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01-09-2015, 08:37
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I realised there’s lots more information in TGL 7764 that’s interesting. Well, to me. I can’t speak for anyone else.

We’ll be looking at some of the more technical aspects. Such as which ingredients, and in which quantities, were required for each style. And stuff like packaging, shelflife and pasteurisation.

Beginning with the ingredients, I can now see a difference between Deutsches Pilsator and Deutsches Pilsner Spezial: the latter contained slightly more malt. Unsurprisingly, low-alcohol beers like Einfachbier and Doppel-Karamelbier have minimal hopping, considerably lower than even Berliner Weisse. The Pilsners and Porter had the heaviest level of hopping. Again, not really a surprise.

The other ingredients are more intriguing. Quite a bit of white sugar in Doppel-Karamelbier. Sugar colouring – I guess some sort of caramel – in Einfachbier, Doppel-Karamelbier and Porter. Plus artificial sweetener in Einfachbier. Don’t think the latter is a particularly DDR thing. They did exactly the same in the West in that class of beer. Unlike in the West, Berliner Weisse had to contain at least 30% wheat malt in the DDR.

I can’t believe this is the first time that I’ve noticed the bit about Dekkera bruxellensis (another name for Brettanomyces bruxellensis) in Porter. In "Leitfaden für den Brauer und Mälzer" (Dickscheit , 1953) has a description of Porter brewing that includes a secondary Brettanomyces fermentation in wood. It says this isn’t necessarily how Porter was brewed in the DDR, but was the proper method for the style. That caveat had me doubting whether Brettanomyces was ever used. This seems to confirm that it was.



DDR beer styles






lagering time (days)



label colour
shelf life (days)
pasteurised?
standard
minimum


Einfachbier
brown
6
N




Weissbier
dark green
not specified
N




Hell
yellow
8
N
20
12


Schwarzbier
red and black
15
N




Doppel-Karamelbier
blue
30
Y




Deutsches Pilsner
light green
10
N
25
15


Diabetiker-Pils
white
30
Y




Deutsches Pilsator
anything
18
N
50
30


Deutsches Pilsner Spezial
anything
90
Y
50
30


Märzen
light grey
30
Y




Weißer Bock oder Bockbier Hell
wine red
10
N
30
18


Dunkler Bock oder Bockbier Dunkel
wine red
10
N
30
18


Deutscher Porter
carmine red
24
N




Source:


"Technologie für Brauer und Mälzer" by Wolfgang Kunze, 1975, pages 419 - 425.



Now some mostly packaging-related stuff. I love the way labels were colour-coded by style. If you think this is just a totalitarian thing, try taking a look at some modern beer labels. Pilsner ones are often green.

The life expectancy of bottled beer was pretty short. I can remember Eisenacher Hell being particularly unstable. Best to drink it on the way back from the shop. It didn’t matter too much because most beer was consumed close to where it was produced. And, as in the Czech Republic, people didn’t leave beer lying around at home.

The exception to this were the types that were pasteurised. And Berliner Weisse, for which there was no sell by date. As a naturally-conditioned beer, it could last pretty much forever. I’ve had bottles that were over 30 years old and still perfectly drinkable.

The lagering times look very short to me. Though I’m sure they’re longer than most industrial breweries now bother with. 30 days doesn’t seem long for Bock. Personally, I’d go for at least double that, preferably four times.



DDR beer styles



malt kg/hl max
min hops g/hl
white sugar kg/hl max
sugar colouring kg/hl max
crystal sweetener g/hl max
salt g/hl max
special ingredients


Einfachbier
4.5
40

0.2
8




Weissbier
14.5
80




Min. 30% wheat malt, Lactobacillus delbruckii


Hell
17
180







Schwarzbier
19
230







Doppel-Karamelbier
10.5
40
6
0.35





Deutsches Pilsner
20
250







Diabetiker-Pils
18
300







Deutsches Pilsator
20
300







Deutsches Pilsner Spezial
21
300







Märzen
24
240







Weißer Bock oder Bockbier Hell
26
180







Dunkler Bock oder Bockbier Dunkel
26
150







Deutscher Porter
34
500

0.45

100
Dekkera bruxellensis


Source:


"Technologie für Brauer und Mälzer" by Wolfgang Kunze, 1975, pages 419 - 425.




Finally, I love this little note about what couldn’t go on a label:

"Fantasy names, which suggest a higher quality, such as:

Edel, Doppel (with the exception of Doppel-Karamelbier), Extra, Exquisit, das Feinste, aus bestem Malz und Hopfen bereitet, are not allowed."
"Technologie für Brauer und Mälzer" by Wolfgang Kunze, 1975, page 426.

There are lots of labels today that would fall foul of that rule.

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