Friday, 16 April 2021

Ny Carlsberg grists in 1928-1929

As promised, here are Carlsberg's grists from the 1920s. Which turn out to be more interesting than you might expect.

No shock that the Pilsners were mostly brewed from pilsner malt. Along with some maize. It is a surprise, however, to de "Farve malt" in the two weaker ones. It means "colour malt" and, based on its usage in Porter, seems to be something like black malt. Obviously, it's purpose is to darken the colour a little.

Moving on to the dark Lagers, we hit the first major problem in interpretation. What exactly was lager malt? I'm inclined to go for something like pale Munich malt. It can't just be another name for pilsner malt as the two types are kept very distinct in the records. The small quantity of caramel malt wouldn't account for the seemingly much darker colour.

Note that none of the dark beers contained maize.

The there's the next tricky ingredient: something called "Kulör" in the logs. 18 and 25 litres, respectively for 424 hl of Lager and 377 hl of Export. Clearly it's some sort of liquid caramel, but how dark was it? I could only guess.

Biggest surprise is that the Porter had 20% brown malt. That's so old school. Even in the UK almost no-one used it any more in Stout, except in London.

Ny Carlsberg grists in 1928-1929
Year Beer Style Pilsner malt Lager malt caramel malt brown malt Farve malt maize
1929 Ny Pilsner Pilsner 84.24%       0.70% 15.06%
1928 Pilsner Pilsner 79.74%       0.16% 20.10%
1928 Lagerol I Lager   98.08% 1.92%      
1929 Gammel Carlsberg Exp Export   97.94% 2.06%      
1928 Exp. Pilsner Pilsner 70.00%         30.00%
1928 Porter Porter 70.61%     21.41% 7.99%  
Source: Carlsberg brewing record held at the brewery, document number Serie 000000299 000056839.


Anonymous said...

"By far
the greatest production was of Pilsner-type
malt—lightly cured with a correspondingly
low colour and a little malt flavour. A lagertype
malt of darker colour, cured nearer the
temperatures used for ale malts, gave a more
normal malt flavour. A Munich type was
also produced, cured at higher temperatures
and with distinctive aromatic character."

The excerpt above (from journal of brewing) dealing with Danish malts is from 1955 but I think it points to the lager malt being similar to a Vienna malt, as it is being compared with ale malts and being compared with pilsner and munich malt. The question I guess is whether it was dark enough to give the beer a light brown color if used on its own (most people's perception of a Vienna lager color these days), or if the color would have been closer to a deep gold color (the color most often associated with Vienna lager in older sources). I suspect the latter, which could then be colored up further if need be with some caramel or color malt (farvemalt/farbmalz) and or colorant.

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous ,

that's interesting. Both beers do contain caramel cclouring of some sort. 18 and 25 litres.

Michael Foster said...

A bit off topic, but I'm curious why brown malt declined in popularity. Was it a distinct flavor or poor efficiency? Amber malts have (barely) survived, pale chocolate and chocolate are still extremely popular, but brown malt just kinda disappeared. What made it so different, or was the problem it wasn't distinct enough, and amber/pale chocolate could be used in its place?