hist-brewing: the decline of brown malt

jibber at hushmail.com jibber at hushmail.com
Tue Nov 21 22:22:16 PST 2000


	It would seem that Adam's point has been missed. No one dispute that industrial 
revolution era inventions led to pale malts being developed that were able 
to produce 
higher yields nor would anyone claim that the invention of the hydrometer 
demonstrated such superiority.
    What is not clear is the actual extraction one can expect from the various 
old 
styles of brown malts or what kind of diastic power they posed with any 
degree of 
precision.  As a result, it is unknown what exactly the economic disparities 
were 
when one considers the ultimate cost per point of extraction into account 
as well as 
production methodology changes that took place at the time.  Instead, i 
think that a 
whole host of economic factors resulted in the end of old style malts.
    The single most important of which was H.Stope's invention of the malt 
drum 
device which made floor malting economically untenable for mass produced 
ales.  
Wood fired malts obviously became economically disadvantageous in much the 
same 
way that the cotton gin made manual processing of cotton untenable.  What 
bears 
keeping in mind is that to what extent differences in execration rates combined 
with 
the end multiple mashes being performed upon the same batch of grist meant 
in 
ultimate economic terms.
    I also think that the advent of pale ales meant that public perception 
of ale and 
industrial marketing changed public preferences and expectations for all 
ales, even 
Porters.  This point is rarely discussed but i think that it may deserve 
some attention.
    In short, plenty of developments lead to the end of old malt styles 
just as 6 row 
malt is slowly displacing 2 row malt even in Europe if our friends in Brussels 
have 
their way.

Thanks,

Finnbogi Kvamsdahl

P.s. Sorry about the poor English as it is not my first language and i never 
got high marks when i took it in school


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