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Old 03-24-2006, 11:34 PM   #1
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Default Why was it illegal to brew in the summer in Germany?

Since this is early spring and I guess around the time when Oktoberfest beers were made it got me wondering - does anyone know why it was illegal in Germany in the "olden days" to brew in the summer? I could guess it was a way to fight the increased possiblity of infections due to the warmer weather but that is - like I said - only a guess. I'm sure I could somehow research this question but I thought maybe someone out there knew the answer.

Any German brewing historians out there? Bitte?

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:25 AM   #2
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Ich hat keine ahnung es war verboten! Never heard of that before...

Marzen is a lager. After it was brewed it used to age in caves or in a "keller" (our word for "cellar").

Weizens are ales. Surely, they depend on a warmer place/season to ferment?

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller? Beuller?

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:35 AM   #3
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Boy HB99 if you don't know it, then nobody in here does. You are our resident Germany expert.

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller? Beuller?

voodoo economics?
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:54 AM   #5
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Thanks you for your vote of confidence, but that one stumped me. I was certain all the breweries brewed year round (except lagers, maybe) until I read that.

One of the brewers I met even gave me a kilo of Hallertau hops for some Weizen and asked me to bring him some HB to share with him. The only problem was I did not brew when I was there. (DOH!!! MY BAD!!! I STILL KICK MYSELF FOR THAT ONE!!! This is possibly one of my biggest regrets in life...) It was too easy to get it down the street. We had 2 breweries less than 1 mile away. And who was I to compete with the experts? I still talked with brewers and such, but I never had the time to brew as I was either deployed or always on the run supporting our soldiers and weapon systems...or on (a much needed) vacation.

I actually looked into 2 brewing schools while there. I had the $$$ and the desire, I just didn't (or thought I didn't) have the time...maybe after I retire my wife will let me go to brewing school in Germany. Maybe I'll ask for it for my birthday...unfortunately, I'll be getting ready to go on another business trip! ARRGHHH!

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Old 03-25-2006, 02:02 AM   #6
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Please ,God. Let me come back in my next life as Homebrew Bill !

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:19 PM   #7
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You don't want that....

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Old 03-25-2006, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alembic
Since this is early spring and I guess around the time when Oktoberfest beers were made it got me wondering - does anyone know why it was illegal in Germany in the "olden days" to brew in the summer? I could guess it was a way to fight the increased possiblity of infections due to the warmer weather but that is - like I said - only a guess. I'm sure I could somehow research this question but I thought maybe someone out there knew the answer.

Any German brewing historians out there? Bitte?
I don't think it was verboten. Before refrigeration, it was simply not practical to brew lagers during the summer. Thus lagers were referred to as winter beer and ales were summer beer. Traditionally Maerzens were brewed at the end of the winter where there was still enough snow and ice to cool the fermentation process. The beer was then lagered in caves that were packed with ice harvested from lakes.

Refrigeration changed this. But since there is a taste benefit to beer that is lagered a very long time, it is still done. But I wonder if all of the Oktoberfest beer in Germany is actually brewed in March. It just doesn't seem economical for a brewery to tie up their lagering vessels for 6 months.

I have to ask some German brewers on this as this interests me as well.

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Old 03-25-2006, 05:09 PM   #9
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Default Just so you don't think I'm making this up!

Just so you all don't think I am making this up - I refer to the Northern Brewer catalogue under their kit section for Oktoberfest. It is item #1352. Part of the description reads -

"Typified by breweries such as Paulaner and Spaten in Munich, the world capital of beer, Oktoberfest originates from the time when brewing in the summer was illegal in Germany."

So...... what to you all think?????


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Old 03-25-2006, 05:27 PM   #10
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There were various restrictions after the passage of the first Purity Laws, but they mainly reflected what could be brewed for that season. Not to forget, laws varied greatly from city to city.

http://www.bayernbrewery.com/brewsletter4-1.htm

In part,

Hefe-Weizenbier, (wheat beer with yeast), is not documented until the year 1573 at one of the royal hofbr�uhauses run by the Manhart family in Munich. At those br�uhauses, Wheatbeer was only allowed to be brewed at night, while the standard Braunbier was brewed during the day. In the summer only Wheatbeer was allowed to be brewed during the day. On the summer, only Wheatbeer was allowed to be brewed and Braunbier could not be brewed until late fall. The reason for this rule was based on the natures of these two beers. Braunbier was a lager that was cold-fermented at 42 F with bottom-fermenting yeast and at that tome, this process used up most of the cooling capacity of the ice cellar. Weizenbier was a top-fermenting beer that actually needed higher temperatures of about 70-72 F.

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