Thursday, 9 March 2017

Munich Dunkles in 1902

Hurray! I can hear you shouting. Finally something that isn’t about Scotland or the 1950’s.

I’m returning to one my other 1,253 obsessions: Lager. Especially old Lager. And ones that aren’t pale. My life is made easier because it’s German beer. They were very into all the technical chemical stuff. Which means there are loads of analyses of beers available.

Like this one of Munich-brewed Dunkles from 1902. It’s particularly useful because it includes a colour measurement. OK, it’s one I don’t completely understand, but it’s better than nowt. In the original table, it’s described as n/100 iodine solution. With n presumably standing for the number in the table. If you understand how that relates to modern colour systems, let me know. I’d look it up on the internet, but I really can’t be arsed at the moment.

Even without knowing what it means on modern scales, we can see that there’s a big variation in colour between the different beers. Almost 100%. Also that the beers with the highest gravities, don’t necessarily have the darkest colour. While one of the darkest beers has one of the lowest OG’s.

What does that tell us? Either they were using base malts of very different colours. Or that they were using darker malt for colouring as well as base malt. I think the second is far more likely.

High OG, averaging at 13.52º Balling. That would count as Märzen in Bavaria today. But the FGs are high, too. A crap degree of attenuation is a typical feature of pre-WW I Lagers. These don’t disappoint.

I was surprised by the high levels of acetic acid. Anything over 0.10% is quite high. Especially in a Lager.


Munich Dunkles in September 1902
FG OG extract ABV maltose dextrin lactic acid real attenuation colour
1025.7 14.11 7.94 4.09 3.14 3.43 0.18 43.73 36
1016.8 13.59 6.1 4.95 1.49 3.11 0.23 55.11 28
1019.5 12.81 6.48 4.17 1.86 3.29 0.17 49.41 38
1019.7 13.85 6.6 4.80 1.84 3.26 0.19 52.35 38
1021.7 13.5 7.1 4.86 2.13 3.39 0.16 47.41 32
1020.3 13.61 6.75 4.53 1.78 3.66 0.19 50.4 30
1016.8 13.46 6.04 4.90 1.6 2.99 0.19 55.13 20
1021.6 13.03 6.92 4.03 1.14 3.34 0.15 46.89 37
1017.7 13.46 6.19 4.80 1.64 3.19 0.19 54.01 35
1018.4 13.14 6.26 4.53 1.65 3.5 0.17 52.36 29
1019 13.47 6.51 4.60 1.81 3.27 0.17 51.67 31
1020.2 13.43 6.7 4.45 2.1 3.13 0.19 50.11 25
1017.2 14.13 6.26 5.22 1.5 3.25 0.19 55.7 23
1018.5 13.58 6.46 4.70 2.1 2.98 0.16 52.43 27
1014.1 12.47 5.32 4.70 1.62 2.21 0.18 57.34 30
1019 14.11 6.6 4.98 1.81 3.27 0.19 53.22 26
1019.1 14.16 6.63 5.00 1.65 3.39 0.18 53.18 25
highest 14.16 7.94 5.22 3.14 8.5 0.28 57.84 38
lowest 12.47 5.32 4.03 1.14 2.21 0.15 43.73 20
average 13.52 6.52 4.62 1.81 3.22 0.18 51.79 30
Source:
Bayerisches Brauer-Journal issue 49, December 1902, page 353.

6 comments:

InSearchOfKnowledge said...

You probably mean lactic acid, instead of acetic acid? The table says 'Lactic acid'.

Anonymous said...

The iodine color scale compares the color of the sample with that of a solution of N mg of iodine per 100 ml of potassium iodide solution, as described in the DIN 6162 standard. It ranges from 1 to 500, so 30 is at the low end of the range.

Martin Brungard said...

Yes, probably lactic acid or lactate ion. Since saurergut or acid malt would have been used then as is now for acidifying the mash, the presence of the lactic acid content would have been typical.

Edd Mather said...

Re Lactic Acid content %; an adjustment relative to the acid content of the mash(optimum) re optimum extraction vs/ gyle type.

Eric James said...

A ref to n/iodine from 1911, American Brewers' Review, Volume 25, Wahl and Wahl. p 323-324. A translation of remarks by some guy named Hirsch, in Die Brau- und Malzindustrie who references Brand and Jais, Determination of Beer Color in "veitsch ges. Brauwesen," 1906. XIX, 337).
More than you wanted to know, eh?

Ron Pattinson said...

Eric James,

I can never know too much. Just not posible.