Quantcast

German Brewing between 1850 and 1900

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
166
Location
Pepperell, MA
Guys, Gals, Blokes,

Last year, when browsing Google Books I came across a number of old German books that contained a surprisingly detailed description of the brewing process and I was fascinated reading about how they brewed beer in the latter half if the 19th century and what they knew about it and what they didn't. Earlier that year I also visited Germany and took a number of pictures in two brewing museums in Bavaria.

I then realized that a commented translation of excerpts from one of the books augmented with these pictures and various diagrams and tables from other book would make a great article for braukaiser.com. After working on it for a few weeks I'm finally done:

German Brewing between 1850 and 1900Get yourself a beer and get ready to learn about brewing back then, get amused by what they didn't know and how much different these beers must have been.

Kai
 

bierhaus15

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
387
Well the girlfriend isn't very impressed, but I think this stuff is great!

Thanks for posting! :D
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
I said it over at NB, but if you can start the thread 2 places I can reply on both:

This is awesome, thanks Kai!

It is known that the wort should be cooled as fast as possible to remain in contact with the air the least amount of time. It is also known that a steaming liquid cools faster if the steam is moved away from the surface with an draft such that new steam can be formed which draws heat from the liquid. But the problem is that the purpose of fast cooling is to minimize the contact with air. But such a draft over the wort, even if it cools the wort in half the time, would be worse than having the wort stand without that draft twice as long, since in the later case the steam forms a protective blanket. Again, the author was not aware that the contaminants in the air and not the air itself were the problem.
A possible origin for the myth of hot-side aeration? :drunk: ;) :drunk:
 
OP
Kaiser

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
166
Location
Pepperell, MA
Well the girlfriend isn't very impressed, but I think this stuff is great!
It's brew porn, the really old kind. What did she expect? ;)

One thing that I may want to try (if not even brew a beer from barley to glass according to these instructions) is the boiling of all the hops in only little of the first wort for a while before adding the rest of the wort. I wonder if this will really bring out a different hop character.

Kai
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
374
Reaction score
18
Location
Sacramento, CA
Very cool and interesting. It always amazes me what people were able to accomplish before they knew why things worked the way they did.

I also found the part about the cats to be hilarious. At least the one thing that hasn't changed is cats being evil.
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
3,512
Reaction score
35
Location
Anchorage
I've got pdf copies of
"A textbook of the Science of Brewing" - A book out of London in 1891
"A Study of the Art of Brewing" - Another London book from 1888
"Transactions of the American Brewing Institute" - American book on brewing from New York in 1902

I got them all from google books at one point or another, so if anyone just does a search for them on there, you'll find them.
 

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
42
Location
Central Florida
Great stuff Kaiser...well done.

I wonder what the different beliefs were regarding yeast or 'whatever it is that causes fermentation' was in early 19th century? I would think some people were at least getting 'close' on their hypotheses after brewing for so long. Seems the author was more familiar with the concept of yeast than would be expected based on the date attributed to Pasteur's discovery and the date the text was written.
 
OP
Kaiser

Kaiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
3,895
Reaction score
166
Location
Pepperell, MA
Seems the author was more familiar with the concept of yeast than would be expected based on the date attributed to Pasteur's discovery and the date the text was written.
I thought that too. But in earlier parts of that book (parts in which he talks about fermentation and the fouling process) he makes no mention of yeast. It could as well be that he read Pasteur's work and just changed the one part of the book to mention yeast.

Kai
 

Mike M

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
504
Reaction score
18
Enjoyable and informative reading. Thanks
 

ohiobrewtus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
7,762
Reaction score
72
Location
Ohio
Excellent. I look forward to reading this in its entirety over the weekend.
 

ArcaneXor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
130
There is some awesome stuff available on Early English Books online, which many libraries and universities have access to. Some examples:

Author, etc.: Tryon, Thomas 1634-1703
Title: A new art of brewing beer, ale, and other sorts of liquors so as to render them more healthfull to the body and agreeable to nature, and to keep them longer from souring, with less trouble and charge then generally practised, which will be a means to prevent those torturing distempers of the stone, gravel, gout, and dropsie : together with easie experiments for making excellent drinks with apples, currans, goodberries, cherries, herbs, seeds, and hay &c., and the way to preserve eggs five or six months from being musty or rotten : wih an appendix how to make fruit trees constantly fruitful : also a way how every one may purge themselves with common salad herbs and roots, and a method how to prevent constiveness in the body
Published: London : Printed for Tho. Salusbury, 1690.

Author, etc.: Y Worth, W. (William)
Title: Cerevisiarii comes, or, The new and true art of brewing, illustrated by various examples in making beer, ale and other liquors, so that they may be most durable, brisk and fragrant and how they may be so ordered, as to yeild the greatest quantity of spirits in distillation : to which is added, the right way to refine and bottle beer and cyder, and a cure for those that are sick and ropy, so as to return them to their internal sanity, as also the true method of manuring lands and the art of making salt water fresh : all proved by demonstration and sound philosophy, to be more agreeable to man's body than otherwise, and so not only fit for english constitutions, but also for transportation : published for the sake of verity, and therefore recommeded to all that esteem demonstrated truths before notional theory
Published: London : Printed for J. Taylor ... and S. Clement ..., 1692.

Author, etc.: Smith, George distiller
Title: The nature of fermentation explain'd with the method of opening the body of any grain or vegetable subject, so as to obtain from it a spirituous liquor: Exemplified by the process of perparing rum, as 'tis manag'd in the West-Indies. With many other useful reflections and observations. To which is added, a collection of several compound cordial waters, with the art of preparing some artificial wines, not hitherto publish'd. By way of appendix to the Compleat body of distilling. By George Smith of Kenday in Westmoreland.
Published: London : printed for Bernard Lintot between the Temple-Gates, MDCCXXIX. [1729]
 

MikeG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
984
Reaction score
8
Location
Atlanta, GA
Good find so I'm tagging it. I read the first paragraph only on the wort production only but wow, I'm always amazed at human ingenuity. :mug:
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
Many brewers use cats to control the destruction brought on by mice in the malt storage. While the cats don't eat malt they have a bad habit that cannot be broken. They never leave their droppings on the open floor but always bury it in the malt. While the dry matter is easily removed through sieving later it is the wet excrements that that penetrate the malt and give a disgusting taste and aroma that can make its way into the beer. I found it interesting that the author dedicated two full paragraphs to elaborate on the problem with cats and their excrements which means that this was a real problem back then.
Who wants to make the first joke about the origin of Budweiser? ;)

Very, VERY interesting, Kai. My wife's quite impressed with your translation work, as well.
 
Top