Dutch brewers were keen to add a spring seasonal beer and made a couple of abortive attempts. The original idea was to introduce a Märzen, but this was delayed after a tax increase in 1935. The project was revived in 1939. Except the name had been changed to Meibier. It was supposed to be like a Bok in strength – around 16ºPlato – but much paler in colour. The idea must have stuck in someone’s head because in the 1990s a similar beer was successfully introduced: Meibok.
There’s not a great deal to Heineken’s version. It’s a smash beer, consisting just of pilsner malt and Hallertau hops. You couldn’t get any simpler than that.
The hopping regime was different to Heineken’s other beers. There were two additions rather than three and the additions were of equal amounts, rather than being larger in the final two. The hops themselves were from the 1938 season. Making them pretty fresh as this batch was brewed in January.
|1939 Heineken Meibier|
|pilsner malt||13.75 lb||100.00%|
|Hallertau 90 mins||0.75 oz|
|Hallertau 30 mins||0.75 oz|
|Mash double decoction|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||48º F|
|Yeast||WLP830 German Lager|
|Mash in at 35º C (95º F)||5 minutes|
|Warm whole mash to 52º C (126º F)||20 minutes|
|Rest whole mash at 52º C (126º F) (protein rest)||15 minutes|
|Draw off first mash and without a rest bring to the boil||30 minutes|
|Boil first mash||10 minutes|
|The rest of the mash remains at 52º C (126º F)||40 minutes|
|Mash at 70º C (158º F)||25 minutes|
|Rest whole mash at 70º C (158º F) (saccharification rest)||30 minutes|
|Draw off second mash and without a rest bring to the boil||15 minutes|
|Boil second mash||10 minutes|
|Mash at 76º C (169º F) and mash out||20 minutes|