MEETING HELD AT THE MIDLAND HOTEL, MANCHESTER,
ON THUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24th, 1910.
Mr. J, G. Wells in the Chair.
The following paper was read and discussed :—
Lager Beer. Part II.—Brewing Processes.
by C. Rühl
Following the previous paper which I had the pleasure of reading before the North of England Section of the Institute of Brewing (this Journal, 1910, 16, 247), the discussion turned on the subject of “chit” malt, and I purpose opening my paper with a few remarks on that material. Many of the speakers seemed to regard “chit” malt as consisting merely of raw grain, but I would point out that if such were the case its use would be prohibited by law in Germany. Malt is defined legally in Germany as a cereal which has been germinated, and since in the material in question germination has been initiated— however badly modified it may be—it comes within the definition of malt.
In making “chit” malt, the barley is steeped according to the process described in my previous paper (loc. cit), i.e. with the application of hot water and lime. As regards germination, it is, as far as I know, not yet determined whether the barley, after being steeped, should be allowed to germinate for a day or two on the floor before being transferred to the kilns—or whether, after having commenced to germinate in the cistern, it is preferable to remove it immediately to the kilns.
I have heard Prof. Windisch say: “We are bound either to make our malt in such a way that sufficient modification is obtained at the expense of the waste of the long rootlets (and for this purpose we can only use barleys poor in nitrogen); or, we have to produce malt, with the shortest growth possible—as short, in fact, as we are able to obtain—and this is “chit” malt. All intermediate degrees of growth are objectionable.”
On other occasions, when speaking of “chit” malt and barleys, rich in nitrogen, Windisch termed the “chit-malt process” as the process, and the best way of dealing with such barleys provided that afterwards a suitable brewing process be applied to it. He has asserted that “chit malt would turn out to be the better the less it has seen of the malting floor, and that it would turn out to be best when it has not come in contact with the floor at all.” Therefore, Windisch suggests transferring the sprouting barley direct from the steep to the kilns. The finishing temperature should be about 212° F., this being maintained as a steady heat for at least 6—8 hours.
“Chit” malt is, of course, a badly modified malt—at least the “chit” malt which we know at present; and, therefore, as long as we have no method of producing a sufficiently modified “chit” malt (which Windisch does not consider an impossibility), the brewer who uses “chit” malt has, according to Windisch, to correct this fault if it must be so termed. The lack of modification must be replaced by a mechanical and chemical one—the former by way of grinding the “chit” malt as line as possible, the latter by the application of suitable brewing processes.
Passing now to mashing processes, I may at once say that the kind of malt we have just been considering certainly does not contain sufficient enzymes for saccharifying the whole of its saccharification starch. It requires, indeed, to be mashed alone, but must later on, at a suitable stage of the brewing process, be brought together with mash from normally germinated malt. A “chit” malt mash should be kept for some time (about an hour) at what is called the peptonising temperature—that is, at about 122° F.
Before dealing with brewing processes, it will be useful to devote a few words to the arrangement of plant in a lager beer brewery.
The lager beer brewer speaks of “single” and “double” brewing plants. The single brewing plant consists of a combined “mash and filter tun” and a single copper, both fitted internally with agitators, the tun having the complete equipment necessary for both its purposes. The single plant is, I am sure, of little interest to you, because it is constructed for very small breweries only.
The double brewing plant consists of: (1) An iron mash-tun, fitted internally with mashing machinery of some kind; externally it is connected by means of an outside masher, with the grist hopper. This outside masher is removable. (2) A mash-copper made either of iron or copper, fitted with agitators and covered by a fixed hood These two vessels and (3) a filter or clarification filter tun of iron are connected with a (4) centrifugal pump, in such a manner as to permit of its use with either of the three vessels. The filter tun is usually fitted internally with sparger, one agitator on one side of a vertical middle axle, rakes, and discharging machinery on the other side, both constructed to be raised or lowered at will, and a false bottom made of bronze, gunmetal, or copper. Both tuns, the mash-tun and the filter-tun, are insulated or steam-jacketed and covered; externally the filter-tun is provided with an underback and battery, the latter including a little pump. (6) Another copper, the hop-copper, made of iron or copper, and fitted with a propeller and hood, is connected to the (7) small sized hop-back, and (8) a second centrifugal pump. This completes the plant. A hot water tank, usually so constructed as to be heated at will, either by exhaust or live steam, may also be considered as belonging to the plant, though it is not usually situated within the brewery.
The other arrangements, such as pipes and circuits for hot and cold water and steam, etc., I need not describe. There are, of course, many variations, systems, and styles of inside fittings for the different vessels, but I cannot deal with them in detail, neither can I speak of the problem steam versus fire boiling, though the latter theme is a very interesting one, of which I have a good deal of personal experience. I, therefore, shall at once proceed to the operations of mashing. Lager beer is mostly made either by a decoction or by a mixed decoction and infusion system of mashing.
I will describe first one of the oldest brewing processes known. This process was practised from olden times and was the old empirical method used by our forefathers, especially in Bavaria. It has retained its position up to the present day. About ten years ago it was largely abandoned (though in Bavaria it has never lost its good repute), but in recent times it has regained its good name, and even where it had been discredited to some extent. We have inherited this process as I said from our forefathers, whose scientific knowledge was very limited. It is, therefore, somewhat astonishing, that it, as a fact, embraces nearly all those points which our modern scientific brewers find to be of so much importance: the cold digestion and the peptonisation. It is the old Bavarian-Dick-Maisch process to which I refer. Those gentlemen who do not know the process already will find, when I describe it, that the malt is submitted to all those temperatures thought to be necessary in order to obtain an extract of such composition as the lager beer brewer desires for the special character of beer he intended to produce. The wort contains a certain amount of dextrins, malto-dextrin, or the mixture of maltose and a malto-dextrin, which the Bavarian brewer aims at producing because it is not so easily fermented by yeast. The process starts with cold digestion, stops just before reaching the lactic acid temperatures, and passes rapidly over the latter. The mash is stood for some time at those temperatures at which peptonisation occurs, and is then brought up to the saccharification temperature. In the course of the process portions of the mash are transferred to the mash copper and boiled.
Starch is thereby gelatinised and diastase destroyed. These portions are again brought back into the remainder which was left behind in the mash-tun, mixed, and so on, thus accomplishing an almost perfect starch conversion, and the desired degradation of certain nitrogenous matters. The process is specially suited for the manipulation of malt containing a good deal of torrefaction products, or malt which has been badly modified because the starch in the hard ends of the malt is, by boiling, gelatinised, rendered soluble, and converted in the subsequent mashing.
A top-fermentation brewer might reflect upon the question of “acidity”; but though it is true that the acidity of such a wort is slightly higher than of an infusion wort, the difference is so little that this is a matter of less importance, as far as low-fermentation beers are concerned. With them this slight increase in acidity is not a question of much moment, either as regards stability, in view of the low temperatures, or as regards palate and flavour.
Now as to the empiricism of the process. Each hundredweight of malt is, by means of the outside masher, mixed together with 130 litres of cold water at the temperature of, say, 53° F. The outside masher is of small size, and is employed only for the purpose of avoiding the loss as dust of valuable parts of malt flour.
The main work of mixing is done by the mashing machinery or the agitators which arc set in motion for a time during every mashing operation. The time necessary for cold digestion depends upon the quality of the malt, and is sometimes considerably extended. An old Bavarian brewing process, the cold-set process, took 12 hours for this purpose. In the ordinary way 20—60 minutes will suffice; after that time the temperature of the whole goods is raised and brought to 95° F. by slowly pumping into it about 75 litres of boiling water per hundredweight of malt, whilst the mashing machinery is set in motion. When a temperature of 95° F. is reached, the machinery is stopped for a short time, and then put to slow movement in order to remove a portion of thick mash from the bottom of the tun into the mash copper. This thick or first Dickmaische will consist of about 100 litres (22 gallons) per hundredweight of malt, and it is essential that it is drawn as thick as possible.
After being slowly raised to boiling and kept at that point for 30—45 minutes it is again mixed with the bulk in the mash-tun, the temperature of which is by its addition raised to 122° F. (poptonising temperature). Another portion of “Dickmaische” is after a certain stand withdrawn, boiled and remixed with the remainder in the mashtun; this time the temperature of the whole mash is raised to 144° F. For every hundredweight of malt about 120 litres (26—27 gallons) of milky mash (Lautermaische) is then drawn and boiled, perhaps, for 20—30 minutes.
The duration of the boiling of the Lautermaische depends upon circumstances, which mainly have to do with the quality of the malt, and it is no use to boil a Lautermaische any longer when the remaining portion inside the mash-tun should happen to prove to have been converted after, say, 15 minutes. The boiling Lautermaische, returned to the tun, will raise the temperature of the total mash to 167o F., whence it must be pumped over into the filter-tun. As soon as the grains have settled down and the liquor inside the filter-tun shows a black surface, called Spiegel (mirror), the drawing off of the wort can begin. By means of the little pump with which the battery is fitted, the first wort is pumped back again until the wort runs absolutely brilliant. If a good quality of malt has been used, and there was no undue hastening in any part of the mashing process, the drawing off of the wort as well as the washing out of the grains by sparging may be expected to proceed without difficulty in about three to four hours, but washing is continued with water at about 167—178° F. as long as the “runnings” show more than 0·5° Balling.
After the drawing off of the first wort is finished, and likewise after the first sparging is drawn off, the grains are stirred about either by means of the rake machinery or by an oar worked by hand.
This is the process used by most of the Bavarian breweries for the production of beer known all over the world us “Bavarian” or “Munich” beers, and its character depends mainly upon the fact that every mash must be boiled for half to three-quarters of an hour, whereas for the production of “Vienna beers” the time for boiling the mash is shorter, say about 15—20 minutes.
For Bavarian beers the first and second Dickmaische (especially the latter) is to be taken as thick as possible, and the second Dickmaische should stand at a temperature of 122—126° F. for about half an hour before boiling.
For Vienna beer and Pilsencr beer (when produced on the lines of the Dickmaische process), the third mash (Lautermaische) is to be raised to boiling temperature as soon as possible, whilst for the production of Bavarian character it is usually kept at 158o until converted, before being raised to boiling temperature. As I mentioned before, this process is a slow but a reliable method, and especially to be preferred when the resulting beer is required to possess the character of “Bavarian beer,” or when the malt has not been sufficiently modified. It requires time and is somewhat expensive, therefore many breweries in “North Germany,” not compelled to produce beer of “Bavarian” type, have endeavoured to simplify the mashing process. They could easily do so, as they produced pale beers of a more vinous character and richer in alcohol. These beers were generally called lager beers, and the malt from which they were made was obtained from Land barleys, mostly of a good variety, grown with rather long rootlets, somewhat over modified and dried off at about 167° F. Using this kind of malt, and aiming at the production of beer of the kind mentioned above, I have obtained good results with a so-called two mash process in the following way:—
Each hundredweight of malt was mashed together with 200 litres of hot water at 131° F. From this bulk 125 litres per hundredweight of malt Dickmaische were run into the copper and boiled for 30 minutes. This was again mixed with the remainder, and the whole mashed for, perhaps, 20 minutes at 150° F. So much Lautermaische must be drawn and boiled for 15 minutes that the temperature of the bulk may be raised to 167o F. After half an hour’s rest, the drawing off begins. The water used for sparging has to be at a temperature high enough to bring the whole bulk again to 167° F., and sparging is continued until the runnings show 0·5° Balling.
I have invariably added hops to the wort at fixed times in three portions, and only altered the quantities according to the quality of the hops and the intended beer. I added the first portion of hops as soon as the bottom of the hop copper was covered with wort, this portion consisting of lower grade hops.
For dark Munich beers I started boiling as soon as the heating arrangement permitted, and added at the same time so much of good, middle, or medium grade hops, that the two portions together represented four-fifths of the whole hop quantity I intended to give. The hop copper was kept boiling while drawing off and sparging was going on, and afterwards, until a flocculent break occurred, and the intended gravity was reached (about 2½ to 3 hours). Five minutes before pumping the last portion of hops, the bouquet hops, consisting of those of the highest grade, were added, and the wort then filtered through the hop-back and pumped up to the cooler. I should mention that this way of adding the hops is not universally adopted, but in my experience it gives good results.
For lager beer I started boiling when the first sparging began to run down into the hop copper, and added at the same time the remainder of the first hop portion. The remaining portion was added five minutes before the finish (duration of boiling 1½ to 2 hours).
For Pilsen beers I kept the whole bulk of wort and spargings at 167° F., and did not start boiling until the copper was entirely full, which means, until the whole of the wort was in the copper.
When the bulk began boiling, three-quarters of the hop quantity was added, the rest divided into two other portions of finest hops, one of which was put into the copper five minutes before pumping, and the other into the hop-back and not boiled at all. The duration of boiling was as short as possible.
The quantity of hops requisite varies from 600 to 1000 grams for every hundredweight of malt. Besides these typical methods many others are certainly in use, according to quality of malt and the character of the beer it is intended to produce, so that I would point out that no hard and fast rules can be laid down as to the mashing process for “Lager beer.” Long-mash methods, short-mash methods, cold and hot initial temperatures, three-mash, two-mash, one-mash, and infusion methods—all these different processes are occasionally employed, and I will leave the explanation of any of these in detail to another occasion. I have now a few remarks to make on a new process, the Kubessa process: the separation of the grist into three parts, viz., husks, fine flour, and coarse grist—each part to be dealt with separately and individually. The coarse grist, rich in protein, consists of those parts of the malt which are less or perhaps not at all modified, and contains possibly the same kind of nitrogenous matters as are present in raw barley. The fine flour represents those parts of the endosperm which were situated nearest to the acrospire, the latter having consumed much of its protein contents, and, therefore, fine flour is poor in nitrogen.
The coarse grist must be mashed by itself, boiled, gelatinised, and peptonised. The fine flour, which was almost completely peptonised already in the course of the germination on the floor and in kilning, can, without fear of any disturbance, be added to the mash in a later stage of the mashing process.
Its starch is transformed into soluble extract in about 20 minutes after being added, and this extract has a very fine flavour, giving the beers a delicious aroma.
The husks are so treated that they may not spoil the fine aroma and the fine taste of the beers.
These are the main features of the Kubessa process, which has gained many adherents, and beers brewed on its lines are doubtless of a finer taste and better character than others.
I shall be pleased to give any further information on this process, or on the Schmid or the Helbig process if specific questions are asked during the discussion.
One feature of some of the modern mashing processes is to hasten the drawing off of the wort, and as long as the brewery has to depend upon the filter-tun, those hastening processes may cause losses, even when thoroughly modified malt of the best quality is used. But what will happen when badly modified malt has to be dealt with?
Cooking under pressure may, as is maintained, increase the yield of badly modified malt, though my own experience has shown very little difference in the yield of one and the same malt if boiled under pressure or treated by the cold digestion and old Bavarian Dickmaische process, but the extract will be liable to suffer through the adoption of any quick drawing off processes.
As mentioned before, when special characteristics may be left out of consideration, when the task of producing a high-class beer at the cheapest possible cost remains the only task of the brewer, then I should say the question of the yield of extract becomes most important, and this is the point to which I referred in my previous paper when dealing with barleys having a high protein-content.
By a combination of science and practice we have learnt how to make the best out of the malt we have at our disposal, and very little remains to be done.
We are so far advanced that we can say we are able to obtain almost the total extract our malt is capable of yielding. But do we get all the possible extract from barley? This question must be answered in the negative, because we lose a good deal of valuable extract in malting; this being inevitable, since with our present plant the use of short-grown malt is attended with difficulties.
Well, everything may be right which serves its purpose. Our fore-fathers had no thermometers and no saccharometers, and yet they were successful. But their methods would not do for us. We have to take into account and to prevent every possible source of waste in the malting and the brewery. I now propose dealing briefly with the mash filter process.
In the discussion following my previous paper, Mr. A. Taylor said that he had seen mash filters in Belgium and France a few years ago, and, if I am not mistaken, these machines did not quite satisfy his expectations. I do not wonder at that. It is true that the mash filter was far from perfect a few years ago, but the modern mash filter is, in its internal arrangements, very different from those early machines which were in use about 7—10 years ago in Belgium and France.
The purposes for which the mash filter is intended are: (1) to allow a quicker and more reliable filtration, drawing off of the wort, and washing out of the grains, than it is possible to obtain by means of the filter-tun; and (2) the employment of finest ground malt, and so to procure a yield of extract at least as high as we get it in the laboratory. Besides these, an existing brewery may, by the acquisition of a mash filter, double its production without the trouble and expense of erecting new buildings, may save time and coal by curtailing the mashing process (and both mean money), may save wages, and (as finer ground malt requires less water for its complete extraction) there is a considerable shortening of time for which the hop-copper is to be kept boiling—that means the saving of another remarkable amount of coal.
The protein-content of the remaining grains is higher than in ordinary grains, thus constituting a better feeding (nourishing) material, fetching higher prices, and, as the grains are not subjected for as long a time to the washing process (the whole process of drawing off and washing out takes only about 1½ hours), some undesirable constituents of the husks remain undissolved; this accounts for the abovementioned higher valuation of the grains, and, more important still, for a much finer taste and purer flavour of the resulting beer.
The mash filter of newest construction claims to have done away with almost all those factors which used to counterbalance the success of the higher yield of extract obtained even by the former “filter-presses” and other similar apparatuses.
As all entries for mash, water, and filtrate are placed beyond the cloths, the latter have no holes for that purpose, and consequently last much longer. In fact, 500—600 brewings have been filtered through the same cloths, and the latter wore still intact.
Former filter presses required the work of two men for the purpose of composing the apparatus: I mean to join the single plates; whereas the new construction is fitted with two hydraulic closing arrangements, by means of which the necessary pressure is produced, and, supported by a new kind of rubber rings, a leakage is made an impossibility.
As stated before, the time required for drawing off and washing out of the grains varies from 1¼ to 1¾ hours, and the last runnings show only 1/5 per cent B.
In several breweries the proprietors stated that the apparatus enabled them to make easily and put through it three brewings in 12 to 13 hours.
By way of example I will bring a few figures before your notice.
Assume, for instance, that a brewery, brewing 25,000 cwt. of malt a year, obtained by means of the mash filter an extract yield of only 1 per cent, higher than it was in the ordinary way, formerly applied; that would mean an increase of profit of £600 per annum. But to be correct, there is a small counterbalance consisting of interest and amortisation (as they say) £140, more power needed £34, and the small amortisation for cloths, which is of no importance, as 600 brewings can be filtered through one set of cloths—say £6 per annum, so that the remaining profit would amount to £420 per annum. But, very often, the increase of yield is higher, and if we reckon upon 2 per cent., the result would be £600 plus above specified £420, = £1020 per annum, and so on.
This calculation is given from a user, and is, as he said, based upon a duty of 2s. per cwt. malt. The higher this duty is, the more favourably will the result of calculation come out. Add the savings of coal, wages, time, and last, not least, take into account the improvement of the taste of the beer—and, I am quite sure, that will furnish some reason for considering this matter, sometime in your leisure hours. But, gentlemen, I have not finished yet.
When summing up facts, I shall not fail to draw the attention of the gentlemen to the circumstance that the calculations given in the figures above are based on so-called long-grown malt.
Now, not to speak of raw grain, but take “chit” malt into consideration, this can be husked and ground into fine flour when using a mash filter, and the laboratory yield of extract at least can be obtained.
The Chairman said that he had been particularly impressed by Mr. Rühl’s treatment of the subject of mash filtration. So far as England was concerned, he did not think the mash filter had made much headway; in fact, he did not know of any brewery here using it at present. They must all admit that with their grains they sent out more starch than they cared to do. Mr. Rühl held that the mash filtration process improved the grains, but he (the speaker) did not quite see how this was effected. As to the flavour of the wort, he could not understand how this could be improved by the mash filtration process, and Mr. Rühl had not told them what became of the resulting filtrate from the mash. Was it re-mashed with the succeeding brew? If they filter-pressed the grains from the mash-tun, they would contain unconverted starch, and if they put this filtrate into the copper, he thought the result would be somewhat extraordinary. Earlier in the paper Mr. Rühl spoke about the acidity of malt. They understood that in lager beer brewing the question of acidity did not matter much, as the beer was cold stored and was not given the chance of going wrong; but with an English beer, if they started the brew with an acid wort, he thought they would soon see the effect in the resultant beer. He would like to know if Mr. Rühl, in speaking of the mash being boiled from 15 to 45 minutes, referred to the boiling of the whole wort.
Mr. Rühl replied that he referred to the mash only, but that it depended upon the process employed.
The Chairman, continuing, said that with regard to lager beer malts, he understood Mr. Rühl to say they wore only dried off at 167° F.
Mr. Rühl replied that that temperature was applied for 6—8 hours. For “chit” malt and Munich malt the temperature was higher, but seldom for lager beer malt, and the drying-off temperature depended in every case upon the capacity of the kiln.
The Chairman, discussing Mr. Rühl’s method of adding hops at different stages of the boiling, said that he did not agree with him for a moment. He had himself made many experiments on the same lines, using the lower grade hops at the beginning, and the higher grade hops at the finish, but had found no difference in flavour. Then Mr. Rühl had spoken about the different systems of malting, and stated that as regarded the result in beer or wort ho found little difference. He supposed Mr. Rühl referred to “chit” malt and long malt. Of course, Mr. Rühl spoke from a lager beer point of view, but he (Mr. Wells) did not think this would apply to English beers. They would not care to brew indiscriminately from malt some a quarter grown and some fully grown. They required even growth.
Mr. Rühl, in replying, said that the filtrate of the mash filter would have reached a point when, in the ordinary way, the wort would run from the filter- or clarification-tun; for instance: in the Dickmaische process described, the mash-filtration would start when the bulk of mash left the mash-tun; that is to say, it would be pressed through the mash filter instead of having to be pumped over into the filter-tun. If they used a filter-tun, they would not be able to grind the malt so finely as they could when they pressed the material through the filter. In order to obtain the best results from “chit” malt, they must grind it absolutely to flour. In this way they would get 2 per cent, more out of the malt than by simply using it in the ordinary way, and more. Turning to the question of acidity, he admitted that he did not know much about this matter in connection with English beers, but in lager beers the increase of acidity was so small that it was hardly worth taking into consideration. Formerly German brewers did not use the same process in the summer as in the winter, for fear of the acidity; but a couple of years ago the method adopted in the winter was tried in the summer, with good results, and the same system was now employed all the year round. There was no difference in flavour, and the beers kept as well as before. He noted the Chairman’s remarks as to the use of hops in different stages, and this suggested to him that from a hundred brewers they would get ninety-nine different opinions on this matter. He had friends in Germany who did not agree with his method. Many of them added the hops at one time and held that the best flavour was obtained by only boiling the hops 1½ hours. Others said the hops should not be introduced into the first part of the boiling—and thus opinion differed.
The consumer’s taste was, after all, the important matter to consider in this connection, and his opinion was that it appealed to this taste in the finished beer when the hops were added in three stages. When he began to use hops in this way, his customers quickly detected and appreciated the changed character of the beer; so that with lager beer, at all events, his method must make some difference in flavour, but perhaps it would not be so in English been. As to malting, in the
case of “chit” malt the percentage of extract was a consideration. “Chit” malt should first be boiled by itself and afterwards brought together with the long malt mash, so that the diastase could do its work and convert the starch.
Mr. C. F. Hyde asked if in German lager beer brewing it was the general practice to use a fair amount of “chit” malt? If so, was it used with a view to economy?
Mr. Rühl said that where “chit” malt was used it was used with a view to economy, but it was not yet practised generally.
Mr; Hyde remarked that the author did not appear to have answered the Chairman’s point as to the filter press. Mr. Rühl said where they used the filter press the digestive process was shortened, and they did not extract as much of the nitrogenous matter by this shorter process: consequently there was more nitrogenous matter in the wort and more residue in the filter press, with the result that the grains were of greater value as containing a higher nitrogen percentage.
Mr. Rühl said that his point was that the water was not used so long in washing the grains. Accordingly, some undesirable constituents of the husks remained undissolved. This accounted for the higher valuation of the grains as well as for the finer taste and the purer flavour of the resulting beer.
Mr. A. E. Taylor said that he supposed the “chit” malt in Germany could be regarded to all intents and purposes as raw grain in this country, and that in Germany it was produced in order to overcome the Government regulations that only malt should be used. He would like to know what Mr. Rühl considered the lactic temperature of the mash, and also if he thought lager beer brewing could be successfully carried on in this country on a small scale.
Mr. Rühl replied that “chit” malt was in Germany regarded as malt. The use of raw grain was prohibited by law as a result of an agitation by the North German lager beer brewers, who wanted to be put on an equality with the Bavarian brewers. The lactic acid temperature would be between 72o and 86° F., as far as the brewery was concerned. In distilleries another kind of lactic acid fermentation was known, the optimum of which was 113—122° F. As to the production of lager beer in this country, he reminded them that already there wore a few breweries that placed lager beer on the market. The two first important questions, of course, which entered into consideration in the case of a lager beer brewery were the large initial outlay and the prospects of a permanent market, small at first, but having the possibilities of a gradually increased consumption. Owing to the large number of foreign residents, London seemed to him to offer an ample field for the lager beer brewer; but, so far as English people generally were concerned, it must be admitted that they had not yet taken kindly to lager beer. However, the increase of so-called “non-deposit beer trade” all through England was significant.
Mr. Hyde asked if Mr. Rühl could tell them the percentage of moisture in the malts used on the Continent. He understood that the moisture in lager beer malts was fairly high, and he would like to know what was considered the best percentage of moisture in a malt for Bavarian lager beer brewing.
Mr. Rühl, answered that maltsters had to give a guarantee of the moisture content of malt—and it varied between 4 and 6 per cent.
Mr. Hyde asked if the author would use malt for lager beer brewing containing 2 per cent, of moisture, or up to 3 per cent.
Mr. Rühl replied that he saw no reason why they should not. When the malt came from the kiln they usually left it for a time before putting it into the silo that it might acquire 1½ or 2 per cent, of moisture. This small percentage of moisture made some internal alterations whilst the malt was stored. The lager beer brewer liked malt containing 3 per cent, of moisture; and if he were still in business as a brewer and could buy malt having 2 per cent, of moisture he should not hesitate to purchase.
Mr. J. W. Sidebottom asked what the author meant by “long malt.”
Mr. Rühl replied that he meant malt having long rootlets. “Chit” malt had very short rootlets, or practically none at all.
Mr. Sidebottom asked if the author could tell them if there were any lager beer brewers in England who had adopted the German system, or were they working simply on the semi-decoction system?
Mr. Rühl replied that he was sorry he was not in a position to give Mr. Sidebottom the information desired.
Mr. E. Boulton said that he was of opinion that the character of the water should be considered in relation to the use of hops.
Mr. Rühl said that in America he knew a brewery in which water contained soda, and when they boiled with even one-third the usual quantity of hops a “disagreeable, rough taste ” was produced in the beer, so that they did not boil the hops at all.
Mr. Reeve, as a vinegar brewer, declared that after having an experience with the mash filter he should not like to go back to the old type of mash-tun. The mash-tuns they were using differed from those in general use, in that they had no false bottom. Instead of sparging, they could wash the grains while in the filter press, and squeeze them dry by compressed air. They got a higher extract: the average, he thought, would run out about 5 per cent, higher. They were able to grind to a flour, and they left less moisture in the grains at the finish.
The Chairman, in closing the discussion, said that, with regard to the filter-mash process, he did not intend to say anything beyond expressing the opinion that by its use the grains could not be improved. What brewers were agreed was their great fault with regard to their grains was that they gave too much starch to the farmers. It was the hard-ended corns with their unconverted starch that involved loss to the brewery. He did not see that this could be avoided except by a very fine grinding process, with filtration afterwards; but this was a process he should hesitate to adopt until he had seen it working. If they got out of the grains what he considered to be their chief value—the unconverted starch—they would leave the farmers with simply the husks. With regard to the moisture in malt for lager beer brewing, he observed that Mr. Rühl stated this malt was allowed to remain in heap to gain 1 or 2 per cent, of moisture. Well, there was something in that, but he could not go to the length that Mr. Rühl did. Giving an instance of a quantity of Chilean malt being taken right from the kiln and placed in iron bins, Mr. Wells said the beers made from this malt were troubled with greyness, and the origin of the difficulty was not detected until it was traced to this lot of Chilean malt; and after experiments it was found to be due to the fact of binning the malt so quickly. Mr. Rühl’s idea was then practically adopted—only on a modified scale—that was, of keeping the malt a little time before binning it in hermetically sealed bins.
Mr. A. E. Taylor, in proposing a hearty vote of thanks to the author, said that he was sure he was voicing the feelings of all present when he stated how thoroughly they had appreciated the paper, and they all complimented Mr. Rühl upon his ability in expressing himself so clearly in a foreign language. He was only slightly acquainted with the Mura filter press, and at a Continental brewery he visited, where it was installed, he formed a poor opinion of the beer produced, and attributed this to the press. After the detailed explanation of the press and its process by Mr. Rühl, and its recent introduction into a neighbouring vinegar brewery, and the high opinion they had of it there, he was disposed to regard the press, with very much more favour than before. As to the production of lager beer in this country, they were all aware that two or three firms had gone in for the production of lager, but what impressed him so much was that, although admittedly in a large way of business in the production of English beers, these firms had commenced lager beer brewing in an elaborate and expensive way. It occurred to him that as a matter of caution and good policy the schemes should have been much Ies3 pretentious. In his visit to Germany he had found that lager beer was frequently produced on a very small scale; in fact, he visited home brewery publicans producing from 5 to 10 barrels per week, and the quality of their liquor was everything to be desired. They had not the expensive glass-lined steel cylinders nor the ice-producing plant, but did all their brewing during the cold winter months, and for cold storage they used the Corporation vaults or cellars; in Cologne particularly they had magnificent public cellars. If, therefore, the demand for lager beer grew, he saw no reason why small brewers should not economically and successfully produce lager beer. In towns where they had cold storage the beer could be stored at a very low charge. In Manchester such charge would not be more than one-eighth of a penny per gallon per week, and small brewers could thus successfully compete with those large brewers who had laid down expensive plant. He was informed by the chairman of one of the prominent lager firms that the outlay on their lager beer business had already exceeded one million pounds.
Mr. H. J. Mariott, in seconding the vote of thanks, said that the part of the paper which was of particular interest to him was that referring to the mash filter. He believed Mr. Rühl had said this not only improved the quality of the grains, but also the quality of the worts; If that result could be obtained, it would be a very excellent thing; though, as the Chairman said, he did not quite see how it was to be effected. He had not had any actual experience of this, but when it became general in England, he supposed they would all become familiar with the process.
The vote of thanks was then carried unanimously.