Saturday, 22 July 2017

Let's Brew - 1879 Kulmbacher Export

You may have noticed that I've been busy with a new book. And when I say new, I don't mean just a bunc of blog posts stapled together.

Yes, it does contain some blog material. But also a whole load of new stuff. In particular, lots of new Lager recipes, around forty in all. They're a mixture of reconstuctions from brewing text books and analyses and ones taken from real brewing records. This is one of the former

In the early days of Lager brewing outside its traditional central European home, several regional Bavarian styles were imitated abroad. One of these was Kulmbacher.

Even Heineken used to brew this style of strong, hoppy and very dark Lager. But for some reason it quickly fell out of fashion and is today virtually unknown as a style. Which is a shame as I’m sure its bold flavours would go down well with modern drinkers. You could think of it as a Münchener on steroids.

The Kulmbach method of decoction

This is the description of the Kulmbach method of decoction from Otto (("Handbuch der Chemischen Technologie: Die Bierbrauerei" by Dr. Fr. Jul. Otto, published in 1865, page 128).

As soon as the water in the kettle reaches 50º C, as much as is needed is put into the mash tun to dough in.

After an hour, when the rest of the water has come to the boil in the kettle, this is added to the mash. The temperature of the mash should be 53.75 - 56.25º C. A small amount of water should remain in the kettle so that the temperature of the mash is correct. Or a small amount of cold water is added to the mash. When, after resting, the wort in the mash tun has cleared, this is run off and boiled in the kettle. After just a few minutes boiling, this Lauter mash is added back to the tun and mashed for 45 minutes. The temperature of the mash should be 71.25 - 72.5º C.

Usually a small quantity of wort is left in the kettle and boiled with all the hops for 10 to 12 minutes (hopfenrösten).

The mash in the tun is left to rest for 90 minutes, then it is drawn off and added to the kettle where it interrupts the rösten.

The wort from the first lot of cold water poured over the grains is usually used for topping up the kettle.
1879 Kulmbacher Export
Munich malt 20L 15.25 lb
Carafa III 0.50 lb
Hallertau 60 mins 3.50 oz
Hallertau 30 mins 3.50 oz
OG 1065
FG 1018
ABV 6.22
Apparent attenuation 72.31%
IBU 80
SRM 30
Mash Kulmbach method
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 48º F
Yeast WLP830 German Lager


Lee said...

Holy IDL Ron!
This does look like it would go down very well with the craf scene.
I like the look of it very much.

Unknown said...

wow, some mashing regiment. very interesting looking beer.

BrianW said...

You have written tons about historic brewing methods in lagerland (mostly strange variations of decoction schemes), but very few recipes. The thing I am most curious about: was there ever a time when Munich Dunkel was actually made from 100% Munich malt and Vienna Lager from 100% Vienna malt? It is one of those fundamental brewing stories that is repeated over and over, but I have never seen an old brewing log or recipe that actually confirms either of these. Pilsner from pilsner malt, yes, but not these other two.

Definitely can't wait to get this book.

Ron Pattinson said...


just wrote recipes today that were a base of Munich malt: Carlsberg Lagerol. From real brewing records.

Unknown said...

Love this recipe but was wondering if you think I can use Munich 10 instead of 20? 20 is considered a "specialty malt" these days and hence the cost is quite more.

Ron Pattinson said...

Mark Grostick,

I'm sure you could. You'get a paler a beer, but you could compensate by throwing in some caramel.

dana said...

Something to consider that unless there's a Munich 20 out there with higher diastatic power than the one from Briess, this recipe will run into trouble in the mash. The Munich I substitution you mention could be a workaround.