Showing posts with label Breihan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breihan. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Even more Dornbusch bullshit

Thanks to Barm for pointing this one out to me. It's so stunningly wrong, I can't let it go.

"Mumme or Broyhan beer, so-named after Cord Broyhan, a native Hanoverian brewmaster, is a well-hopped, light brown, medieval ale, made from about one-third wheat and two-thirds barley. Also known as Keutbier, it became, for a couple of centuries, the most widely distributed style in north Germany. In the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries Hamburg emerged as a major international brewing center, shipping its beers to wherever sailing ships would call. The brew industry employed almost half of Hamburg's wage-earning population, and it was in one of Hamburg's 531 breweries that Cord Broyhan learned the secrets of beer-making. When he returned to Hanover, in 1526, he became a very successful bewery entrepreneur. Soon others in Hanover followed Cord's lead and opened up competing breweries. In 1609, the city council of Hanover began to regulate the quality and brew techniques of the local Mumme beer, limiting the number of brewer burghers to 317, combining all of them into one guild, and incorporating the guild as a company. The Guild brewery still exists today and is the oldest enterprise in Hannover. It is now part of the Belgian InBev brewing concern.

Though no longer brewed today, Mumme's historical significance is its relationship to the other northern German beer styles. As an ale, it is a distant relative of the modern Altbier, and has influenced the flavor and brewing techniques of such beer styles as Berliner Weisse, Leipziger Gose and Belgian Wit/bière blanche."

He manages to confuse three totally different styles of beer. What did Mumme, Broyhan and Keut have in common? They were all brewed in North Germany. That's where the similarities end.

Let's start at the beginning. The first sentence alone has half a dozen errors:

  1. Mumme and Broyhan are not the same thing
  2. Cord Broyhan was from Stöcken, learnt brewing in Hamburg then moved to Hannover
  3. Broyhan was lightly-hopped
  4. It wasn't brown, but pale
  5. It wasn't medieval - it was first brewed in the 1500's
  6. It didn't necessarily contain wheat

Keut (or Koyt) is yet a third style of beer. That is much older, dating back to at least the early 15th century. It's a pre-hop beer that was orininally flavoured with gruit. In Holland Jopen brew a rather good Koyt, based on a 15th century Dutch recipe.

Then there's the differences between Broyhan and Mumme. Broyhan was a fairly low-gravity, low-alcohol beer that's often quoted as the direct ancestor of Berliner Weisse. Mumme was a beer with a massive OG - over 1200 - and an incredibly low degree of attenuation. It's hard to think of two more dissimilar beers. Not sure whether to believe me? Here are some numbers:

Unknown, Halberstadt
Halberstädter Breyhan
Hannover, Städtisch
Einfacher Broyhan
Hannover, Städtisch
Doppelter Broyhan

Braunschweiger Mumme

Unknown, Braunschweig

Unknown, Braunschweig
Braunschweiger Mumme

Wahl & Henius, pages 823-830
“Archive der Pharmacie”, 1855, pages 216-217
Handwörterbuch der reinen und angewandten Chemie by Justus Liebig, Johann Christian Poggendorff, Friedrich Wöhler, 1858, page 1038
"Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel" by Joseph König, 1879, pages 147 - 158
"Handbuch der chemischen technologie" by Otto Dammer, Rudolf Kaiser, 1896, pages 696-697

Broyhan was light in colour, body and alcohol. Mumme was "thick, strong, and of a dark brown colour". More like treacle than beer. It's like saying Light Mild and Imperial Stout are the same thing. That bad. Oh yes, Mumme is from Braunschweig and Broyhan from Hannover. Two different towns. Close to each other, yes, but until the late 19th century in different countries.

I might let off a non-German speaker for coming up with such utter rubbish. But Dornbusch is German and can read the sources I've used more easily than me. He has no excuse.

While I've got him down on the floor, I may as well give Horst a few extra kicks in the nuts.

There's the pretentious (and misleading) name of his website: The German Beer Institute. It's not an Institute. It's his personal self-promotion page. Bit of a difference. Then there's the ludicrous claims he makes on its front page "the first and only comprehensive, authoritative information resource for English-speaking fans of German beer." You have to laugh at that.

Finally there's the irritating way he keeps using the word "Ale" to describe extinct German top-fermenting styles. But what would you expect from such an utter twat?

Monday, 31 March 2008

Weissbier and other German top-fermenters

Back to "Die Herstellung Obergähriger Biere" (by Dr. Franz Schönfeld, 1902). How can I stay away from a book so full of laughs?

Pages 65 and 66 describe various special types of Süssbier ("Sweet Beer"). There's very little left of these styles today. Apart from that one Lichtenhainer. Let's see how much of the translation I can be bothered to type in tonight. I may do a part two tomorrow. Right, here goes . . . .

"Special Beers
In North Germany, especially in port cities, a 9-11º, dark, sweet beer is brewed which, after tun fermentation at 12 - 14º R [15 - 17.5ºC] is lagered in medium-large lagering barrels at 5 - 7º R [6.25 - 8.75ºC] for 14 days, also wood chips are often added to speed clarification, and after being drawn off is enriched with Kräusen.

In Hanover, the very weakly-hopped, sweet Broyhan Bier, using 20% wheat malt, has been brewed for centuries. In contrast to Berliner Weissbier, breweries in the provinces make Weissbier without the use of lactic acid bacteria, is fermented with yeast alone, through lagering at 4 - 6º R [5 - 7.5ºC] and the addition of wood chips it undergoes a long secondary conditioning and clarification, is drawn off clear through a filter and is filled into bottled with a little Kräusen. The beer, which after a while becomes clear, should have a fiery brilliance and foam in the glass. The use of some wheat malt or lightly-smoked barley malt makes this beer taste particularly piquant and refreshing. In Bavaria, especially Munich, a Weissbier is brewed from wheat malt and barley malt, which is similar to provincial Weissbier. The use of lightly-smoked barley malt is also found in other beers, for example in Lichtenhainer Bier, a very weakly-hopped beer of about 8º made from light barley malt."

There's some interesting stuff (what an extensive vocabulary I have) in there. It seems to be saying that Bavarian Weissbier was generally similar to Weissbier from other regions.

It always makes my day when I find a new mention of Broyhan or Lichtenhainer. Unfortunately, it only talks about Broyhan in the vaguest terms. Bit of wheat, not much hops. I already knew that much. Irritatingly, though the description of Lichtenhainer is more specific, it contradicts other sources. Earlier texts say that it was hoppy and very smoked. They do agree on an FG of about 8º Balling (about 1032).

I'm pretty sure that "Spähnung" means adding wood chips. It wouldn't be the first time I'd been mistaken, so I thought I'd mention it. Let me know if I'm wrong. In fact, feel free to check the whole translation. That's one of the reasons I've included an image of the original. And to let you see how much fun it is reading effing gothic typefaces.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Breihan (Broyhan) part II

Do you remember that yesterday I had only found one description of brewing Breihan? It turns out that's not true. "Broyhanbier und Brauergilde Hannover 1526 - 1976" by Erich Borkenhagen, 1976 includes a complete reprint of "Broyhans Brau-Ordnung" of 1719. sixty-odd pages of detailed rules about all aspects of brewing Broyhan from malting to retailing. I'll translate the most useful sections when I have time.

However, today it's the turn of Oekonomische Encyklopädie of 1773 (pages 160 - 163).

"Wiessbier or Breihan
Beer is also brewed from wheat malt, either from that alone or with the addition of barley malt, sometimes without hops, sometimes with a very small amount of hops. The general name of this beer is Breihan or Broihahn; in many pplaces it is also called Weissbier, although this is mostly made from air-dried barley malt [Luft-Malz]. I want to only say this and that, because anyhow you can refer for everything else to the general instructions. When just wheat malt is to be used, which must ro air-dried or only very lightly kilned, so that there is no brown to be seen, to give the beer a yellowish-brown colour; so it can be reckoned, for example, for 3 Tonne [1 Braunschweig Tonne = 101.18 litres] beer 12 at most 15 bushels of malt, partly because wheat is more than double the price of barley; partly also because it contains more than twice as much strength, which is extracted during brewing . Brewing itself is carried out exactly as shown on page 153, except that usually when the wort is drawn off it is allowed to run through some hops, although it wouldn't be incorrect, for a brew of 30 Tonne, to soak a few pounds of hops in warm water for 1 or 2 hours and to later mix this extract thoroughly with the wort. To give just one example, I will detail the method of brewing Breihan which Hr. Verf. des Chemischen Lehrbegriffs from the Wallerius gives, and which presumably must be used in Sweden. It consists of the following:

'Take 2.5 parts of barley malt, a half part of wheat malt and as much oat malt and air-dried malt as you want. After they have all been mixed, they are milled, and wort made in the way beer is made, except that a handful of hops is laid in front of the hole in the Gestelkübel [a tub in a frame]. About 3 to 4 Kanne of this [the wort] are specially drawn off; of the remainder, a fifth is boiled and afterwards, while it is still warm, mixed with finely ground spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, Galgant [ don't know what that one is] and violet root; when it has cooled, start it ferementing with a good fermentation medium, including two parts of French brandy. Afterwards, watch to see when the peaks and towers raised during fermentation begin to collapse. As soon as this happens, the liquid has to be put into barrels and the barrels filled with the wort which was held back.'"
I'm struck most by the minimal amount of hops used and the spices. That, and the use of oats, barley and wheat, make it resemble a late-medieval beer. Breihan seems to fit somewhere between Belgian Witbier and Berliner Weisse.

I would love to know when the last true Breihan was brewed. My guess would be between 1880 and 1900. Any of you home brewers fancy reviving it?

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Breihan (or Broyhan)

I've finished with Berliner Weisse for the time being. Now it's the turn of Breihan. A beer with more different spellings than even Koyt.

I have plenty of obsessions. If you need one, I'm sure I could spare a few. They're clogging up the spare bedroom something rotten. I do use my Breihan obsession every now and again, so that has to stay. I take it down from the the shelf, dust it off and look at it. Time to finally use it.

Never heard of Breihan? Not surprising. No-one has. Yet it was the most popular style in Northern Germany for around 300 years. Sometime towards the end of the 19th century it disappeared without trace. Or almost did. Because there is a style still around today that was developped from it: Berliner Weisse.

It couldn't have disappeared at a worse time. Just before German brewing literature took off. So there's barely a mention of Breihan in any of my old manuals. It's very frustrating. I do have the odd chemical analysis, which is, I suppose, better than nothing.

In typical North German style, Breihan wasn't a particularly intoxicating drink. Just 1 to 3% ABV.

Breihan, Broyhan, Broyhahn, Broihan, Breyhan, Breihahn, Breuhahn, Broihahn. These are just some of the spellings.

I think that's about enough for today. Tomorrow, I'll share with you the only description of how to brew Breihan I've found. Exciting, eh?