Showing posts with label Bitterbier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bitterbier. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

German top-fermenting styles in 1915 (part four)

Today it's the turn of two styles beginning with the letter "B". Broyhan and Bitterbier. Hope you enjoy them.

"Broyhan is a dark, lightly hopped, poorly attenuated top-fermenting beer brewed mostly in the province Hannover. It is made from barley malt with the addition of up to 20% wheat malt. In some parts of North Germany, particarly the port cities, a dark, sweet beer of 9 to 11º Balling is brewed. After primary fermentation it's lagered in medium-sized lagering barrels, usually with wood chips, at 7 to 10º for 8 to 14 days and after being drawn off it usually has some Krausen added. Harvest beers often have a higher gravity (11 to 13º Balling), are fermented at 8 to 13º, lagered for a few months in large barrels, bunged and filled into transport barrels. "
"Encyklopädisches Handbuch der technischen Chemie, Volume 4, Part 1", 1915, page 30. My translation.

Mm. I'd love to have detailed enough instructions in order to recreate Broyhan. Still not there yet. Lots of, often contradictory, snippets are all I have.

Not quite the same problem with Bitterbier. See if you can guess what it probably evolved into from the description:

"Bitterbier is mainly brewed in the Rhein province and in Westphalia. The heavily hopped, about 9º Balling wort is pitched with yeast at about 10º; after 6 or 7 days there is a break and the beer is transferred into lagering barrels. The lagering takes place at around 6º, clarification is helped through the use of wood chips, is is bunged and drawn off through a filter clear and gold-coloured. These beers acquire their extremely bitter taste not only through the large amounts of hops added in the kettle, but also through the addition of boiled hops, with the water they were boiled in, to the lagering barrels."
"Encyklopädisches Handbuch der technischen Chemie, Volume 4, Part 1", 1915, page 30. My translation.

Any guesses? Sounds an awful lot like Kölsch to me. Though probably more bitter. Love the hop addition to the lagering vat. As they've been boiled, you can't really call it dry-hopping. Wet-hopping, perhaps?

I'm still nothing like finished. I've been saving the sour and smoky ones. And Porter. There's some revealing stuff about German Porter. to come, too.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Grätzer, Bitterbier

As promised, more about old German top-fermenting styles. The passages I'll be quoting are quite short. Remember I have to translate these things myself. And they are printed in a horrible Gothic typeface. Just as well "Fachwörterbuch der Brauerei- und Abfüllpraxis" arrived last week. It's a great help with the more specialised vocabulary.

First up, to use transatlantic terminology, Grätzer. Brewed in the now Polish town of Grodzisk (Grätz in German) , this smoked wheat beer is one of the brewing world's most recent style extinctions. The last Grodziskie was brewed in the mid-1990s. Though I've heard a rumour that production is about to restart. It's another of my obsessions. You can read more about Grätzer/Grodziskie here and here.
"3. Grätzer Bier, a rough, bitter beer, brewed from 100% wheat malt with an intense smoke and hop flavour. The green malt undergoes smoking during virtually the whole drying process, is highly dried and has a strong aroma in addition to the smoked flavour. An infusion mash is employed. Hopping rate: for 1 Zentner (100 kg) of malt, 3 kg hops. Gravity just 7º [Balling]. Fermentation is carried out in tuns at a temperature of 15 to 20º C. Since the beer in the tun, as a result of the expulsion of great quantities protein and resin, doesn't break, it is mixed with isinglass and pumped into barrels. After two or three days it is completely clear and ready to be filled into delivery casks or bottles with the addition of 2 to 5% Krausen."
“Bierbrauerei" by M. Krandauer, 1914, page 301.

According to this description, Grätzer had an unusual combination of 100%, very smoky wheat malt and heavy hopping. The gravity - approximately 1028º - was very low by modern standards, but fairly typical of German top-fermenting styles of the period. Pumping the beer from the gyle-tun into a barrel after a couple of days primary fermentation sounds very much like the British technique of "cleansing". It was designed to remove as much excess yeast and other gunk as possible.

Next is Bitterbier:
"4. Lager-like Bitterbier, a beer made from a 9º [Balling] wort. The wort is pitched with yeast at 10º C, after 6 to 7 days fermentation with a good break it is filled into lager lagering barrels and undergoes secondary fermentation at 6 to 7º C. It is cleared with [wood] chips and after sufficient bunging pours clear gold through the filter. This beer possesses a strong hop flavour, which comes from the fact that the wort is boiled with many hops and in addition boiled hops along with the water they were boiled in are added to the lagering barrel."
“Bierbrauerei" by M. Krandauer, 1914, page 301.

I've found a few tantalising references to Bitterbier or Rheinländische Bitterbier. Golden in colour and heavily-hopped, it sounds very much like an ancestor of Kölsch. Though the other source I have (Franz Schönfeld, 1904) gives the gravity as 12º Balling. Other interesting features are the low fermentation temperature and the addition of extra hops to the lagering barrel. It's not exactly dry-hopping, as the hops have been boiled. Wet-hopping, you could call it, I suppose.

Einfachbier and Berliner Weisse should be next. If I get my translating hat on again. Or maybe more Grätzer.