Seen In Some Famous Old World Breweries

The American Brewer   Jan. 1939

Seen In Some Famous Old World Breweries
by Phillip Berkes – Brewmaster Adam Schedidt Brewing Co., Norristown, Pa.

In Copenhagen I met Director N. Hjelte Claussen of the Carlsberg Brewery. Director Claussen acted as host and guide for three days. I was greatly impressed by the activity developed in the brewery. Institutions of Art and Science in Copenhagen are financed from the income of the brewery.

It was in the Carlsberg Laboratory that Col. Charles Lindbergh did considerable work on his invention of the mechanical heart.

No Discoveries Kept Secret
It would be perhaps outside the scope of this talk to deal in greater details with the Carlsberg Foundation, but let me quote the golden rule covering the work of this institution: “No result of the activities of the institute, which is of importance either theoretically or practically, shall be kept secret.” In line with this policy, no patent was taken out on the development of the pure culture processes, which is the work of Prof. Emil Christian Hansen of the Carlsberg Foundation.

Tuborg, the next largest brewery and friendly competitor of Carlsberg, has an entire cellar of stainless steel. Tests are being made there on a large scale of the use of stainless steel for storage of beer. Their cool ships, made by Krupp in Essen, also attracted considerable attention, particularly for design. One of these containers was fabricated with a corrugated bottom, thus enlarging the cooling area. In their bottling departments, I was amazed to find their pasteurizing equipment made of open wooden troughs. The trays are loaded at the crowner and transferred by power hoist into these pasteurizers where only sufficient water is contained to reach up to the filling point of the bottle.

Pilsen’s Six Miles of Cellars
Upon visiting the Pilsen Brewery, the methods and equipment there were found to be exactly the same as they were one hundred years ago. The beer produced is of a highly digestible type. The barley grown is of the finest type, and in the malt house, handwork is done. They have, however, recently added several automatic malting systems to their equipment. They are using the average type of Bohemian hops.

Regarding the sources of water, there is first the river water, a brewing water which is very soft and used only in a filtered state; secondly, unfiltered water used for cooling, and thirdly, deep well water which has to be de-ironed and which is used in the malt house and fermenting room because of its especial purity.

This brewery contains eighteen brewing units, coal fired kettles, some hand fired and some stoker fired. The three mash system is used.

They also have twenty-eight cool ships of ordinary iron in which the wort lays five inches deep. There are twenty-four hundred fermenters with a capacity of about twenty-five barrels each, uncoated and with no attemperators.

The beer is cooled and the fifteen-day period of fermentation is begun. The maximum temperature during fermentation is 7 deg. R. At the end of this period, the beer is passed into 200-barrel mixing tanks and from there into small casks. A small amount of Kraeusen is added and the casks bunged for from three to four months. No safety devices on the bunging apparatus are used to take care of the excess pressure.

The storage cellars, whose total length is nearly six miles, consist of 96 divisions hewn out of solid rock. These form a very impressive underground town, and are considered a special feature of the Pilsen Brewery.

Causes of Pilsen Quality
This Pilsen beer owes its qualities undoubtedly to old established and tried methods of brewing, and also to local conditions of a special non-transferrable character which influence the whole process of production, and which have been recognized as originating in the geological properties of the soil on which the Citizens Brewery at Pilsen has been erected.

Pitch is used in the trade packages as well as storage casks, and the company manufacturers its own pitch. Sixty-five hundred casks from forty-five to sixty-five barrel capacity are in use, and they are taken out every three or four months for repairs and repitching. The cellars are refrigerated by brine.

The beer is racked into trade packages by machines similar to ours. The few steel packages in use are for the purpose of pasteurizing beer in bulk for foreign shipping.

Mr. Claussen is now pensioned, but he still plays an important role in the Carlsberg Laboratory where he now, as his hobby, has begun an intensive investigation of the origin of Sarcina.

(Nota bene oRéaumur is an obsolete French scale.  7 oR = 8.75 oC or 47.75 oF)

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