Bygone beers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by GentleKnight1, Jun 14, 2020.

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  1. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    And in what year was Pabst producing only 10% of their product line being all-malt lager beers?

    Cheers!
     
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    And I personally believe that to be the case. Brewing beers to best suite their customers changing preferences is another indicator of "quality control" IMO.

    Cheers!
     
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  3. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (364) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    In the absence of such metrics we are left to consider the written material that exists, for example there is Handbuch für den Amerikanischen Brauer und Mälzer, page 481, where Hantke quotes Max Delbrück, a German authority on brewing, who notes that

    Wahl and Henius write on page 699 in their book about the American type of lager:

    My takeaway is then that the Bohemian type lager as it was brewed in the US by the turn of the century (being introduced in the 1870s, so having existed for a couple of decades by then in the market) was by then brewed to be less bitter than the Bohemian lager, but still with a pronounced hop aroma and other features such as light color in common with the Bohemian lager.
     
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,490) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    :thinking_face: I don't understand - how are you quoting Cochran from his Pabst history and yet don't know this?

    Cochran, writing some 50 years after that era, notes in his forward:
    The quote about the Pabst all-malt beers is in the chapter "BREWING BECOMES MORE SCIENTIFIC" and is referring to Pabst's newly hired (based on Anton Schwarz's recommendation) J. F. Theurer in 1884. Cochran also notes elsewhere that:
    So, the period when Cochran estimated Pabst's all-malt beer was about 10% of their barrelage can be assumed to be roughly the last decade and a half of the 19th century.

    Near the end of that period, Cochran broke down Pabst's barrelage by brand:
    [​IMG]
    And elsewhere further noted that "Bavarian – “dark" - introduced in 1882" and "Doppel Braeu - All-malt Muenchner introduced in 1896”.

    1897 was during the period when AB, Pabst and Schlitz were the top 3 brewers in the US, with the top position often changing year to year. Pabst that year topped AB's barrelage with 806.5k to AB's 757.3k. Pabst had previous reached the 1 Million barrel mark in '93 and '94.
     
  5. GentleKnight1

    GentleKnight1 Aspirant (249) Apr 13, 2007 Illinois


    I am an amateur mead maker, and am intrigued by the above listing of "malt mead". Is there more information on that?
     
  6. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,490) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Not a honey-based product (thus "Malt Mead"), likely similar to low and non-alcoholic "malt extracts", "tonics" and other malt beverages many brewers offered during the period leading up to Prohibition.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    As I stated in my above post: "Below is an extract from the article "The Evolution of North American Beer". The part about Cochran was quoted in that article.
    So, sometime between 1885 - 1900. OK.

    Cheers!
     
  8. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,490) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Oh, OK. Wasn't sure due to the formatting, and quotations mark placement and the space between 'graph one and two. (It'd be nice if the "QUOTE" app in the BA top menu under "+" posted longer quotes without cutting them off at 7 or 8 lines with the "CLICK TO EXPAND" notice in blue).
     
  9. GentleKnight1

    GentleKnight1 Aspirant (249) Apr 13, 2007 Illinois

     
  10. pat61

    pat61 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    In the Michigan I used to drink Drewery's, Goebel's Meister Brau, Carling's Black Lable, and many more I can't remember and in Wisconsin there was Big Walter. In Minnesota we had Pete's wicked Ale and James Page Beer.
     
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  11. GentleKnight1

    GentleKnight1 Aspirant (249) Apr 13, 2007 Illinois

    I remember Goebels, Black Label, and Pete's. The others are unfamiliar.
     
  12. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    Interesting mentions of "Light" on both Schaefer and Ballantine
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    You stated: "Seems like they would risk losing existing customers if they changed the recipe."

    The 'evolution' of the beer is very slow (i.e., over decades) in very small change increments and is based upon feedback from customers doing taste testing. It is not like when Coca-Cola came out all of a sudden with New Coke.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. GentleKnight1

    GentleKnight1 Aspirant (249) Apr 13, 2007 Illinois

    Good eye
     
  15. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (598) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    That's not necessarily true. Outside of Bavaria and Baden-Wüertemberg the Reinheitsgebot didn't come into force until 1906. I've plenty of references to German brewers using unmalted grains (or even potatoes) before that. Rice was particularly popular and was the most used adjunct in North Germany in the 1890s.
     
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  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,490) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Well, it depends on the brand. There are a number of well documented cases (and many more without a lot of publicly available info) in which a brewery changed the recipe of its flagship beer or, in other cases, replaced the flagship with a new beer. Sometimes successfully (at least, for the brewer's bottom line if not always a pleasing result to the beer geek) - like this example from Spoetzl in the period before their Bock beer became their flagship in the 1980s:
    [​IMG]
    Interestingly, M.Jackson in his World Guide to Beer [1977 ed.] claimed that the "old" recipe “...a full-bodied and dark brew with a character all of its own" was still available locally as a draught-only product labeled "Premium". Of course, at the time Spoetzl was relatively small, 30k bbl. in 1976, #48 out of 52 US breweries.

    A failed change, which helped bring down what was for nearly a century one of the top 5 US brewers, was P. Ballantine & Sons' mid-60s recipe change to what was by then their flagship beer, Ballantine Beer (the brewery's ales by then accounting for only around 25% of their total barrelage).

    That is documented starting about 2/3's of the way down BALLANTINE IN QUOTES, starting with a New York Times July 2, 1969 quote through to a Joe Owades' comment to the BAA in 1986.

    Some other examples of changes in recipes/flagships are Grain Belt and Reading Beer.
     
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Yup.

    I was responding to the comment that @GentleKnight1 made of “Am surprised! Always thought quality control was a forte for them, but it would seem that by design or "drift", it has changed through the years.” This was a reply to you in post #40 about Budweiser.

    Cheers!

    Cheers!
     
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    In the American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting, and Auxiliary Trades by Wahl & Henius (1902) (with emphasis in bold by me):

    “It was Anton Schwarz who first advised the employment of rice and subsequently of Indian corn, which is so abundant in this country. The stubborn perseverance with which he sought to convert conservative brewers to his ideas and finally succeed in doing and, last, not least, the discovery of suitable methods to scientifically apply them, entitles him to be called the founder of raw cereal brewing in the United States.”

    Anton Schwarz developed the method of cereal mashing (American double mash).

    Cheers!
     
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  19. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (598) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Here's evidence of brewing with rice in Germany:

    https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2007/07/rice-beer.html
    https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2014/06/yet-more-german-rice-beer.html
     
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  20. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (598) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I expect we would have met this weekend in Nashville.

    Gutted that the NHC was cancelled. At least there's an online version.
     
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    From the links you provided:

    “In 1892/93 50,767 zentners of rice were used,”

    And:

    "Food Journal, Volume 3", 1873, page 209.”

    Those dates are post the date of Anton Schwarz’s seminal article entitled “Brewing with Raw Cereals, Especially Rice” in American Brewer magazine (1869).

    Maybe the German brewers learned about brewing with rice from Anton Schwarz?

    Do you happen to know if the German brewers conducted a cereal mash (American double mash)?

    Cheers!
     
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  22. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (598) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I doubt very much that German brewers picked up using rice from Anton Schwarz.

    I don't think they used a cereal mash when brewing with rice.
     
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    A very different way of brewing with adjuncts then.

    Cheers!
     
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  24. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (137) May 28, 2008 Florida

    I remember a Strohs TV commercial from the late 50's with a jingle that went: "He took a gleaming copper kettle, and he added barley malt, and he added ride and hops, and over fire he brewed the beer we now call Stroh's. "
     
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  25. GentleKnight1

    GentleKnight1 Aspirant (249) Apr 13, 2007 Illinois

    That's quite a memory to go back that far
     
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  26. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (598) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    The same most UK brewers used adjuncts: as flakes in the mash.
     
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  27. GentleKnight1

    GentleKnight1 Aspirant (249) Apr 13, 2007 Illinois

    Flakes? Of what?
     
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Ron, you likely already know this but there is zero mention of "flaked" in the two links you provided in post #59.

    Cheers!
     
  29. WV_Charles_Homebrew

    WV_Charles_Homebrew Initiate (60) May 17, 2017 West Virginia

    Wait, Is that a child pouring himself a mug of beer on the poster? Ah shit the things they got away with in ads those days! "4 out of 5 underage drinkers prefer Stroh's." For the record, Stroh's was my first illicit sip--Dad was a Stroh's man.
     
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  30. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (598) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I know.

    Did you listen to my Brettanomyces tlk?
     
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  31. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,423) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
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    My father was a big fan of Falstaff, and technically it was my first beer. I didn’t review it though because I was around 5 at the time and had no access to a nonexistent computer to tick a beer on BA about 25 years before it existed.

    Hamms and Olympia had plenty of POS and neons in the old smokey bowling alleys when i was in my single digits. To this day I can almost hear Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” when I picture those old signs
     
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I did not participate in HomebrewCon this year; I am more of a non-virtual attendance guy.

    Hopefully I will get a chance to catch up with you next year in San Diego.

    Cheers!
     
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  33. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (364) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    We can also consider Ernst Hantke's own typology of American beers around the turn of the century:

    So "American beers of Pilsner character", "which are generally similar" to the Vienna type American lager beers (so similar in color, and we have discussed the golden color spectrum of Vienna lager beer in the past) and "merely possesses more hop flavor". I.e not more hop flavor and hop bitterness, but simply more hop flavor, so less bitter than the Bohemian lager beers, but with more hop flavor than the Vienna lager beers. Another aspect which separated the Vienna lager from the Bohemian lager was the original gravity, with the Bohemian lager being slightly lower gravity, at around 12%, with the Vienna lager at around 13-14%. The Austrian Hungarian Empire had a tax system in place since 1855 which taxed the beer by the percentage point of original gravity of the wort, and the majority of the beer brewed and sold was schenkbier around 10-11%. In the US the beer tax system introduced during the civil war in the 1860s was based on volume of beer brewed, the barrel measurement, and didn't care what original gravity the wort was. This should be kept in mind when reading the below excerpts.

    So as per Thausings book from 1882, edited by adjunct brewing-mastermind Anton Schwarz, the American "stock beer" (i.e lager beer) was 12 to 14% Balling/Plato, and the American schenkbier around 12-13%. In Austria and Bohemia the schenkbier was 10-11%, and made up the majority of production and sales. 12-13% beer was lager beer, higher gravity beer, longer aged beer, higher taxed beer, more expensive beer sold in considerably smaller volumes.

    As per Schwackhöfer's report from the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 the "regular 12-13 degree beers" cost x dollars per barrel, i.e 12-13% plato beers, with 14% plato beers costing more per barrel. Again we see the difference between the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and it's plato-based taxation that benefitted lower gravity beers, and meant that the majority of the beer sold would be 10-11% plato, and the American system of taxation which taxed the beer per barrel, and meant that the beer would be brewed stronger as a general rule compared with Austria-Hungary, along the lines of their lager beer. American workers also had better purchasing power than their European counterparts at this point in time, and European observers noted how even workers in America could afford three servings of meat per day. They had more money to spend in general.

    So the difference in original gravity between Austrian and Bohemian lager beer which was in place in Europe wasn't a factor in the US, which explains why Hantke doesn't mention this aspect in his typology. Hence the only real distinguishing feature that he can present for the Bohemian type lager being brewed in the US is its stronger hop flavor, the bitterness being reduced compared with the original Bohemian lager, the color being similar to the Vienna type lager brewed in the US, and the original gravity being similar as well.

    This is my take on the topic at least.
     
    #73 Crusader, Jun 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Needless to say but differing sources of information will provide differing ‘answers’.

    From the American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting, and Auxiliary Trades by Wahl & Henius (1902):

    Pg. 715:

    “Malt Beers are brewed from 12 to 15 per cent Bllg., and require from 50 to 65 pounds of malt.

    Pale lager beer should be brewed from 12 to 13 per cent Bllg., and require from 48 to 53 pounds, of which one-third may be unmalted cereals.

    Pale bottled lager beers should be brewed 13 to 15 per cent Bllb., and require from 52 to 60 pounds of material, two-thirds of which may be malt and unmalted cereals.”

    Two aspects stand out from the above to me:

    · The American lager beers brewed with adjunct (i.e., rice, corn) are described as being “Pale” in color.

    · The ‘version’ of Pale lager beers which is stronger in gravity is those that are bottled.

    Pg.712:

    “It was soon discovered by the brewers that the use of raw cereal adjuncts not only gave a paler color, greater stability, and other valuable properties to the beer…”

    Again, “paler color” is mentioned.

    Having brewed a number of batches of Classic American Pilsner using six-row pale malt and adjuncts being 20% of the grist (both rice and corn) I know firsthand that these beers are indeed pale in color.

    You quoted: “American lager beers and Export beers" which in color, flavor and aroma come close to the Vienna beer,” Is this Vienna beer as brewed in Austria?

    You also made a personal comment of “we have discussed the golden color spectrum of Vienna lager beer in the past”. Is this a reference to discussions you and I have had in the past?

    I am personally of the opinion both from my personal readings (e.g., Wahl & Henius) and my brewing practice that the American Adjunct Lagers of the latter 1800’s would have been Pale in color and much lighter than what I personally associate with the beer style of Vienna Lager.

    This is my take on that topic

    Cheers!
     
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  35. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,127) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Falstaff, for sure, is one I'd like to see again on the shelves.
     
  36. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,490) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Well, before the development of the low-calorie diet "light beer" in the 1960-1970s, "Light Beer" was a commonly used term in the US industry to describe and sometimes even label a brewer's standard AAL - suggesting it was both not a "heavy" beer and was also light in color - as well as sometimes (as in the case for both the above brands) to distinguish it from the same brewery's Dark Beer.

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    So Helles, Dunkel in English. Got it. Thanks
     
  38. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (364) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    Cocerning the gravity question I think the numbers speak to the fact that no clear distinction could be made between ordinary lager beers and Bohemian type beers in America (12-14% would probably cover the majority of the beers) and it was not uncommon for Bohemian type beers, particularly bottled beers, to be using the upper end of the gravity band, say 13-14%, a strenght which in Bohemia would be exceedingly rare apart from small volumes of Export beer. As you mention and Wahl and Henius hints at there appears to have been a slight difference between keg and bottle beer instead at that point in time.

    Concerning the Vienna beer question the Lager beer and Export beer that Hantke refers to would be the reformed Bavarian lager beer, they were not brewed explicitly to be Vienna type beers, but they most closely resembled that type among the three archetypes of lager beer (Pilsener, Vienna, Bavarian), at least to Hantke. From the same book:

    "Since the American beers in their character most resemble the Wiener", I take to mean that the similarities were not on purpose so much as a consequence of changes made to the lager beer introduced in the 1840s, of using paler malts (and also eventually the use of adjuncts), which had brought the lager beer closer to the Vienna lager beer.

    A similar development happened in Sweden where the Bavarian beer of the 1840s (Bajerskt/Bayerskt/Bäjerskt öl) had become simply Lager beer (Lageröl) by the late 1800s and into the 1900s. Lager beer was not a new beer, it was simply a reformed and evolved form of the old Bavarian beer. In a Swedish encyclopedia from the late 1800s it is noted that of the three main malts (Bohemian, Vienna and Bavarian malt) the malt used for lageröl is akin to the Vienna malt. It is also noted that "The Bavarian beer or lager beer that is brewed in Sweden corresponds with the Vienna type, as does our pilsner beer with the Bohemian." Additionally according to an issue of Swedish brewers association magazine from 1887 (described in the book Ölets historia i Sverige from 1970) the Swedish lageröl distinguished itself from the original Bavarian beer on many points by then, among which by its lighter color spectrum.

    My understanding is thus that when we look at the period between 1870 and until the turn of the century, if an American brewery is advertising their "Lager beer", plain and simple, this would refer to the kind of beer described by Hantke, a beer that had its origins in the 1840s Bavarian lager beer, but by the last decades of the century had become reformed and more similar to a Vienna lager.

    Now, was this lager beer all malt and brewed by decoction like a Vienna lager would normally be at the time? Not as a general rule at least, Hantke notes that all malt beers are rare in the US and are offered as specialty beers by brewers who want to make it a point to only brew with malt. His reference of "a higher degree of attenuation and better keeping qualities." likewise hints at this type of beer being brewed using adjuncts, giving it a higher degree of attenuation and better stability/shelf life. While adjuncts were sometimes used in Austria Hungary, it was not the rule, and yet the use of adjuncts didn't prevent American beers of the Bohemian type to be called as such, and it likewise didn't prevent a comparison between American lager beers with the Vienna type.

    Not you and me, but I thought you had taken note of, and read the extensive discussions taking place on this forum on this matter in various threads in the past, maybe I was mistaken (though again it wasn't directed at you, but to anyone who might recall those discussions). Perhaps the crux of the matter is this, you perhaps thought that I was implying that the "Lager beer", "Export beer", and "American beers of Pilsner character" were brown colored, as one tends to imagine the Vienna lager? That is not the case. Based on the descriptions that exist of the Vienna lager from the 1800s, it is clear that the type encompassed a golden color as part of a spectrum. So when I read Hantke's typology, and his descriptions of the malts produced and used in the US, I envision a spectrum of gold to pale yellow where there was a general enough similarity to where no real distinction could be made in this regard between the two first classes in his typology. He did say generally similar, which does not rule out a slight, but general, difference of course.
     
    #78 Crusader, Jun 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    You quoted:

    "In the United States is mostly malt of one character produced, from which according to the mashing process different beers are produced. The American malts stand in their properties in between Pilsner and Wiener malt."

    I suppose it would be prudent to recognize that the qualifier of “mostly” is used in the above paragraph?

    In the American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting, and Auxiliary Trades by Wahl & Henius (1902) on pages 602 – 603 there is a discussion of American Malting Operations for Kilning with three sections entitled:

    · Kilning American Malt for Pale Beer

    · Kilning American Malt for Extra Pale Beer

    · Kilning American Malt for Dark Beer

    Within those three sections is detailed the duration of the kilning process and the temperature schedule over that duration. For example the highest temperature of kilning for the Malt for Extra Pale Beer is 145 °F while in contrast for the Malt for Pale Beer is 180 °F.

    So, apparently there were three ‘classes’ of American Malt as listed above.

    It is not unusual for differing source of information to provide differing ‘answers’.

    The book American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting, and Auxiliary Trades by Wahl & Henius is a thoroughly researched textbook that is over 1200 pages long with 28 pages of Bibliography. A scholarly resource IMO.

    Cheers!
     
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  40. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (364) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I would argue that it is prudent to do so, or else it can seem as if a different point is made than the one that was intended, causing confusion and the need to argue points over which there is no apparent argument to be had.
     
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