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Old 11-24-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default a small unhopped german beer for children?

It turns out that I vaguely know an older German fellow who's wife just gave birth to his first child.

They tell me that he vaguely recalls that there was a beer he was given small drinks of as a small child to help him sleep. Almost no alcohol, and very sweet.

He has no idea what it was called or if it might still be made somewhere.

Any ideas?


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Old 11-24-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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I believe they would still have been hopped.

It goes by many names. Kid's beer, Tafelbier, 3rd runnings, small beer, table beer. It's part of many cultures. It was drunk by everyone back in the day. Water was unsafe and beer also served as a valuable source of food for everyone.

Beers were usually Partigyled back then. There was no sparging, you did three runnings, the first was usually the strength roughly of a barleywine, or a little lower in grav. The second running was the "normal" strength beer, and the third was the table beer. But you still hopped for a preservative.

Of course yo don't have to gyle it, just create the recipe for a low grav beer.

There's a few threads on here. And if you look around the links in my beer history sites thread you might find more info.


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Old 11-24-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Here's a thread on the subject. It also references an old article in Zymurgy on the subject.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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In alot of europe they [used to atleast] give beer to children to help them sleep. Its even given to older children at meal time or to aid in digestion. Beer is thought of as liquid bread, as opposed to how we view beer. I'm young [realtively atleast, 24] and used to get sips of wine or beer as a child, to aid in sleeping or indegestion.

It most likely was a low alchol, wild type yeast strain, in a standard beer but left un hopped. I cant seem to find any comercailly available there.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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Revvy actually missed the most common (German) name for this beer: Malzbier. I would imagine you'd have the best luck searching that name.

I do recall from my time in France as a youth there was a very low alcohol brew called "Panache" which was quite delicious and served to children almost exclusively. A "panache" in the states is the same thing as a shandy, but this beer from France had no non-beer ingredients. Very different from a malzbier which is almost unfermented.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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I remember this from being a kid in Finland. I must have been four or five when driving with my parents and we stopped at some petrol station or diner on the road. They had 'kotikalja' ('homebeer') which they graded as max 0.5% alcohol and available for children, so I had a glass of that. It's made out of sugar, water, rye malts and some bakers yeast, and fermented for 24 hours. I've remembered the taste since, and my rye mild really reminded me of it!

Pictures and recipe are here:
http://cookingfinland.blogspot.co.uk...kotikalja.html
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
Revvy actually missed the most common (German) name for this beer: Malzbier. I would imagine you'd have the best luck searching that name.
Actually I've never heard or seen in come up called that. You learn something new every day.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Most supermarkets in Germany have Karamalz or Vitamalz:

It's almost as sweet as coke, very malty.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #9
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Oh, plenty of those malt drinks in the UK, very popular in African and West Indies shops. Not massively keen on a Supermalt myself, a bit too sweet!
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:45 AM   #10
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Go for the milk stout. Kids love milk and chocolate.


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