Monday, 25 February 2008

Lyon Brown Beer

I've come across some funny beers in my time, but this one takes the biscuit. I assume that it hasn't been brewed for some time.

"Lyon Brown Beer.
A worthy side piece to (bottom-fermented) Kulmbacher beer is the (top-fermented) Lyon brown beer, - its colour is dark brown and its taste extremely rich. However, these properties are achieved in a very different way than with Kulmbacher beers.

The malt gives a snow-white flour body. The brewing method is pure infusion (compare "Bierbrauer X, p. 168). The boiling wort is skimmed, which is apparently unnecessary here.

But then, calf's feet (one per Zentner [100 kg] malt) are added along with the hops and first boiled for nearly 3 hours. The kettle, which has a dome-shaped lid with a safety valve which can be hermetically sealed, is now closed, the fire covered with ash and the wort steamed for about 5 hours under pressure, ie kept at a temperature higher than boiling point. As a consequence, not only is all the glutin broken down and converted into browned proteins, but also the animal glue from the calf's feet breaks down in a similar way, making the wort a deep brown colour, and the foundation is laid for an excessive fullness.

The wort, which has been cooled to 16º, is fermented with a top-fermenting yeast in small barrels (so that the temperature does not rise too much). Two days after pitching the yeast, the beer is completely clear, is filled into bottles and soon acquires the necessary conditioning.

Comparing the taste of bottom-fermented Kulmbacher beer with top-fermented Lyon beer, it turns out that the latter, for reasons already explained, has a lower degree of attenuation and therefore has a sweeter taste."

"Schule der Bierbrauerei" by G.E. Habich, published in 1865, pages 401 and 402.

Calf's feet. Never seen them amongst the ingredients before. Boiling under pressure is a new one to me, too. Definitely an interesting way to colour a beer, but it sounds more like hopped stew than a beer.

I know I promised something about Berliner Weisse. Don't worry. It's coming. When I've translated everything.

7 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

I understand this method is strongly promoted by the Campaign for Veal Ale.

zythophile said...

This is similar to the beer that went into a "yard of ale", except that had THREE feet in it ...

Edmund said...

Boiling wort without letting it vent leads to contamination of the beer by dimethyl sulfide...maybe the pressure would change this, or maybe they wanted it to taste like cooked tomatoes.

Spencer said...

Boiling calf's feet would extract gelatine, which acts as a fining agent. I'm sure that's not the only effect, though.

Anonymous said...

boiling wort without venting does not necessarily lead to dimethyl sulfide problems, depending on the malt that was originally used. if it was pils malt then maybe. otherwise maybe not. anyway, one can see many discussions of similar pressure cooker experiments on american homebrew websites such as the HBD as a way of achieving maltiness akin to that supposedly achieved by decoction.

Knut Albert said...

Would it solidify at cellar temperature to make a jelly?
Sounds very pre BSE crisis to me!

Evan Rail said...

That trumps Cock Ale and Devon Cider...