Friday, 30 July 2010

Gose recipe

These old German recipes are so much fun, I'm posting another today. For one of my old favourites: Gose.

OK, I realise it isn't technically an extinct style. But it fits in nicely with the Kotbusser and Broyhan, so here it is.

"Brewing Gose according to Hermbstädt

This is what they call a Weißbier similar to Broyhahn, which is particularly well-brewed in Goslar and which gets its name from a river of the same name, from whose water Gose is brewed in Goslar.

For a brew of 2000 Berlin quarts [2,290 litres] is required:

1) 12 Berlin bushels (960 pounds) [480 kg] pale wheat malt.

2) 10 Berlin bushels (600 pounds) [300 kg] pale barley malt.

3) 5 pounds [2.5 kg] of the best hops.

The grist is doughed in with 2400 Berlin quarts [2,748 litres] of water at 36° R. [45º C], well worked out and then left to rest for an hour in a covered vessel. The second infusion takes place with the same amount of boiling hot water, being well mashed for 1 hour before the mash is to rest for one hour in a covered vessel. The wort is gently boiled until it has reduced to 2000 Quarts [2,290 litres], strained through straw, mixed with the hop extract and cooled in the coolship down to 14° R. [17.5º C].

The cooled, hopped wort is put into the fermentation vessel with 10 quarts [11.5 litres] of yeast, and when finally the resulting head of yeast has collapsed, the yeast on the top is removed, the fermented wort drawn into the storage barrels in the cellar, and like Broyhahn allowed to ferment out, during which the barrels must be well bunged. The hops are infused twice, the first time with 50 quarts [57 litres], the second time with 40 quarts [46 litres] of water, and finally squeezed. To use the spent grains for Kovent, they are immersed 1000 quarts of boiling hot water, the wort so obtained is boiled for half an hour with the pressed hops and finally pitched with 4 quarts of yeast.
"Grundsaetze der Bierbrauerei nach den neuesten technisch-chemischen
Entdeckungen" by Christian Heinrich Schmidt, 1853, pages 447-448.

I make that about a third of a pound of hops per imperial barrel. So pretty lightly hopped. No surprise there. Though they do seem to have forgotten about the salt and coriander. Bit odd, that.


Duffbowl said...

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the salt was not an addition but came as part of the local water. Without a reference, of course, I may be wrong.

Oblivious said...

Duffbowl BYO have an article on Gose suggesting that salt may have intial deived form the mineral rich water in the town.

"Gose contains salt. It is likely that the original source of saltiness in Gose is the naturally saline water that comes out of some of the mineral-rich aquifers in and around Goslar. These aquifers were the sole suppliers of much of the brewing water for the old Goslar brew houses. We know that medieval alchemists had debated the health effects of “white salt crystals” from Goslar, which were then known by such names as vitriolum zinci Goslariense or blanc de Goslar. When these Goslar crystals were dissolved in water, the astringent and sour tincture that resulted was commonly known as “copper water.”"

The authors is Horst Dornbusch and has a book “Prost! The Story of German Beers,” Which may more information

Ron Pattinson said...

Oblivious, I wouldn't trust anything Horst Dornbusch writes about Gose.

He has this on his German Beer Institute website:

"In the 20th century, with its wars and dictatorships, Leipziger Gose slowly faded into oblivion. The air raids of the Second World War wreaked havoc and destruction on the brewing facilities, which the planned economy of the Communists proved incapable of rebuilding. The division of Germany during the Cold War (starting in 1949) into a "workers' and farmers' paradise" in the Soviet East and a "revengist, bourgeois" hellhole of "exploitation" in the Capitalist West — separated from each other since 1961 by a the Berlin Wall and a death zone with barbed wire, search lights, and a brain-washed, trigger happy "people's army" — not only kept the East Germans in their socialist prison but also caused their beers to wither. Gose was still a local specialty in Leipzig, when the Communist regime in East Germany decided it had better uses for its feeble economy's precious grain. This was because food shortages that resulted from the forced collectivization of agriculture turned bread-making, not beer-making, into the almost sole purpose of the precious grains. Not surprisingly, all brewing suffered under the Communist regime and, by the late 1950s, the last pre-unification Gose was brewed in Leipzig."

I've pointed out to him politely the many errors in this paragraph, but he hasn't changed it. He seems to be more interested in making some pathetic political point than in the truth.

As far as I'm concerned Dornbush belongs to the fact-light school of beer writing.

Gary Gillman said...

It is well to remember that salt was used in English brewing, as shown by this 1800's recipe for London Ale(but also many other sources):

The amount comes out to just over an ounce per barrel, which is not large but would have some effect on the flavour.

This suggests to me that salt was sometimes added to beer in many parts of Europe, probably for preservative and cleansing reasons. The practice may have started after it was noted that saline-rich waters made better-keeping beers, so the story of Gose and mineral-rich aquifers may not be wrong as such.

I confess to no language skills in German. Still, I doubt the term Gose Bier comes from the river Goslar. I think the term Gose is too close to gueuze - and not least to that style of beer - for there not to be a close connection between those two beers. And both share I believe a connection to words of which the English equivalent is geyser or gusher, first suggested I believe by Michael Jackson. Both Gose and gueuze are beers carbonated in a small container. (In Gose, the gas was allowed to bleed off, but that is neither here nor there).

The derivation of the term Goslar for the river may well have the same root as German words for geyser or gusher, but that would be different to saying the river's name inspired the name of the beer.

We have to accept I think that there would have been many versions of this beer, as indeed for Broyhan alt which seems related to Gose Bier. Some would have been spiced, some not. Maybe the spicing was regarded as optional for the brewer, much as each family who used vodka in East Europe had in the old days its way of spicing or flavouring it.


Ron Pattinson said...

Gary, Barclay Perkins usually added salt in the copper.

I've don't see any reason to doubt that the name is derived from the river Gose. I've some pretty old sources that state that. And everyone seems to agree that the style originally came from Goslar.

Gary Gillman said...

Right, Gose (not Goslar) was the river. The historical accounts deserve attention of course. Still, I have my doubts. There are some nice pictures of the river on Wikipedia. Today it is channeled and reduced to a type of conduit. Indeed the pictures there do suggest there was a kind of rapids at one point, and the gushing analogy suggests itself to me again.

I wonder what "lar" meant? If it meant town, then Goslar means Gose river town, town by the Gose river. There is a city in Germany called Lahr, where Canadian (air) forces were based for many years. In another life I will study German, I have enough trouble with French!

This early 1800's source states there were seven types of Gose Bier, of which the best was "beste krug". This explains the apparent contradictions between, or omissions from, the various recipes.