Thursday, 18 September 2014

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North German Lagerbiers 1879 - 1893

This time we'll be looking at the Lagerbiers of three North German ports: Hamburg, Bremen and Kiel. I wonder what we'll find?

I'll start with a word of warning: for the Hamburg samples both the OG and FG are calculated. In the published analysis there was only extract (real FG Balling) and ABW. I know from plugging in other numbers that the measured extract often doesn't 100% match the one calculated from OG and FG. Which is my way of saying that there's room for a fair degree of error.

Quickly glancing at the Hamburg set, they look pretty much like the Lagerbiers from other German regions, with OG averaging 1053.6 or 13.28º Plato. That's a bit more than Hannover region and a bit less than Westphalia. I think we're seeing a definite trend here. When I've finished going through all the analyses, I'll calculate averages for the whole of Germany. I reckon OG will come out 1053-1054.

Hamburg Lagerbiers 1880 - 1893
Year Brewer Town Beer Style OG FG OG Plato ABV attenuation Lactic acid %
1893 Joh. Höbold Hamburg? Doppel-Malz Lagerbier Lagerbier 1045.5 1017.6 11.35 3.60 61.32% 0.351
1893 Joh. Höbold Hamburg? Doppel-Malz Lagerbier Lagerbier 1046.2 1015.3 11.52 4.00 66.88%
1893 Joh. Höbold Hamburg? Doppel-Malz Lagerbier Lagerbier 1047.8 1016.5 11.90 4.05 65.48% 0.401
1893 Richard Behn Ottensen Lagerbier Dunkel Dunkles 1048.8 1010.0 12.14 5.05 79.51%
1893 Holsten Brauerei Hamburg Altona Lagerbier Lagerbier 1049.0 1008.8 12.19 5.24 82.04%
1893 Richard Behn Ottensen Lagerbier Hell Helles 1049.5 1007.8 12.31 5.44 84.24% 0.314
1893 Germania Brauerei Hamburg Wansbeck Helles Lagerbier Lagerbier 1049.9 1012.9 12.40 4.80 74.15% 0.250
1893 Joh. Höbold Hamburg? Malz-Export Lagerbier Lagerbier 1050.2 1020.0 12.47 3.90 60.16%
1893 Uelzener Brauerei Hamburg Uelzen Exportbier Export 1050.2 1017.3 12.47 4.25 65.54% 0.270
1893 Kaiserblume Hamburg? Lagerbier Lagerbier 1050.7 1011.5 12.59 5.10 77.32% 0.135
1893 Brauerei Hammonia Hamburg Lagerbier Lagerbier 1051.0 1017.7 12.65 4.30 65.26% 0.180
1893 Löwen-Brauerei Hamburg Kaiser-Tafelbier Tafelbier 1051.7 1016.9 12.83 4.50 67.31% 0.293
1893 Einbecker Export-Lagerbier-Brauerei Einbeck Lagerbier Lagerbier 1051.8 1013.3 12.85 5.00 74.32% 0.150
1893 Frisia Brauerei Hamburg? Exportbier Export 1052.0 1013.5 12.90 5.00 74.04%
1893 Germania Brauerei Hamburg Wansbeck Exportbier Export 1052.5 1014.7 13.02 4.90 72.00%
1893 Brauerei Hammonia Hamburg Pilsener Pilsener 1052.8 1020.3 13.09 4.20 61.55%
1880 Leitmeritz Brauerei Elbschloss Hamburg Lagerbier Lagerbier 1053.0 1011.7 13.13 5.38 77.92%
1893 Brauerei Bahrenfeld Lagerbier Lagerbier 1053.1 1017.8 13.16 4.56 66.48% 0.272
1893 Hansa-Brauerei Hamburg Lagerbier Lagerbier 1053.3 1014.0 13.20 5.10 73.73% 0.270
1893 Brauerei Ditmarsia Heide Lagerbier Lagerbier 1054.0 1014.4 13.37 5.15 73.33%
1893 Elbschloss-Brauerei Hamburg Lagerbier Lagerbier 1054.2 1018.6 13.42 4.60 65.68% 0.300
1893 Einbecker Export-Lagerbier-Brauerei Einbeck Lagerbier Lagerbier 1054.6 1016.8 13.51 4.90 69.23% 0.110
1893 Marienthaler Gesellschaft Marienthal Helles Exportbier Export 1055.0 1016.4 13.59 5.00 70.15% 0.175
1893 Brauerei Hammonia Hamburg Lagerbier Lagerbier 1055.3 1021.5 13.67 4.36 61.12% 0.198
1893 Hansa-Brauerei Hamburg Export Lagerbier Export 1056.0 1016.7 13.84 5.10 70.18% 0.212
1893 Löwen-Brauerei Hamburg Pilsener Pilsener 1056.1 1015.9 13.85 5.21 71.63% 0.405
1893 Kronen u.  Hamburg? Krystall-Lagerbier Lagerbier 1057.1 1012.6 14.10 5.80 77.93%
1893 Kaiserblume Hamburg? Lagerbier Lagerbier 1058.0 1011.9 14.31 6.01 79.48% 0.200
1880 Von Uelzen Hamburg Uelzen Lagerbier Lagerbier 1058.7 1013.4 14.47 5.90 77.17%
1893 Löwen-Brauerei Hamburg Prälatenbräu ??? 1058.7 1016.4 14.47 5.50 72.06% 0.315
1893 Marienthaler Gesellschaft Marienthal Lagerbier Lagerbier 1059.8 1018.5 14.72 5.35 69.04% 0.198
1893 Brauerei Hammonia Hamburg Klosterbräu ??? 1059.8 1023.4 14.73 4.70 60.87% 0.300
1880 Von Uelzen Hamburg Uelzen Lagerbier Lagerbier 1063.0 1014.6 15.47 6.31 76.83%
1880 Holsten Brauerei Hamburg Altona Lagerbier Lagerbier 1064.6 1009.5 15.84 7.23 85.29%
Average


1053.6 1015.2 13.28 4.98 71.45% 0.252
Source:
Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel by Joseph König, 1903, pages 1102 - 1156

Again, there are examples at the top and bottom end that look like they belong elsewhere. The bottom three - all under 12º Plato - look more like Schenkbier. At the top are a couple that look like Bock. You may have heard of the brewery behind the strongest of the set: Holsten. Now isn't that handy. The Holsten website list the OG in Plato. Which means I can put together a little table of their beers.

Holsten beers in 2014
Year Beer Style OG FG OG Plato ABV attenuation bitterness (EBU)
2014 Pilsener Pilsener 1044.9 1008.0 11.20 4.80 82.17% 28
2014 Edel Helles 1044.9 1007.3 11.20 4.90 83.73% 23
2014 Export Export 1047.4 1007.5 11.80 5.20 84.17% 27
2014 Extra Herb Pilsener 1044.9 1006.5 11.20 5.00 85.51% 40
2014 Stark  Bockbier, Dunkel 1066.2 1012.7 16.20 7.00 80.88% 16
Source:
Holsten website http://www.holsten-pilsener.de/biere.html

That's interesting. The rate of attenuation has hardly increased. But that's only because the Holsten had untypically high rates of attenuation. The strongest 19th-century Lagerbier even has a higher degree of attenuation that the nearest equivalent modern beer, Stark.

Einbecker Brauhaus also list the OG, so I can treat you to another table:

Einbecker Brauhaus beers in 2014
Year Beer Style OG FG OG Plato ABV attenuation
2014 Brauherren Pils Pilsener 1045.7 1008.1 11.40 4.90 82.27%
2014 Dunkel Dunkles 1046.1 1008.5 11.50 4.90 81.57%
2014 Weihnachtsbier Festbier 1050.7 1010.1 12.60 5.30 80.19%
2014 Ur-Bock Dunkel Bockbier, Dunkel 1066.2 1016.3 16.20 6.50 75.36%
2014 Ur-Bock Hell Bockbier, Hell 1066.2 1016.3 16.20 6.50 75.36%
2014 Mai-Ur-Bock Bockbier, Hell 1066.2 1016.3 16.20 6.50 75.36%
2014 Winter-Bock Bockbier, Bernstein 1074.9 1017.5 18.20 7.50 76.63%
2014 Premium Pilsener Pilsener 1044.9 1008.0 11.20 4.80 82.17%
2014 Landbier Spezial Landbier 1047.4 1007.5 11.80 5.20 84.17%
Source:
Einbecker website http://www.einbecker.de/product-range

In this case the modern attenuation is much higher, as you would expect.

Once again, the average lactic acid content, at 0.252%, looks very high.

On to Bremen. What a weird set these are. For a start, half of them are dark. Though I'm not sure exactly what colour "Hellbraun" (pale brown) is. Only the Piksener and the beer below it really seem to Lagerbier strength. most of the examples aren't just in Bock country, they've strayed well up the Doppelbock mountain. I fail top see how these can be described as Lagerbier.

Bremen Lagerbiers 1879 - 1884
Year Brewer Town Beer Style OG FG OG Plato ABV attenuation Lactic acid % CO2 %
1879 Unknown Bremen Lagerbier Hellbraun Dunkles 1035.5 1014.5 8.94 0.00 71.59%
1884 Hemelingen bei Bremen Bremen Lagerbier Lagerbier 1049.5 1012.1 12.31 2.71 59.15% 0.137 0.174
1884 Bremer Aktien-Brauerei Bremen Pilsener Pilsener 1050.3 1009.1 12.50 4.86 75.56% 0.145 0.168
1884 Bremer Aktien-Brauerei Bremen Lagerbier Lagerbier 1060.6 1016.2 14.91 5.38 81.91% 0.142 0.152
1884 Andr. Müller, Bremen Bremen Lagerbier Lagerbier 1064.4 1011.7 15.79 5.78 73.27% 0.040 0.260
1879 Unknown Bremen Lagerbier braun Dunkles 1067.1 1012.0 16.42 6.89 81.83%
1879 Unknown Bremen Lagerbier Hellbraun Dunkles 1067.1 1012.0 16.42 7.21 82.12%
1884 Andr. Müller, Bremen Bremen Lagerbier Lagerbier 1067.7 1013.8 16.56 7.21 82.12% 0.010 0.220
1879 Unknown Bremen Lagerbier braun Dunkles 1070.0 1016.5 17.08 7.05 79.62%
1879 Unknown Bremen Lagerbier braun Dunkles 1081.4 1014.0 19.67 6.98 76.43%
1879 Unknown Bremen Lagerbier Hellbraun Dunkles 1082.6 1016.0 19.94 6.98 76.43%
Average 1063.3 1013.4 15.50 5.55 76.36% 0.095 0.195
Source:
Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel by Joseph König, 1903, pages 1102 - 1156

The rate of attenuation is shockingly high - over 80% for some beers with gravities over 16º Plato. And blow me, the level of lactic acid is actually just about acceptable , resting a little below 0.1%.

Finally the beers from Kiel. It's worth noting that at this point Kiel hadn't long been part of Germany. Schleswig-Holstein, the region it's in, was Danish until 1864.

Kiel Lagerbiers 1884 - 1893
Year Brewer Town Beer Style OG FG OG Plato ABV attenuation Lactic acid % CO2 %
1884 Schlüter & Co., Kiel Kiel Hell Helles 1050.0 1015.5 12.42 0.00 78.76% 0.111 0.169
1884 Kieler Aktein-Brauerei Kiel nach Wiener Art Vienna 1050.3 1015.3 12.50 4.48 69.00% 0.020 0.390
1893 Brauerei Holsatia, Kiel Kiel Lagerbier Lagerbier 1051.0 1016.3 12.66 4.54 69.58% 0.133
1884 Schlüter & Co.,  Kiel Dunkel Dunkles 1052.4 1013.8 12.99 4.54 69.58% 0.128 0.150
1884 Dreves & Co., Kiel Kiel Lagerbier Lagerbier 1063.2 1018.9 15.52 5.01 73.66% 0.020 0.310
Average 1053.4 1016.0 13.22 3.71 72.12% 0.070 0.230
Source:
Chemie der menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel by Joseph König, 1903, pages 1102 - 1156

There's a bit of everything in there: Helles, Dunkles and Vienna Lagers. And they all look like Lagerbiers, except for the strongest example. With that excluded the average gravity is 1050.9. I've not much else to say, other than that the average lactic acid content is the lowest we've seen so far: 0.07. Well done, Kiel!

I'm not too sure what normal CO2 levels are. I can say that the beers of Kiel were fizzier than those of Bremen. Is that good or bad?

What next? Königsberg and Erfurt. I  think. Might change my mind.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Watney Stout quality 1922 - 1925

I just noticed that I'd jumped over Watney. How on earth did I manage overlook them? Not to worry, that will all be put right now.

Since starting this series I've come to have a sneaking respect for Watney's beers. Their consistently high scores can't be a fluke. Yes they were the largest brewery in London and one of the largest in the country. The biggest brewery making the best beer. It's not a situation you'd find today.

I'd thought about publishing a whole load more financial stuff about Watney. But I can't be arsed to traipse through the newspaper archive looking for their annual results for the 1920's. Sorry, but I'm an intensely lazy person at heart. But this one I did find should give a good impression of the state of Watney's finances.

"Watney Combe.
It was announced Friday afternoon that the dividend on Watney Combe Reid stock was to be increased from 17 per cent, to 19 per cent, for the year to June 30 last. The report is now available, and shows trading profits of £1,365,483. This compares with £1,340,735 the year before.

Another £400,000 is placed to general reserve, but it is stated that a similar amount placed to reserve last year has been expended improving properties and converting leaseholds into freehold. The general reserve is £759,455.

The financial position is very sound. There are investments in Government securities for £532,879."
Dundee Courier - Monday 30 July 1928, page 2.

It looks like they were rolling in money. They probably brewed around ten times as much beer as Wenlock Brewery. So you'd expect their profits to be ten times higher. In 1927 and 1928 Wenlock's net profits were £119,201 and £122,047 respectively, meaning Watney's profits were indeed about ten times those of Wenlock.

That's it for the money stuff. I've decided to talk about Watney's other Stouts instead. Like many London brewers, they made several Stouts. They were: Family Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Special Stout and Special Stout for Belgium. All were in bottled form. In addition there was at least one, and possibly two, draught Stouts.

Watney Stouts 1921 - 1929
Year Beer Price size package Acidity OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1921 Family Stout 17d quart bottled 1046.3 1012.5 4.39 73.00%
1922 Family Stout 17d quart bottled 1043.9 1010.9 4.28 75.17%
1922 Family Stout 9d pint bottled 1044.3 1012.5 4.12 71.78%
1923 Family Stout bottled 1046.5 1011 4.61 76.34%
1921 Reids Family Stout 9d pint bottled 1045 1010.7 4.46 76.22%
1926 Reids Family Stout 8d pint bottled 1048.5
1927 Reids Family Stout bottled 1047.7 1012.3 4.60 74.21%
1928 Reids Family Stout 8d pint bottled 1050.2 1012.7 4.87 74.70%
1929 Reids Family Stout 8d pint bottled 0.18 1047.8 1007.3 5.28 84.73%
1921 Reids Oatmeal Stout 9d pint bottled 1045.5 1009.7 4.66 78.68%
1922 Oatmeal Stout bottled 1047.4 1009.3 4.96 80.38%
1928 Reids Oatmeal Stout 8d pint bottled 0.07 1050 1015.6 4.46 68.80%
1928 Reids Special Stout pint bottled 1056 1014.7 5.37 73.75%
1921 Special Stout 13d pint bottled 1059 1016.2 5.56 72.54%
1922 Special Stout bottled 1057.8 1015.9 5.44 72.49%
1923 Special Stout bottled 1054.3 1013.8 5.26 74.59%
1922 Special Stout (Belgian sample) 9d pint bottled 1067.1 1023.8 5.60 64.53%
1929 Stout 8d pint bottled 1047 1010.8 4.71 77.02%
1929 Stout 8d pint bottled 0.06 1046 1010.8 4.57 76.52%
1921 Stout 9d pint draught 1053.4 1014.8 5.01 72.28%
1921 Stout 9d pint draught 1054.5 1014.4 5.21 73.58%
1921 Stout 9d pint draught 1045.7 1009.8 4.67 78.56%
1926 Stout 8d pint draught 1053.9
1926 Stout 8d pint draught 1052.7
1926 Stout 8d pint draught 1053.6
1929 Stout 8d pint draught 0.08 1055.9 1014.5 5.38 74.06%
1929 Stout 8d pint draught 0.07 1052.9 1012.1 5.31 77.13%
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252

It's not always made clear in the sources exactly how these beers were branded. Sometimes they are describes as Reid, but others not. Watney seemed to prefer to brand its bottled Stouts as Reid, presumably because, as an old Porter brewery, they would be associated with Stout. Watney's continued to use the Reid name for at least 30 years after the Griffin Brewery in Clerkenwell closed.

Doubtless Watney parti-gyled these Stouts in various combinations. Family Stout, Reids Family Stout, Oatmeal Stout and Reids Oatmeal Stout all look like the same beer to me. I bet they pulled the trick of throwing the odd pound of oats into the grist for all Stouts so they could legally describe some of it as Oatmeal Stout.

Special Stout and Reids Special Stout are probably the same beer as each other and the draught Stout. Though possible they've been slightly tweaked. The Belgian Special Stout probably resembles Watney's pre-war Stout. That's what most breweries did: kept brewing export versions at pre-war strength.

With a couple of exceptions, the rate of attenuation is high, with a couple even over 80%. Were they getting some extra conditioning before bottling?

Right, now on to their draught Stout. It's of the 9d (8d after 1923) type. It's a little stronger and more highly-attenuated than average, but not by a huge amount.  The sample that's only 1046.3 looks like it's a weaker 8d/7s Stout./ Unless it's been seriously watered. But it does look suspiciously like Family Stout. It's been sold at 9d a pint, which screams "cheating landlord" at me.

Will their Stout continue Watney's good run?

Watney Stout quality 1922 - 1925
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Flavour score Price
1922 Stout 1014.7 1057.7 5.59 74.52% clean 1 9
1922 Stout 1012.4 1055.9 5.67 77.82% good 2 9
1922 Stout 1013.2 1056.2 5.60 76.51% good 2 9
1922 Stout 1012.8 1054.8 5.47 76.64% poor -1 9
1922 Stout 1013.7 1055.2 5.40 75.18% yeast bitter -1 9
1923 Stout 1013 1056.5 5.66 76.99% fair 1 9
1923 Stout 1013.6 1056.1 5.53 75.76% fair 1 9
1923 Stout 1015.2 1056.2 5.33 72.95% good 2 8
1923 Stout 1010.8 1046.3 4.61 76.67% only fair 1 9
1923 Stout 1012 1055 5.60 78.18% v fair 2 9
1923 Stout 1013.2 1055.2 5.46 76.09% v fair 2 8
1923 Stout 1013.8 1054.8 5.33 74.82% v fair 2 8
1923 Stout 1012.5 1054.5 5.47 77.06% very fair 2 9
1924 Stout 1015.4 1053.4 4.93 71.16% good 2 8
1924 Stout 1013.2 1054.9 5.43 75.96% v poor -2 8
1925 Stout 1015.4 1055.9 5.26 72.45% good 2 8
Average  1013.4 1054.9 5.40 75.55% 1.13
Source:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

Yes, it will. Thirteen from sixteen achieved positive scores, including 9 2's. The overall average is a very decent 1.13.

It'll feel weird seeking out Watney's pubs when I'm holidaying in the 1920's. But they're probably the safest bet.