Second Edition of Jeff Alworth’s Beer Bible

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by M-Fox24, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. Rug

    Rug Meyvn (1,351) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Yeah that was a really fun and educational one! They're entertaining dudes
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,160) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Don’t Blink or you might miss something!

    I was reading a recent Andreas Krennmair blog post (10/16/21):

    And to my pleasant surprise I learned (with emphasis in bold by me):

    “They got in touch with Crisp Malt, a traditional Norfolk-based maltings that still employs traditional floor malting techniques. In recent years, Crisp Malt has put considerable work in reestablishing old heritage barley varieties and turning them into quality malts. One of these heritage varieties is Haná, the old Moravian barley variety that was hailed the most in Austria for its brewing qualities. Crisp Malt had previously released a Haná Pilsner malt, and so they had the resources to also create a Haná Vienna malt. Long story short, Westerham brewed a Vienna Lager from it, and Crisp Malt started selling the malt as part of their small batch series.

    So, there is now a Vienna Malt produced using Haná barley from Crisp Malting Co.:

    “Complimenting the re-release of our highly successful Haná Malt, the very first release in our Small Batch Series, we have used this fabulous heritage variety to bring you the exclusive Haná Vienna Malt. What better way to make a truly authentic Vienna lager than using this original barley variety, kilned perfectly, to match the modern Vienna Malt specification.”

    I wonder how easy it is for US craft brewers to obtain Crisp Haná Vienna Malt. Maybe a situation of where there is a will there is a way?


    @Rug @woemad @Crusader @honkey
    sharpski and Rug like this.
  3. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (349) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    This sentence makes me scratch my head:

    What better way to make a truly authentic Vienna lager than using this original barley variety, kilned perfectly, to match the modern Vienna Malt specification.

    Authentic Vienna lager, original barley variety, modern Vienna malt specification. Huh?


    Up to 60% of the grist.

    So what are the other 40% supposed to be? To me this means that either they are following an historically accurate kilning regimen, and the authentic Vienna flavor and color will be diluted by the use of another lighter colored base malt. Or, they have modified the kilning of this malt based on the expectation that it will be used as part of a blend, i.e diluted, which means that using it on its own would produce a warped end product. To me it seems like commercial considerations are at work here. Those are not always compatible with historical accuracy.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,160) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, here's the thing. Crisp is producing products for brewers/breweries of today and with few exceptions modern day brewers are set up to brew with 'modern' malts (e.g., malts that are not under-modified). It would not make business sense for Crisp to provide malt that is not suited for modern day breweries - they want to sell product that modern day breweries can readily use. Now, if your objection is the marketing-speak associated with Crisp Haná Vienna Malt, again the 'issue' is that Crisp wants to sell product.
    FWIW I am too scratching my head here. I downloaded the datasheet for Crisp Haná Vienna Malt to check to see if there is a Diastatic Power issue here but the spec for Diastatic Power indicates this malt can fully self-convert. So I am uncertain whazzup here.

    “Pair it with Crisp’s Clear Choice® Extra Pale Malt for a wonderfully clear and crisp beer. Why not use Crisp’s Heritage Haná Pilsen Malt or German Pilsner…”

    Weedy (@honkey), would you have a guess at why Crisp is listing "Up to 60% of the grist"?

    Rug likes this.
  5. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (349) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I suppose I could have formulated my thoughts better. I'm essentially saying that I'm curious as to how, if at all, compromises or alterations made to the process, to suit modern brew houses impacts, if at all, the performance of the malt and the finished product. Such information, or discussion, would be welcome to better understand both the original Vienna malt/s(?), and the product which they are selling here.

    They know their customers I guess.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,160) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Are you willing to contact Crisp and pose your questions?

    In the interim I have some 'speculations'/talking points:

    Level of modification
    Modern day malts (i.e., all of the malts that are available for me to purchase) are well modified. In contrast a Continental Malt of the 1800's in all likelihood would have been undermodified. This difference in modification amount presents 'challenges' to the brewers. The Continental brewer of the 1800's would have had to conduct a multi-step decoction mash to obtain a 'good' extract of the undermodified malts they had to work with. In contrast a modern day brewer could simply conduct a single-temperature infusion mash to obtain excellent extract using modern day well modified malts. A few modern day breweries are willing to conduct decoction mashing with today's well modified malts since they are of the opinion there can be 'advantages' here (e.g., melanoidins/Maillard reactions).

    As I discussed previously the Vienna Lagers as brewed by Anton Dreher in the 1800's would in all likelihood been brewed using undermodified Vienna Lager malt and consequently he would have conducted a multi-step decoction mash.

    I really doubt that there would be many customers for purchasing from Crisp an undermodified Vienna Malt like those that Anton Dreher would have had to purchase.

    And as you are well aware there is the difference in amount of attenuation achieved between the Continental lager brewers of the 1800's vs. modern day larger brewers.

    Crusader likes this.
  7. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (349) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    Do you know whether the extract produced from a highly modified malt differs from the extract produced from a less modified malt? Or would the kilning and the barley variety be the deciding factors when it comes to color and flavor and the mashing process the deciding factor when it comes to fermentability and wort composition?

    I'm thinking about the earlier discussion about decoction mashing, and the single decoction method from 1921 suggested by Weihenstephan which was only recommended for highly modified malt, or light colored beers. With a saccharification temperature that was quite high, 70 C (158 degrees fahrenheit). I noted that perhaps this was a means of compensating for not doing the full triple or double decoction method, with the ideal and thus goal being a full bodied beer. So that perhaps a brewer using a highly modified malt today, that doesn't want to do the triple or double decoction process, could try the simpler single decoction method from 1921 and achieve results which will be closer to those other two systems as far as fermentability goes? Also note the 40-60 minute decoction boil, whatever that does to the beer (at least darken it slightly I would imagine?).

    Now, most breweries might not be set up to do any decoctions, but if the issue of highly modified-lower modified merely boils down to yield when performing the simplest possible mashing process, then perhaps this would allow those breweries that do have the ability for decoctions to use a malt such as this and still apply older methods in pursuit of older types of beer. However, if the degree of modification is also intimately tied to the final composition of the wort and beer, then this is of course a less promising path forward.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,160) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If you are asking if the wort will 'taste' different, I really don't know. The 'issue' for brewers that brewed with undermodified malts was obtaining a good/proper conversion of starches to sugars. The boiling process that is part of the decoction mashing regime is needed to obtain good conversion with undermodified malts. Needless to say this aspect is a non-issue for well modified malts.

  9. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (349) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I'm thinking then, barring information to the contrary of course, that at least the theoretical benefits of the 1921 single decoction method when using a well modified malt might thus be two-fold: by on the one hand helping to produce a less fermentable wort by using a higher saccharification temperature, and also possibly darkening it somewhat by boiling the mash for a prolonged period of time, the lenght of which would probably be uncommon nowadays when a single decoction might only bring the mash up to the boiling point or boil for 10 minutes or so.

    a darkening of color takes place during a triple decoction process, compared with infusion mashing, and if boiling a single decoction for 40-60 minutes achieves a similar darkening, then perhaps such a single decoction method might prevent the color of the finished beer from becoming too light and not representative of what it would have been like after going through an historically accurate triple decoction process. So that a brewery set up for single decoctions could benefit from using this new malt for making an "Authentic Vienna lager", using an original barley variety, all the while working with modern Vienna malt specifications.

    That's my thinking anyway after some pondering.
  10. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (96) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    I have the first edition, will likely pick this one up as well.