Sunday, 12 May 2013

How to make Groterjan Caramel-Einfachbier and Jung- und Braunbier (Dörfel part 3)

C. Caramel-Einfachbier with sweetener, draught

(A really simple beer here. This beer’s name translates as basic or ordinary caramel beer. With a gravity of just 3º Plato, it must have been pretty watery. It reminds me of some of the really weak top-fermenting brown beer they were making in Berlin in the nineteenth century. But there's a discrepancy in the manuscript. At the start he says this is 4º.)

The grist is 6% black malt, 19% caramel malt, 20% “pale” malt and 50% Munich malt. The hopping is 75g/hl. Also added are 350g/hl caramel colour and 14g/hl Dulcin, a sweetener. These go in just before the end of the boil.

It is brewed the same way as Malzvollbier in (A). As soon as fermentation has started, usually after 12–15 hours, the vigorously fermenting wort is pumped into tanks in the lagering cellar, which are immediately sealed. The pressure is 0.35 atü. [this is about 1.35 atmospheres, a quick googling of obsolete physical units tells me].

After 6–8 days the beer is filtered and racked into trade casks without pasteurisation. The beer at racking still has 2.2–2.5º extract and a pleasant sweet, caramelly flavour. This Einfachbier is significantly cheaper for publicans and consumers, due to the small amount of malt needed and the lower rate of duty payable.

D. Jung- und Braunbier, with sweetener

(A discrepancy here too. At the start this is described at having just 3º Plato, weaker than the Caramel-Einfachbier. Here, it’s a tad stronger at 5º. “Young Brown Beer”, it sounds fascinating.)

The grist is the same as Caramelbier (C). Hopping is lower – 60g/hl. 350g/hl of caramel colour and 10g/hl Dulcin are used.

This beer is not fermented in the brewery at all! The sweetened and coloured wort is cooled to 7–8 C and 1 l yeast is pitched per 25–30hl wort. The very next morning the young beer is sent out to beer hawkers, who sell it on the streets or deliver it to homes. The buyer fills it into bottles and it is ready to drink after about three days. The customer generally gets a delivery at least once a week. Therefore there is no great need for the beer to have keeping qualities, and the brewer cannot guarantee that anyway, as he has no control over the fermentation.

Even less tax is payable on Jung- und Braunbier than on Caramel-Einfachbier and it is a cheap thirst-quenching domestic drink that sells well in summer. It represents the last vestige of the time when every household brewed its own beer, says Dörfel rather nostalgically.

(I’m skipping the section on Berliner Weisse because it’s the most complicated and will come back to it later. On to Feinbitter-Starkbier tomorrow. A really weird one. )

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