View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - German Lager styles in 1984 (part one)

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23-06-2013, 08:03
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Bored of me fiddling around in WW I's underwear? I thought so. Then you'll be happy to learn that we're moving forwards several decades to the 1980's. Ah, the 1980's - they seem like yesterday. Then again, I have been in a coma for 24 years.

The Journal of the Institute of brewing just keeps giving. I don't know how I survived without access to its wealth of facts. What makes it so special is that the articles aren't written by some time-serving hack, but genuine experts. Before WW II you have Sydney Nevile and Lloyd Hind. After the war De Clerq. One of the most difficult things to explain to part of the beer geek community is that not all sources are created equal. One Lloyd Hind or Schönfeld is worth more than 300 homebrewing texts.

My source today is Ludwig Narziss of Weihenstephan. A brewing scientist who wrote several books and numerous articles for technical journals. As he was working at Weihenstephan when this was written, I think we can trust him on German brewing practices of the time. Though the article it's taken from was entitled "The German Beer Law", there are lots of the technical details I love, most not that directly connected to the Reinheitsgebot.

The bits that most interest me are details of brewing methods and grists for different styles. It may sound odd, but I have more information about German beer 100 years ago than that of the present day. I suppose that's what you get when you spend your days with your nose inside old books, rarely venturing outside.

Here's a table of German beer types and their characteristics which is helpfully provided at the start of the article. Unlike most other countries, certain specifications are built into German national law and state laws.

[TABLE="width: 401"]

Gravity of German Beers According to Beer Tax Law

Gravity % p
Amount of production

'Plain beers' (Einfachbiere)
[TD="class: xl70"]