hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing-digest V1 #402

Jeff Renner nerenner at umich.edu
Thu Sep 30 06:08:21 PDT 1999

Another minor nit to pick (glad you agree that it's fun, Nick)

"Nick Sasso" <njs at mccalla.com> wrote:
>American 6row barley is a modern hybrid that works far better than the =
>british 2-row for housebrewing, but is farther from what was available =
>before 1900

6-row is not a hybrid (modern varieties of both 2-row and 6-row are results
of cross breeding, but they are not hybrids in the sense of , say, modern
corn varieties), nor is it modern.  See the excellent article "A Comparison
of North American Two-Row and Six-Row Malting Barley" in the late lamented
_Brewing Techniques_, Vol. 4, no. 5, available online at
http://brewingtechniques.com/bmg/schwarz.html .  6-row is of northern China
ancestry; 2-row is European in origin (p. 52).

I would also dispute that 6-row works better for homebrewing.  It certainly
has far higher levels of enzymes, which makes it more forgiving of poor
technique  and able to convert higher amounts of unmalted cereal adjuncts,
but it also has rather high levels of protein to be used without diluting
adjuncts, although it can be used.  It is this high protein level that
originally led to the use of corn (and to a lesser degree, rice) in US
brewing ~130 years ago.  See my article in _Brewing Techniques_ "Reviving
the Classic American Pilsner - A Shamefully Neglected Style"
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue3.5/renner.html and
the two other BT articles I reference in the article, and the 1902 classic
"American Handy Book of Brewing" by Wahl & Henius
http://hubris.engin.umich.edu:8080/Wahl/  for historical details.


Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. 

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