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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Curious about the OG and FG of the Salvator beer in 1888?
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:52 AM   #1
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Default Curious about the OG and FG of the Salvator beer in 1888?

I was browsing Google books and came across this cool piece of information:



It shows that the Salvator back than had an original gravity of 16.32 Plato and a (real) finishing gravity of 7.92 Plato. This corresponds to an apparent gravity (hydrometer reading) of 6.0 Plato and an attenuation of 63%.

This confirms the fact that the beers back then were much less attenuated than there are these days. Just look at the other beers listed there. Any of these final extract values would be considered a stuck fermentation by todays standards. If the second to last column means the percentage of CO2 in the beer, then the beers were also much lower in carbonation. 2.5 Volumes of CO2 are about 0.5 % of CO2 and most of the beers there show values around 0.12 %. Which is less than the CO2 that would remain in solution w/o being under pressure.

So if your Doppelbock won't ferment past 6.0 Plato (1.024) and you missed the OG by 2 Plato (16 instead of 18) you can still enter it as a Salvator and say that you were trying to clone the one from 1888.

I thought I'd share that.

Kai

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Old 08-31-2008, 08:18 AM   #2
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Interesting.

It's gotta be down to the yeast strains.

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Old 08-31-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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poorly modified malts, and lotsa unfermentable sugars. most of the beers in that time were put right into wood casks no?

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Old 08-31-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
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That's very interesting. The page above the one posted shows some interesting numbers for a helles, too (Lowenbrau). It's probably due to a combination of the things that today have been refined by modern brewing science, like yeast health, variably modified malts, traditional 3-step decoctions (producing lots of dextrins), aeration, etc. Thanks for posting this, Kai.

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Old 08-31-2008, 02:28 PM   #5
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The underfermented Salvatore was desirable, since the monks would have to survive of very little food except the beer. The more sugar, the better.

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Old 08-31-2008, 02:56 PM   #6
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Based on a few other texts from that period that I glanced over, they actually knew quite a lot about brewing back then. Water treatment was known and that calcium salts affect the beer color and bitterness extraction. I don't think they knew about the concept of pH though. Types of sugars were known, but not the enzymes.

Another text also indicates that the Salvator was served cloudy w/o carbonation. It was mentioned to be less brilliant than wine would be. It was also boiled much longer back then. They used the boil to adjust color and I saw that the boil time was in the order of 5 hours. With hops added the last hour. Energy must have been much cheaper back then.

The low malt quality and less efficient fermentation are some factors for this low attenuation. But I also assume that the consumer was looking for fuller and sweeter beers. I wonder if I can find recipes, but w/o the kind of malt that they had back then, brewing these recipes might be moot.

Kai

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