Danish Farmhouse Ale - 2 recipes from 1868

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Hi!
These recipes are from an old Danish cookbook from 1868. It's my own translation, the source material is available here.

Here is the title page, foreword and chapter 22, about brewing beer.


1637014651133.png


Cookbook for town and country households
or
Directions for boiling, frying, slaughtering, pickling, preserving, salting, baking, brewing, cheese making and more.
by
Sørine Thaarup
born Schjøtt
With an addendum about the use of chafing dishes when boiling foods using Mr. Professor Fjord’s method.
Third Edition.
Copenhagen
Bookseller V. Pio’s Publishing House
Sally B. Salomons Print.
1868​



Foreword.
After 44 years of working in the daily household I will, to the best of my abilities, seek to publish the experiences I have gained in those many years, and I would be happy, if this would be a beneficial guidance to the unskilled in house keeping.
What must be especially paramount for anyone in any endeavour, is cleanliness, tidyness and carefulness; no effort may be spared in any way regarding cleanliness for everything in one’s care, since this is the only safe way to keep things from spoiling, which is of great importance to health.


Chapter 22. About brewing beer.


For good daily beer, you need 35 liters of malt (2 skæpper) and 2 large handfuls of hops for 135 liters of beer (1 barrel).

What is most important, is that the vessels, troughs and buckets, indeed anything to do with the brewing is scalded and inspected the day before, so that everything is completely clean. Otherwise the beer will spoil and become undrinkable. You should be careful with the yeast, that is it not sour or mouldy, but fresh and good.

Put the malt in a smaller vessel, pour warm water on it, stir and cover. Leave it for an hour. Put the tap rod in a trough, put broom straw in it with 3 layers crossing in orientation, and then put the press on top. This is scalded several times with boiling water, and the trough is emptied through the tap rod. The mash is placed in the trough, and at first warm water, not scalding, is poured on. As this runs through, the water can become hotter. The wort is then collected in a vessel, and when you think you have a little over 1 barrel, it is joined by the hops in the brew kettle, which must be shiny and clean.

A fire is lit under the kettle, and the wort is steadily boiled with the hops until the beer separates. This is best seen by taking a spoonful with a silver spoon, in it you will immediately see if the beer has separated. If not, it must boil a little longer still. Meanwhile, you make sure that the vessel to chill the beer in has been scalded and rinsed with cold water.

When the beer has boiled enough, the fire is taken off, so the kettle will not be damaged when it is emptied. A fine sieve is placed over the chilling vessel, and the beer is stirred often, so it can chill quickly. In the meantime, the yeast has been dissolved in warm beer, and when the beer in the vessel is milkwarm, the yeast is mixed in with a constant stirring, to make sure it is completely mixed in to the beer.

A pair of clean rods are laid over the vessel, and on that is laid a cloth, used only for this purpose. Leave it until the next day, take off the cloth cover and carefully skim off the yeast into a trough.
The beer barrel, which must be clean and rinsed already, and the last rinse must be with wormwood water, is put in place and filled with the beer, and the bung is loosely put in until the next day; then it can be hit more firmly in place.


Brewing Old Beer

For 135 liters of Old Beer (1 barrel) is used 139 liters of malt (1 grain barrel / 8 skæpper) and 2 kilograms of hops (4 pounds).

Firstly you must see to that the beer barrel is rinsed and scalded several times before use, and make sure it is not leaking. The day before putting the beer in the barrel, wormwood water must be put in it. This keeps the beer well from harm. It goes without saying that all barrels, troughs and buckets must be in perfect order.

The malt is put in a vessel, and warm water poured on it until it is completely soaked. The trough is plugged with the tap rod, broom straw is put in the trough in three crossing layers. Then the pressers are put on, everything is rinsed with scalding water and drained.
The mash is put in the trough, and a bucket is put under, to catch drips. A few buckets of warm water is poured on, it is allowed to run through, but is poured back on top. Each time you close the tap rod, make sure not to waste any beer. Begin pouring the wort into a clean vessel until you think you have collected a little over a barrel full.

The wort is then poured into the brew kettle, which must be shiny and clean. The hops is put in, the fire is lit and the kettle is steadily boiled and skimmed when necessary. The wort is boiled until it separates, which can be seen best by taking a sample with a silver spoon. If it has not separated, it will have to boil a little more.

When the boil is done, pour the wort into a vessel, but first 2 clean rods and a fine sieve are placed on the vessel. The wort is poured through, straining out the hops. The fire is put out to not damage the empty brew kettle. Stir the chilling vessel often to chill the beer. Take twice the usual amount of yeast, dissolve it in warm wort, and when the beer is milkwarm, put the yeast in the vessel. Stir to mix in the yeast, cover the vessel and leave it until the next day.
Skim the yeast into a trough and put the beer in a barrel, to be left in a cellar that is not damp.

Brewing is done in March or February, but no later than March. One cannot take from the beer before the hay harvest, at that time it is good to give the farmhands a full bowl of it every night before they go to bed. The same goes for the grain harvest. The author has used this, and found it very beneficial. The farmhands were always agreeable and ready to work the next day, since the strong drik strengthened them and freed them from disease. It is to be noted, that after this brew, the same malt can be used for ½ barrel of daily beer.
 

IslandLizard

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Welcome to HBT and congrats on your first post!

It's an interesting read, your translation that is. Although there is nothing wrong with posting it, what exactly is the purpose? Are you going to post a recipe we could actually brew from with today's ingredients, methods and equipment?
 
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Welcome to HBT and congrats on your first post!

It's an interesting read, your translation that is. Although there is nothing wrong with posting it, what exactly is the purpose? Are you going to post a recipe we could actually brew from with today's ingredients, methods and equipment?
Hi! Yeah, I guess I didn't actually say why I typed all this stuff up. I am planning to make a brew as close to this as I can (although these recipes are pretty much just "water, malt, hops and yeast" in different ratios) and I figured why not type up a translation too and share it? I will be happy to post what I end up with too.
 

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Hi! Yeah, I guess I didn't actually say why I typed all this stuff up. I am planning to make a brew as close to this as I can (although these recipes are pretty much just "water, malt, hops and yeast" in different ratios) and I figured why not type up a translation too and share it? I will be happy to post what I end up with too.
Yes, please! A "translation" to modern day equipment and ingredients.

I may not be the only one who's curious to see what you come up with. Such as any clues about what kind of yeast they may have used?

The timing of the brewing is also interesting, "no later than March." That seems to have been quite common, as in Germany they followed similar time lines, i.e., Märzen.

Back in that time "malt" was malt, I doubt there was much diversity as we have now. Any idea what kind of malt they may have had available and used back then?
 
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Yes, please! A "translation" to modern day equipment and ingredients.

I may not be the only one who's curious to see what you come up with. Such as any clues about what kind of yeast they may have used?

The timing of the brewing is also interesting, "no later than March." That seems to have been quite common, as in Germany they followed similar time lines, i.e., Märzen.

Back in that time "malt" was malt, I doubt there was much diversity as we have now. Any idea what kind of malt they may have had available and used back then?
In the recipe the yeast is pitched at "milkwarm" which I assume is 37C / 100F, then after just 1 day, the yeast is active enough that they could skim it off the top, and after 1 additional day, the barrel is sealed up, which indicates fermentation is reliably finished after just 2 days. That sounds a lot like Kveik yeast to me, and I happen to have some Voss Kveik in the fridge, so I'm could try that. I have a bag of Hallertau Mittelfruh whole cone hops coming in, so I can try to weigh out "2 large handfuls". I would have loved to brew with some wild Danish hops, but I only saw male plants this year. About the malt, I am thinking that there could have been traces of other grains mixed in from the kiln or packaging, so I think 5-10 percent of oat malt, wheat malt and rye malt mixed in with the barley malt could have happened. The drying and roasting was probably also less even than today, so could take 10% of the grist aside and give it a bit of a roast in the oven. I am very open to suggestions to best translate this old text to a recipe.
 
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As promised, here is my best effort for a recipe and a brew report. I decided to go for the first of the two recipes, "daily beer", since the "Old Beer" came out as a +12% beer in the calculator!


Daily Beer
3.8%

BIAB
75% efficiency
Batch Volume: 13.5 L
Boil Time: 30 min
Original Gravity: 1.038
Final Gravity: 1.009
IBU: 5
Color: 9.5 EBC


Mash
Temperature — 65 °C45 min

Malts (2.25 kg)
1.8 kg (80%) — Pale Ale
150 g (6.7%) — Oat Malt
150 g (6.7%) — Rye Malt
150 g (6.7%) — Wheat Malt
note: 10% of grist was baked in the oven for 45 minutes at 150 C

Hops (7 g)

7 g Hallertauer Mittelfrûh 4% — First Wort

Yeast
Lallemand Voss Kveik

Fermentation
Primary — 33 °C60 hours


A few notes:
Measurements:
I decided to go for one tenth of a barrel, which explains the weird 13.5 liter batch size. Measuring malt by volume was a little strange, but I learned that 3.5 liters of malt is about 2.25 kilograms. The recipe calls for "two large handfuls of hops" for the full batch, and as much as I tried, I could not grab more than 30 grams of hops in two handfuls, which would amount to 3 grams for my one-tenth recipe. That is so stupid little that I might as well not have bothered putting any hops in, so I decided that maybe the author had giant hands (I could see that, from 44 years of countryside cook work) and rounded up to 7 grams of hops; that would get me 5 IBU's.

Grain bill:
In the recipe the malt bill was only specified as "malt", so I guess I could have stuck with all pale malt, but for fun I added a bit of oat malt, rye malt and wheat malt, with the justification that in the old days some other grains could have spilled over when malting or packaging or unpacking. Also for fun, I put 10% of the grains in the oven and gave it a little bake, to get a little pre-industrial unevenness.

Process:
I couldn't really copy the original recipe's process description. I brew in a bag in my kitchen, I don't have a wood fired hearth and a brewhouse, but it was new for me to try first wort hops, and also only cooling to 37 degrees C before pitching the yeast. Fermentation was all done in 48 hours. Gave it a half day more before bottling.

The beer:
Well.... I figured I would try a bottle before it was completely carbonated, to get that "authentic" cask/barrel ale flatness. Nope, doesn't work for me. The beer feels very undercarbonated. I look forward to trying it again in a week or two with full carbonation. Also that rye is dominant! I am not into it, but maybe that will also mellow out in a few weeks. There is no aroma or smell of hops that I can detect, even after doubling the amount of hops. In both smell and taste I am only getting rye!

If I am going to brew another batch, I would probably go with half the rye and twice the hops. Anyway, there it is. If nothing else, someone in the future may find this post when trying to convert liters of malt to kilograms or handfuls of hops to grams! Oh, and a picture:
IMG_20211128_205304839.jpg
 

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Cool stuff, I enjoyed reading it!

I'm inclined to think that the rye character will subside - or it's not actually the rye that you're tasting so predominantly. I've used much higher percentages of rye and, while noticeable, it never dominated a beer the way you described it.
I'm sure the beer will be different once carbonated.
 
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Cool stuff, I enjoyed reading it!

I'm inclined to think that the rye character will subside - or it's not actually the rye that you're tasting so predominantly. I've used much higher percentages of rye and, while noticeable, it never dominated a beer the way you described it.
I'm sure the beer will be different once carbonated.
Alright, that's reassuring. I don't have much experience with rye. The beer made me think of sourdough rye bread, but maybe that's just young beer flavour and active yeast. Normally I have the first taste a month after brew day, this was less than a week.
 

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Hey @Sørine Thaarup,

What a wonderful read up. I really like the experiment.

I have been brewing a few historical Danish beers over the last year, and here are some of my recommendations for Danish farmhouse brewing process and Fadgæring (Cask Fermenting).

Process wise:
1. Mash Schedule: Try and keep a pretty high temperature between 67-75 degrees. Anecdotes from some Lollandic grannies I have are that they often would check the mash temperature by pouring a tablespoon of snaps in their mash to smell if it evaporated, if it did, they had hit their temperature. This will often give a very sweet beer with a lot of unfermentable sugars. Which is preferable for Fadgæring, as it would take a longer time for various souring yeasts and bacteria to develop.

2. Fadsmag: To get a bit of the flavour of wooden cask into the beer, pour the warm wort ontop of a stave or piece of Danish Birch or Oak, or if you are looking for a more cheaper solution Cherry or Apple wood will do. When it cools down, add the yeast and let it ferment with the stave in it (This will also provide you with a yeast stave).

3. Krausening: A trick I learned from an old chap who used to be a Bottler and own a bottle shop in Maribo, was that of Krausening. It is a German trick to get carbonation in a fully fermented beer. Basically you take a actively fermenting beer and pour a bit into the beer you plan to bottle. To 10ls of beer, I usually add between 200-400ml of fermenting beer depending on how strong a brew it is.

4. Hopping Rates: I have been looking into the hopping rates of older Danish brewery recipes. It seems like most breweries had a pretty high hopping rate, but this is because most of Danish brewers used low alfa acid hops from Altmark. About 5 g/l on average.

5. Malt Composition: Most Danish maltsters in the 1800's didn't have drums or indirect kilning. They often dried and kilned their malt over open flame. The only exception I can find is that of Hvidtmalt, which was dried with the help of warm and strong summer winds.
Therefore, I usually use some level of smoked malts, 20/80 (smoked/nonsmoked malt) or 90/10. The only time I don't use smoked malts are for summer beers.
What you did with baking the malts is a very traditional trick to get a bit of colour in a beer. If you were not rich enough to have a hearth or oven, you would often roast the malts in a deep dish making Ristet or Brun Malt.

I hope this gave you some inspiration to try something new in your brewing toolbox. In the new year I will make a Lys Hvidt Øl with a stave of wood in it. :)

Best Regards and Glædelig Jul,
The Brewer from Palmeøerne
 

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Very interesting. Thanks for posting. I'm a huge fan of preprohibition lagers and these type brews fascinate me. I'll be watching to read your future post.
 

Protos

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Great instructions!
Happy guys, you know where to find some old Danish recipes.
I got me a sack of Fuglsang Pilsner and was thinking what to brew with it. Decided to brew some Danish beers and went to search through the entire Internet for any Danish recipes. I searched even on google-translated Håndbrygforum and Norbryggforum.
Won't say I've found too much. Recipes for Carlsberg Hof and Carlsberg Elefant, both with 12% adjunct sugar, from Brewing European Beers. Also some vague reccomendations on Carlsberg 47 and even vaguer on Tuborg Guld. I brewed them all this December (Hof, I've brewed it last year too). Ah, and also some posts on hvidtøl, which I didn't dare to brew.
Thanks and Happy Christmas!
 

Knox

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Great instructions!
Happy guys, you know where to find some old Danish recipes.
I got me a sack of Fuglsang Pilsner and was thinking what to brew with it. Decided to brew some Danish beers and went to search through the entire Internet for any Danish recipes. I searched even on google-translated Håndbrygforum and Norbryggforum.
Won't say I've found too much. Recipes for Carlsberg Hof and Carlsberg Elefant, both with 12% adjunct sugar, from Brewing European Beers. Also some vague reccomendations on Carlsberg 47 and even vaguer on Tuborg Guld. I brewed them all this December (Hof, I've brewed it last year too). Ah, and also some posts on hvidtøl, which I didn't dare to brew.
Thanks and Happy Christmas!
There is a Danish book that covers beers and styles from the 1850 to 1950. Just before the industrilisation Denmark began to when it was truly established. The author has a few recipes for various styles, everything from Gammeløl (Very similar to Altbier) to Lagers. Let me give you the full title and Author:
Dansk Øl 1850-1950 by Simon Wrisberg.

The book is in Danish, but the recipes are easy enough to follow. I am unsure if there are plans to release an English language version. You are always welcome to message me for recipes as well :)

Best Regards and Merry Christmas,
The Brewer from Palmeøerne
 

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There is a Danish book that covers beers and styles from the 1850 to 1950. Just before the industrilisation Denmark began to when it was truly established. The author has a few recipes for various styles, everything from Gammeløl (Very similar to Altbier) to Lagers. Let me give you the full title and Author:
Dansk Øl 1850-1950 by Simon Wrisberg.

The book is in Danish, but the recipes are easy enough to follow. I am unsure if there are plans to release an English language version. You are always welcome to message me for recipes as well :)

Best Regards and Merry Christmas,
The Brewer from Palmeøerne

It's always a joy to read on how much bigger brewing is than the narrow style-centered, BJCP-influenced "mainstream" view that most of us have most of the time.

Really looking forward to a time when I'll be in a brewpub and overhear bearded hipsters raving about pre-industrial Danish lagers! :)

Cheers,
Daniel
 

Knox

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It's always a joy to read on how much bigger brewing is than the narrow style-centered, BJCP-influenced "mainstream" view that most of us have most of the time.

Really looking forward to a time when I'll be in a brewpub and overhear bearded hipsters raving about pre-industrial Danish lagers! :)

Cheers,
Daniel
Ha! That would be the day.

I would prefer them raving around the bitter, smokey and sour style of Skibøl 😅.

Cheers,
The Brewer from Palmeøerne
 

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It's always a joy to read on how much bigger brewing is than the narrow style-centered, BJCP-influenced "mainstream" view that most of us have most of the time.
Indeed. I feel same joy every time a new "Let's Brew" article from Ron Pattinson's blog ruins another block in my BJCP-based ideas on what British beer categories actually were like.

bearded hipsters raving about pre-industrial Danish lagers
Oh no please... Look what they did to innocent Stouts and India Pales... Wanna see a surge of Chilli-Vanilla-Milk-Pastry-Steampunk-Smoothie Danish Lagerz before we barely know what the real Danish Lagers were in the first place?
 

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Oh no please... Look what they did to innocent Stouts and India Pales... Wanna see a surge of Chilli-Vanilla-Milk-Pastry-Steampunk-Smoothie Danish Lagerz before we barely know what the real Danish Lagers were in the first place?

I was silently assuming that, by that time, we as a society have overcome the last remaining traits of toxic masculinity and the bearded hipsters can finally admit that what they actually crave is a Piña Colada instead of devising a style of "beer" designed to mimic the exact experience of drinking a Piña Colada.

But eh, that's admittedly far fetched. :p
 

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There is a Danish book that covers beers and styles from the 1850 to 1950.

The book is in Danish, but the recipes are easy enough to follow. I am unsure if there are plans to release an English language version. You are always welcome to message me for recipes as well :)
If any of the recipes are especially interesting, you could translate and put them in here.
:mug:
 

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If any of the recipes are especially interesting, you could translate and put them in here.
:mug:
I would be more then happy to! But I do not want to just spam this thread with random recipes. Instead let me provide a list of the categories he provides and if anything jumps out people can ask for a collection of recipes to pick from.
  1. Gammeltøl (Old Ale: a strong lagered ale, typically spoiled by wild yeast, spiced with various household spices and herbs.)
  2. Skibsøl (Ship Ale: a smokey, bitter and sour beer. Sourness might not be intentionally, but some breweries intentionally soured their Ship Beer.)
  3. Hvidtøl (White Ale: a Pale to Black Ale, low ABV, unfermentable sugars often used to provide sweetness, extremely malty)
  4. Bitterøl (Bitter Ale: Bitter and hoppy ale, often made with roasted malts and a medium body, only made with low AA hops)
  5. Sødt Dobbeltøl (Sweet Double Ale: A pale to black ale that is malty, twice to three times the strenght of Hvidtøl, sweet as the name implies)
  6. Lagerøl (Lager: Amber coloured lager made with "Lagermalt", made often with German hops, but Danish, English and Swedish hops were common as well, malty and with quite a bit of residual sweetness, low bitterness)
  7. Pilsnerøl (Pilsner: catch-all for any dry golden lager in Denmark, made with specifically Pilsner malt, German or Czech hops, however exceptions do ofc exist)
I also have some copied recipes from old breweries and farm households lying around that the author doesn't which I will include in the posts. So you will get some choices.
 
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Gentlemen, I must to reveal that Mr Knox has kindly shared with me some recipes for Pale Lagers I asked him for. They are amazing! For example, the one that I will brew tomorrow (Wiibroe Pilsner) is a Lager with a smidge of English Dark Crystal, unusually low bittering AND with an English dry hop. "IPL" in 1939, anyone? long before the bearded hipsters "invented" it...

Those Danish recipes are a treasure. Generally, similar to German (decoction included), but with some nice and unusual twist.
I'd like to brew them all. Probably, will buy the e-book someday. Along with another sack of Fuglsang.
 

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I am happy to be of help. Lets be fair, cold hopping was standard practice for breweries because they transported their product in wooden barrels, so you needed to keep the pesky lacto out of the beer. ;)

I'd like to brew them all. Probably, will buy the e-book someday. Along with another sack of Fuglsang.
If you ever should be able to get a sack of Gyrup Malt, you won't be disappointed. It is first class malt. Otherwise I can recommend Viking Malt, I know that Organic Munich and Pilsner is made in Denmark and Finland.
 

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Nice to know about Viking. A tried and true malt, easily available to me, and also a bit cheaper than other malts. Next week I'll make a "lagermalt" mix of it for the Thor Lager recipe :)
 

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I brewed Wiibroe Pilsnerøl and Thor Lagerøl, thoroughly following the recipes. Seamless brewdays, hope the beers come out great.
Got a 92% efficiency (BIAB) with decocted Danish malt, which is wow.
Learned also that they plan to publish the Dansk Øl 1850-1950 book translated in English. Can't wait to add it to my e-library on European traditional styles.

@Knox, may I ask you to share one more recipe - the Gammeltøl one?
I'm a big fan of German and Dutch lagered Kölsch-like ales, it would be nice to try a Danish version of the style.
 

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I brewed Wiibroe Pilsnerøl and Thor Lagerøl, thoroughly following the recipes. Seamless brewdays, hope the beers come out great.
Got a 92% efficiency (BIAB) with decocted Danish malt, which is wow.
Happy it went well, and wow that efficiency is amazing!
I don't think the Thor's can go wrong, it is a simple amberish lager, a favourite here in the North :)
I am looking forward to the Wiibroe Pilsner, which is probably the most special one.

Learned also that they plan to publish the Dansk Øl 1850-1950 book translated in English. Can't wait to add it to my e-library on European traditional styles.
Amazing to hear. It is a fun book and I can also recommend it in physical form for your coffee table. It has a good selection of pictures and novelty information :')

may I ask you to share one more recipe - the Gammeltøl one?
@Protos ofc you can. Here are two 25L recipes and they are directly translated I have added clarifications in (). :) However, it is more a barley wine then a kolsch that can be fermented with various yeasts and bacteria.

Recipe 1: @Sørine Thaarup Gammeltøl
Malt Bill
14 kgs of Malt (As a base use 50/50 Munich and Pilsner malt. Use leftover malts you have, you have a high degree of freedom)

Hops
380 gr of Hops (Use Saaz, Spalt, Mittelfrueh, or any low 2-4% alpha acid hop.)
The process description for this beer is in OPs post under "Brewing Old Beer". But if you don't want to make a wooden mash tun and have tap rods and other lovely historical gear, I would use modern homebrewing techniques. Otherwise I have provided a process description down below.

Recipe 2: Conradines Gammeltøl from 1872
Malt Bill
14 kgs of Malt (Same as Recipe 1)

Hops
190 gr of Hops (Same as Recipe 1)

Spices
2 dl Akvavit (This is a herbal snaps with caraway and dill seed flavouring. I think any light herbally snaps will work)
22 gr of Cinnamon (Use sticks, don't use powder)
This recipe do not ask for a wort boiling, but for a hop tea to be added. However, doesn't tell you when to add the cinnamon and akvavit.
Remember though, it is written for household workers and just like with old recipes a lot of information is assumed by the author. And having an old Grandma that does table wines in Poland which she learned from her Grandma, I have an idea as to what is meant here with the akvavit.

Process Description
  1. Do a hot infusion mash between 67-72 C for 60-75 mins.
  2. I recommend sparging until you have collected 25Ls of wort.
  3. For Recipe 1: Do a standard 60 min boil. Add your hops in the beginning of the boil.
  4. After collecting your wort, cool it down and add your yeast. Recommended fermentation vessel is a rum barrel.
  5. For Recipe 2: As fermentation picks up, prepare your hop tea. Boil the hops and cinnamon in 3-4 liters of water for 60 mins, cool it down and pour into your fermenting Gammeltøl.
  6. When fermentation has completed, rack it into a cask or another vessel for maturation.
  7. For Recipe 2: add the akvavit to the vessel to fortify the beer with.
  8. Depending on your fermentation profile, if you are not fermenting with brett add priming sugar before maturation.
  9. Let the beer mature for 2-3 months @ room temperature, longer if you dare. Taste along the way, if possible.
  10. If you are fermenting with brett. and/or lacto., after maturation add priming sugar to carbonate.
  11. Enjoy.
As this beer is pretty big you need a high alcohol tolerant yeast to deal with all this sugar. The yeast selection provided in the book is as follows:
  1. Wyeast 3522
  2. WLP 510
I think any Belgian yeast that is STA1- would work fine here. Even Lallemands new Farmhouse Saison blend which is STA1- could work here.

If you plan to get some of that sweaty deliciousness from Brett, the author of the book recommends copitching Brett. bruxellensis with the belgian yeast:
  1. Wyeast 5112
  2. WLP 650
You may also want to try it with a blend of brett., lacto., and yeast! So if that is your jam, you may want to pitch:
  1. Wyeast 3278
  2. WLP 665

I hope this was useful. Otherwise just ask me and I will try my best to clarify. I will admit this is slightly out of my expertise.

Stay safe out there and happy new year!
 
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Abosolutely great! Thanks a lot for the recipes and such a detailed explanation.
And having an old Grandma that does table wines in Poland which she learned from her Grandma, I have an idea as to what is meant here with the akvavit.
Owszem, to akvavit oczywiscie musi byc okowitą :) So, they fortified their Old Ales with vodka.

Those your recipes never stop to amaze me. Initially, just from the name alone, I assumed Gammeltøl was a kind of an Alt or a Kuit or a Braunbier. Then, reading the recipe, I thought it might be closer rather to a Sahti or a "Kveik" (which it's obviously pretty close to, indeed). And when the akvavit part comes along, I realized I've never heard of anything like that. Must try to brew this immediately :D

Happy new year Knox and all fellow brewers!
 

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Abosolutely great! Thanks a lot for the recipes and such a detailed explanation.

Owszem, to akvavit oczywiscie musi byc okowitą :) So, they fortified their Old Ales with vodka.

Those your recipes never stop to amaze me. Initially, just from the name alone, I assumed Gammeltøl was a kind of an Alt or a Kuit or a Braunbier. Then, reading the recipe, I thought it might be closer rather to a Sahti or a "Kveik" (which it's obviously pretty close to, indeed). And when the akvavit part comes along, I realized I've never heard of anything like that. Must try to brew this immediately :D

Happy new year Knox and all fellow brewers!
Jeśli chcesz, możesz użyć żubrowka dla polskiego "flair" ;) But yes, it has about the same strength as vodka.

I will not claim that they all were fortifying the brew, but it was a common enough household tactic for preventing a wine or cider from spoiling to quickly. So I can see it being used here for the same purpose. It raises the ABV a little and provides some flavour.

Tbh, the description of the beer is written as being sour, sweaty, hay and sweet. I would say it is closer to an Oud Bruin.
 

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the description of the beer is written as being sour, sweaty, hay and sweet
That sounds like quite an enticing flavour profile.
Now I got it: not an Alt, not a "Kveik". Rather, a Danish take on an old common Germanic concept of a Wild/Brett top-fermented brown beer (Oud Bruin and its kin). Then, even a more interesting brewing project than I thought. Although not the easiest style to brew well, will try it anyway.

Adding some Żubrówka would certainly help! However, as far as I szukam smaku Duńskiego raczej niż Gdańskiego, I'll need now to procure me some authentic Danish booze to splash into my beer :)
 

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I would be more then happy to! But I do not want to just spam this thread with random recipes. Instead let me provide a list of the categories he provides and if anything jumps out people can ask for a collection of recipes to pick from.
  1. Gammeltøl (Old Ale: a strong lagered ale, typically spoiled by wild yeast, spiced with various household spices and herbs.)
  2. Skibsøl (Ship Ale: a smokey, bitter and sour beer. Sourness might not be intentionally, but some breweries intentionally soured their Ship Beer.)
  3. Hvidtøl (White Ale: a Pale to Black Ale, low ABV, unfermentable sugars often used to provide sweetness, extremely malty)
  4. Bitterøl (Bitter Ale: Bitter and hoppy ale, often made with roasted malts and a medium body, only made with low AA hops)
  5. Sødt Dobbeltøl (Sweet Double Ale: A pale to black ale that is malty, twice to three times the strenght of Hvidtøl, sweet as the name implies)
  6. Lagerøl (Lager: Amber coloured lager made with "Lagermalt", made often with German hops, but Danish, English and Swedish hops were common as well, malty and with quite a bit of residual sweetness, low bitterness)
  7. Pilsnerøl (Pilsner: catch-all for any dry golden lager in Denmark, made with specifically Pilsner malt, German or Czech hops, however exceptions do ofc exist)
I also have some copied recipes from old breweries and farm households lying around that the author doesn't which I will include in the posts. So you will get some choices.
I have some Wyeast 2042 Danish lager yeast that needs a beer to ferment. Keeping with the spirit of the OP do you have a recipe from an old brewery or farmhouse that might work well with that yeast that you could share?

Prefer something that might fit into either category 6 or 7 with a gravity between 4 and 6%ABV, but also open.
 

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I have some Wyeast 2042 Danish lager yeast that needs a beer to ferment. Keeping with the spirit of the OP do you have a recipe from an old brewery or farmhouse that might work well with that yeast that you could share?

Prefer something that might fit into either category 6 or 7 with a gravity between 4 and 6%ABV, but also open.
Do I have some that I sent to @Protos earlier. They are the most interesting of them all. They are in Danish but in ( ) I provide some clarifying termology and suggestions for substitution. If you don't like what you see just tell me and I will add a few more in here for you and others to pick from.

25 LITER RABESHAVE LAGERØL
3,4 kg Toradet malt (two-row. You can sub it out with Pilsner malt.)
2,3 kg Seksradet malt (six-row. Note: This is a pretty special thing in Denmark, as 6-row is unavailable here for homebrewers, it is only used as feed barley for pigs here)
57 gram Humle (the hops refered to is either Saaz, Spalt or Mittelfrueh. Pick your favourite)
Original gravity 1055
Final gravity 1023 (high FG because it was probably transfered into a lagering vessel to carbonate)

25 LITER THOR LAGERØL
4,2 kg Lagermalt (lagermalt was a danish malt that is not made anymore. You can substutite it with a 50/50 of Light Munich and Pilsner malt)
0,4 kg Karamelmalt (Low-to-Mid colour caramel malt, pick your favourite really)
7,5 gram Farvemalt (a roasted malt or barley)
50 gram Humle (same as above)
Original gravity 1042
Final gravity until fermentation stops. (No final gravity was provided in the recipe)

25 LITER WIIBROE PILSNERØL
4,7 kg Pilsnermalt
120 gram Engelsk malt (this English malt is not disclosed, but it is very likely a brown malt or a dark caramel malt)
21 gram Hallertauer humle (Mittelfrueh specifically)
22 gram Ausha humle (this is a hop variety which is extinct and no information is provided by the author, but some literature refer to Ausha as a Danish variety bred from a British hop, so try use a UK hop)
Original gravity 1042
Final gravity 1015

PROCESS
A little note before the process description: Danish "Bavarian" (e.i. Lager) breweries did decoction mashing for their beers. However if you want to skip decoction I recommend adding 4-5% of Melanoidin Malt, to compensate.

Regarding mashing, you can decide on either doing a traditional decoction mash or a modern step mash. If you are trying to recreate these recipes I would not use a single infusion as it would be far from how most Lager and Pilsners are being brewed nowadays here in Denmark.
If you plan on decocting, follow your favourite decoction method (single, double or triple, all three have been used in Danish brewing). If it is your first time decocting I recommend reading Meanbrews Premium Czech Pilsner procedure on decocting. He explains it pretty well.
Mashing Schedule:
  1. Optional: Acid Rest @ 40C for 40 mins.
  2. Protein Rest @ 50C for 30 mins.
  3. Alpha Rest @ 62-65C for 60 mins.
  4. Mash out @ 72C for 15 mins.
In terms of boiling, traditionally it was a 2 hour boil, but you can easily do a standard 1 boil and adjust your hops to fit with the bitterness.
Hop Schedule:
  1. Full Hop dose @ Beginning of boil.
  2. For Wiibroe: Ausha Hops as Dry Hop.
Fermentation for Danish Lagers and Pilsners has changed a lot since its inception but I will provide the traditional schedule and vessels used. A fun note, I used finished my education at a large Danish Brewery (for Danish standards it was large) and they still fermented at the traditional temperatures even thou they had pressure vessels and modern yeast to work with. Just to show that breweries tend to be conservative in their production method and it was really cold in winter there!
Fermentation schedule:
  1. Primary Fermentation @ 8-9C for 8-12 days or until fermentation is done.
  2. Optional: Diacetyl Rest @ 14C for 2-3 days.
  3. Cold Crash @ 4C for 2-4 days.
  4. Rake into Lagering Vessel (to get it off the yeast).
  5. Lagering Rest @ 4C for 3-5 months (taste along the way and begin to drink it when you think it is in its prime).
My recommendation here is to do a open fermentation. As it is the most traditional way and it is a fun thing to do. I love watching the krausen grow and smelling the fermentation. You can easily do this in a large soup pot that is 5l larger then your aimed batch size. You clean the soup pot with some lye or caustic soda followed with an acid rinse and a disinfectant at the very end.
Open vessel cleaning schedule:
  1. Caustic Clean: Make a 1% solution of Lye or a 2% solution of Caustic Soda @ 80C and let it soak for 30 mins (In some countries Lye and Caustic Soda can be the same thing, but often Lye has some added chemicals that are more aggressive. 1% solution means 1ml to a 100ml. If you have a water boiler you can reach the 80C easily).
  2. Rinse out with hot water.
  3. Acid Clean: Make a 2% solution of your favourite Acid CIP product with cold water and let it soak for 20 mins (I use Distilled Vinegar, it is cheap and effective. However other ones on the market are Chemipro CIP, Five Star SaniClean, etc.).
  4. Rinse out with cold water.
  5. Soak with your favourite sanitiser product (StarSan, Oxi, etc.).
  6. Optional: If your favourite sanitiser requires a rinse, do a rinse.

I hope this provides with a potential recipe, otherwise as written at the very top just ask for some more recipes.
 
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Protos

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Great thread, indeed!
just ask for some more recipes.
Please, please, please, a recipe for Bitterøl! :)
I brewed Wiibroe and Thor, but didn't dare yet to delve into the bretty realm of Gammeltøl (nowhere to get sweaty-horsey Bretts, have only cherry-ish which I think won't go well with the style).

To all interested in old Danish beers, look what I found in Ron Pattinson's blog.
Another example of a style hybrid: Germanic grist & hops fermented with English yeast in an English style.
1871 Carlsberg Mild
Will brew it soon.

UPD: Fixed the link
 
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Please, please, please, a recipe for Bitterøl! :)
I brewed Wiibroe and Thor, but didn't dare yet to delve into the bretty realm of Gammeltøl (nowhere to get sweaty-horsey Bretts, have only cherry-ish which I think won't go well with the style).
If you want to make it more Oud Bruin, I think it would be fine. It is after all a farmhouse ale, so do as you please :)

BITTERØL
Sadly the author only provides a single recipe for this style of beer and little production information. It is the black sheep of sections in the book. But from what we get we can make a template for the style, which you can formulate your recipe around. Here is the description, translated.

Bitterøl is a dark ale with a powerful malty flavour and distinct bitterness. The normal Bitterøl had about the same original extract as Hvidtøl nr.1, but was more attenuated and therefore had a higher alcohol content [...]. The characteristics of Bitterøl is the darkbrown colour, made by using Hvidtmalt and a bit of roasted malt.

Before we go into the ingredient description lets tackle what is meant by the Original Extract as Hvidtøl nr. 1. In Denmark the categorisation for alcohol strength was always defined by taxation and the names of the categories provided. Think of them as the English and Scottish way of making a distinction between the same style of beer based on ABV. Adding to this confusion is the process of partigyling, which was an imported technique from the UK which all Danish Hvidtøl Breweries used to make the most out of their mash. So they would often start with one beer they were supposed to make and then write each subsequent beer afterwards they made in the same journal entry. But assuming you are not partigyling, the classifications for Bitterøl go as shown in the table below.

NameOriginal Extract (in SG)Final Extract (in SG)ABVAttenuation Rate
Dobbelt Bitterøl1.0551.0175.0%68.0%
Bitterøl nr. 11.0481.0174.1%63.7%
Bitterøl nr. 21.0361.0123.2%66.0%
Bitterøl nr. 31.0281.0102.4%63.7%

These numbers are taken from my personal little collection of old documents copies and what is presented in the book.

MALTS
Traditionally a specific style of malt was used called Hvidtmalt (Lambic Style Malt, Wind Malt, or Air Dried Malt) for these Danish ales. If you are able to get your hand on it, try and make the beers with this type of malt. Sadly it is not produced here in Denmark any more, so Danish homebrewers have a hard time making these older style of beer.
As breweries got their hands on indirect wood ovens we begin to see darker malts take over in the production of ales in Denmark. In the beginning this was called Brunmalt (Brown Malt). Later as the brewers and maltsters became better at controlling the kilning it emerged as a Munich Malt with some extra toast to it.
Roasted barley or malt has always been part of the style. Mainly used to colour correct the beer.

From here you have two options for your malt bills. The Wind Malt Bill and the Pils-Munich Bill.
The Wind Malt Bill
  • 96-97% Wind Malt.
  • 3-4% Roasted Barley or Malt (800-1300 EBC).
The Pils-Munich Bill
  • Up to 50% Pilsner.
  • Up to 50% Munich Light (12-16 EBC).
  • Up to 4% Roasted Barley or Malt (800-1300 EBC).
These malt bills will get you to around 40-48 EBC, all depending on the Roasted Malt and Munich malt you decide on. As a bonus and something worth trying out, is this third bill option.

The Brown Malt Bill
  • Up to 45% Pilsner.
  • Up to 45% Munich Light (12-16 EBC).
  • Up to 33% Brown Malt (175-200 EBC).
HOPS
As with a lot of the other danish beers, low alpha acid hops are used. They are there to preserve the beer and provide bitterness, not for aroma and flavour. However, I think depending on your malt bill you should pick hops that can stand up to the malt. Just make sure they are following the characteristics described below.
  • AA% of 4 or below.
  • Average 5grs/l, adjust according to your AA%.
  • Cold (Dry) hopping is appropiate.
  • Floral, Herbal and Noble flavour and aroma is traditional.
  • Stone Fruit, Apple and Pear flavour and aroma is appropiate.
  • Citrus and Tropical flavour and aroma is inappropiate.
Some recommendations are Spalt, Saaz, Mittelfrueh, Hersbucker, Perle, Tettanger, Lublin, Novotomyskie, Bobek, Celeia, Styrian Golding, EKG and Fuggle.

YEAST
If you look back at the table, you will notice the low attenuation being a characteristic. Danes have always preferred sweeter beers with more of a mouthfeel. Therefore pick your favourite low attenuating ale yeast. Light esters and phenolics are appropiate.

Some recommendations are Wyeast 1318, Wyeast 1099, WLP023, WLP002 and Safale S-33.

BOOK RECIPE FOR 25 LITER DOBBELT BITTERØL FROM BRYGGERIET RABESHAVE, 1893
6.3kgs of Malt (Pils-Munich)
0.25kg of Roasted Barley
125grs of Hops + Handful for Cold Hopping (The handful should be around 1-2 gr / liter)
Original Gravity 1.055
Final Gravity 1.017-1.023

PROCESS
Luckily this beer is easy to brew, as Danish Hvidtøl Breweries tended to be more simplistic compared to the Danish "Bavarian" Breweries. This was often due to equipment and financial limitations which forced a different approach to making quality beer.

Mashing Schedule:
  1. Infusion mash, higher end of the rest @ 65-67C for 60-90 mins.
  2. Optional: mash out @ 75-78C for 10 mins.
You can easily do a standard 1 hour boil. The hopping schedule is simple as well:
  1. 60-100% of the hops @ beginning of boil.
  2. Optional: up to 5 grs of carragen moss @ 10 mins before boil end.
  3. 0-40% of the hops @ flameout/hopstand/whirlpool.
Fermentation profile is as follows:
  1. @ room temperature until fermentation has finished.
  2. Cold Crash @ 4C for 3-6 days
  3. If you are cold hopping and kegging, add it as you rack it into its serving vessel.
  4. If you are cold hopping and bottling, add it while it fermentation is most active.
It is meant to be drank young, so no need to wait until clear.
 
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What a great write up, Knox! So detailed and clear! Thank you a lot!
The recipe looks nice and easy to do.

Wind Malt... That sounds much like the malt which I malted last Summer for my Kveiks. It's, exactly, Air-Dried on the Wind, as they did on the roofs of their barns. I made a bit too much of it and I brew Kveiks rarely (just don't care for that peculiar Kveik-yeast twang), so this Bitterøl recipe seems like a perfect occasion to use it more often! The DIY malt came out quite decent: clean, grainy and grassy. Fermented with an English strain it will surely make a nice beer.
The Brown Malt option, however, sounds even more tempting. I just imagine what a treat it could be if 33% of that excellent Crisp Brown Malt was added into the grist.
Will think it over, which option to choose.
 

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What a great write up, Knox! So detailed and clear! Thank you a lot!
The recipe looks nice and easy to do.

Wind Malt... That sounds much like the malt which I malted last Summer for my Kveiks. It's, exactly, Air-Dried on the Wind, as they did on the roofs of their barns. I made a bit too much of it and I brew Kveiks rarely (just don't care for that peculiar Kveik-yeast twang), so this Bitterøl recipe seems like a perfect occasion to use it more often! The DIY malt came out quite decent: clean, grainy and grassy. Fermented with an English strain it will surely make a nice beer.
The Brown Malt option, however, sounds even more tempting. I just imagine what a treat it could be if 33% of that excellent Crisp Brown Malt was added into the grist.
Will think it over, which option to choose.
Sorry for the late reply.
I would like to try malting myself, however I think my SO would be quite annoyed that my brewery ( *cough* our laundry room) floor would be covered in sprouting barley.

Regarding the brown malt bill, it would be experimental. I know that in the UK they had something called Diastatic Brown Malt, which I think this would be more akin to. Something I should have specified in my write up on second thought.

Tell us when you have decided :))
 

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Always nice to see some actual historically documented detail of brewing practices in Europe, rather than anecdotal tales steeped in mysterious beliefs. I was doing some literature research the other day and came across a preprint, waiting peer review, I think, that claimed kveik had been used in Norway for over 400 years. Knowing such claims (at least in a scientific journal) need to be supported with some credible evidence, my curiosity was excited enough to be drawn in to investigate the sources of evidence. Unfortunately, it referenced a non-science based blog 🤦‍♂️
 

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I won't say my sprouting barley took too much space. I put the grain to sprout onto damp cloth in several wooden crates, stacked one on another. The stack would perfectly fit into a laundry room (if I handn't a shed, which I have). I felt it would be easier to control the process if the grain was divided into several smaller batches. And it turned out correct. If I had all of it malted as a single batch, I'd definitely screw it.
What really took a lot of space though, was drying. I had to spread the malted grain all over the shed roof. The greatest problem turned out to be birds! Not so much for pecking the grain as for pooping on it. Found no mentions how to avoid that in any malting manuals available to me. I wonder, how did they counteract this problem in the glory days of old. Probably, in those simpler times they just didn't worry too much about that. I did worry, so had to discard some malt which had been pooped on. Next time I'll have to construct a scarecrow, probably :D

I deciced to go with the hybrid between the 1st and 3rd options: DIY Wind Malt plus some Crisp Brown Malt to get same colour (and better flavour) as I would get with adding Black Malt. Can't wait when my Fullers ESB finishes, to ferment Bitterøl on its (Lal London) cake!

UPD:
By the way, Knox, do you know what's the year for the Bitterøl recipe?
It's somehow missed in the citation, unlike with the three other recipes.
 
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Always nice to see some actual historically documented detail of brewing practices in Europe, rather than anecdotal tales steeped in mysterious beliefs. I was doing some literature research the other day and came across a preprint, waiting peer review, I think, that claimed kveik had been used in Norway for over 400 years. Knowing such claims (at least in a scientific journal) need to be supported with some credible evidence, my curiosity was excited enough to be drawn in to investigate the sources of evidence. Unfortunately, it referenced a non-science based blog 🤦‍♂️
In all honesty, I am also doing a bit of injustice with focusing so much on this one source. I would wish I had the cash to buy some of the more antique brewing manuals from 18XX to have more first hand sources. However, the few I could find in antique stores cost serious cash. So I am trying my best to go through thrift store book sections to see if I can find one of these valued boozy grails.

I won't say my sprouting barley took too much space. I put the grain to sprout onto damp cloth in several wooden crates, stacked one on another. The stack would perfectly fit into a laundry room (if I handn't a shed, which I have). I felt it would be easier to control the process if the grain was divided into several smaller batches. And it turned out correct. If I had all of it malted as a single batch, I'd definitely screw it.
What really took a lot of space though, was drying. I had to spread the malted grain all over the shed roof. The greatest problem turned out to be birds! Not so much for pecking the grain as for pooping on it. Found no mentions how to avoid that in any malting manuals available to me. I wonder, how did they counteract this problem in the glory days of old. Probably, in those simpler times they just didn't worry too much about that. I did worry, so had to discard some malt which had been pooped on. Next time I'll have to construct a scarecrow, probably :D
😅😂
There is a museum near where I live that I believe has a reconstruction of a malt house. I plan on visiting and asking them if they have tried using it.
I don't think they put it onto the roof, but in an attic with plenty of air flow. Probably had blinders or a mesh to restrict bugs and birds spoiling the malt.

I deciced to go with the hybrid between the 1st and 3rd options: DIY Wind Malt plus some Crisp Brown Malt to get same colour (and better flavour) as I would get with adding Black Malt. Can't wait when my Fullers ESB finishes, to ferment Bitterøl on its (Lal London) cake!

UPD:
By the way, Knox, do you know what's the year for the Bitterøl recipe?
It's somehow missed in the citation, unlike with the three other recipes.
Sounds like a really good mix. I am sure the brown malt will shine in such a malt bill. I hope it will taste well!
I updated the recipe with the year. :)
 

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In all honesty, I am also doing a bit of injustice with focusing so much on this one source. I would wish I had the cash to buy some of the more antique brewing manuals from 18XX to have more first hand sources. However, the few I could find in antique stores cost serious cash. So I am trying my best to go through thrift store book sections to see if I can find one of these valued boozy grails.


😅😂
There is a museum near where I live that I believe has a reconstruction of a malt house. I plan on visiting and asking them if they have tried using it.
I don't think they put it onto the roof, but in an attic with plenty of air flow. Probably had blinders or a mesh to restrict bugs and birds spoiling the malt.


Sounds like a really good mix. I am sure the brown malt will shine in such a malt bill. I hope it will taste well!
I updated the recipe with the year. :)
Have you tried the national library archives in Copenhagen? Easier and a lot cheaper than buying old texts. I bet there’s a wealth of info to mine in those archives.
 

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Yay! :ban: I got the DANSK ØL 1850-1950 book today! A trove of recipes! Lots of!
Two recipes I've already brewed from this book (thanking to Knox!) attracted me for being very traditional, but not exactly same as German or English. These beers will be a nice change of pace when I crave something new but don't want go extreme or exotic.
From the new recipes, Skibsøl impressed me the most so far. Now I know what I gonna brew after my Bitterøl and what I gonna use my surplus of Best Rauchmalz for!
The book is indeed very informative and beautifully illustrated. Of course, it's hard to read as I don't know Danish. My very basic Swedish skills help me to understand a bit more than I would have otherwise, but I see that Google Translate makes quite a decent job with the optically recognized text.

Thank you Knox for your help and for referencing the book! It's a must have in any library on traditional European brewing.
 

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What a book! Many (if not most of) recipes require attenuation of 40% or lower, which seems to have been typical for Danish traditional brewing of the time. It wasn't just the yeast strain fermenting low, it's something they did with the casks (haven't translated that part yet). Even the author himself says he failed to recreate such a low attenuation and gives parallel suggestions (60-70% att.) for modern yeasts to each of those recipes.

I'm captivated with the idea of making a superlight (0.5%ABV) smoked ale of 22% attenuation (Skibsøl №2 of 1893: OG1.018 / FG1.014). Just wonder what flavour it may have. Time to experiment with super low attenuation. The book gives a suggestion to ferment with a real top-cropping yeast (Lal Verdant, why not) and skim the barms out 4-6 times per day. Will see.
 
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