentioned here (except hopped I am sure).

I had a beer the other day called Grasshopper Wheat, made by a craft brewery in Alberta, Canada, which was somewhat sweet and lightly fruity yet also drying and sharp from the wheat content. It would have been hopped but the hops were not dominant. A very good summer refresher and reading these notes on the Broyhan beer brought to mind its flavour albeit the latter version was all-malt.


The Beer Wrangler said...

I am a bit confused as your other website mentions wheat...

"Breyhan or Broyhan, originally from Hannover, was the most widely distributed style in north Germany for a couple of centuries. It was brewed from Hannover to Thüringen, for at least 300 years after its introduction in 1526, .It's supposedly a distant relative of modern alt, but what I have reas from contemporary sources, it seems to belong to the Berliner Weisse, Gose and Belgian witbier family . The 1784 book in some places talks about Gose and Broyhan as variations of the same basic style.

Das ist ein sonderlich gutes Bier von Waizen; solche Bier werden sonderlich zu Hannoever, Quedlinburg, Hildesheim, Göttingen und in anderen Orten, wie auch in Thüringen, mehr gebrauen .

. . (This is a exceptionally good wheat beer which is being brewed more and more, in particular in Hannover. Quedlinburg, Hildesheim, Göttingrn, but also elsewhere, for example in Thuringia . . .)

Der Vollkommene Bierbrauer oder kurzer Unterricht all Arten Bier zu brauen (1784) (Reprint Verlag Leipzig, ISBN 3-8262-0201-5), p 128."

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Wrangler,

Broyhan was a Weissbier in the sense that it was brewed from air-dried rather than kilned malt. It didn't necessarily contain wheat, though it often did.