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#13 – Where in the beer world?

Where in the beer world?

Geez, could I make it harder? Is it really fair to ask you where in the beer world this photo was taken? I am anyway.

Quite honestly, it won’t be a slam dunk when I post a second picture with the answer.

But stick with me on this. There’s a lesson, or maybe two, to be learned.

Rather than offering a clue this week, I’ll suggest a second question you might find it easier to comment on. What’s going on here?

Posted Oct. 18

Where in the beer world?

That’s a helles fermentation at the top in one of these ultra-modern looking fermenters at Private Landbrauerei Schönram in the German village of Schönram near the Austrian border.

Yes, Schönram uses open fermentation for all its beers, which account for almost 95 percent of production (46,000 HL). The unique fermenters allow for open fermentation and make it easy to skim the yeast daily (brewmaster Eric Toft believes this makes for smoother beer). What makes them different is that they can be closed and cleaned easily, eliminating the excuse many larger breweries use when they modernize and install closed fermentation vessels.

Ron Pattinson hit on why I posted this photo (see his comment below) — that’s a bottom fermenting yeast at work (and no even at high krausen). As he noted, open fermentation remains common in Bavaria, and not just for weiss beers. Common, but no universal.

There’s a lot more different about Schönram, but that’s a story that’s going elsewhere.

The weekly reminder about this feature.


15 Responses to #13 – Where in the beer world?

  1. SteveH October 13, 2008 at 5:03 am #

    Lessee — open fermentation, but you aren’t anywhere near San Francisco…

  2. SteveO October 13, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Hmmm… my guess would be Plzensky Prosdroj (Pilsner Urquell)

  3. Dr Wort October 13, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    I would go with Steve H’s thought…. It looks like the open fermentation shallow fermentation ships at Anchor brewery.

  4. SteveH October 14, 2008 at 5:06 am #

    I mentioned the resemblance to Anchor’s open fermenters, but I also know that Stan is traveling Europe right now — so I doubt he’s posting pictures from San Fran.

    Does Urquell have open fermentation? Or maybe Stan’s just poking his camera under the lid? 🙂

    Also to keep in mind, there’s research being done for a book on Wheat beers…

  5. SteveO October 14, 2008 at 7:46 am #

    Yes Pilsner Urquell has open fermenters. Used to be that all their bier was brewed with the open fermenters but they have changed in the last five or so years. They still maintain the open fermenters using them in batches as “the standard” for comparison.

  6. SteveH October 14, 2008 at 7:57 am #

    “…using them in batches as “the standard” for comparison.”

    Any idea how we can help in the comparison tests? 🙂

  7. Dr Wort October 14, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    I remember seeing Pilsner Urquell fermented in big open wooden round barrels. Of course, I have heard they’ve changed this practice…. So, this could be Pilsner Urquell?

  8. SteveH October 14, 2008 at 9:30 am #

    I don’t remember the open fermenters, just the big, oak lagering tanks. And yes, they switched to stainless steel lagering over 10 years ago, IIRC.

  9. TomH October 14, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    This could be anywhere. It even looks like one of the sour mash fermenting vats at the Maker’s Mark bourbon distillery.

  10. Jacob October 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    My guess is Europe as well, not Belgium because the tank doesn’t look like a Canoe. Also the yeast is acting on the top so its an ale.

    I’m guessing somewhere around Munich.

  11. SteveH October 15, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Okay — since no one else has posed it, I’ll throw out my first inkling when I saw the image — somewhere in Bamberg? Say, Kaiserdom or Maisel. They both make a wheat, so maybe that falls into play.

  12. Ron Pattinson October 17, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Could be just about anywhere in Bavaria. Every brewery I’ve been to there open ferments. And it isn’t necessarily top-fermenting. Lager looks just like that, too. Maybe it’s one of the Zoigl houses.

  13. SteveH October 17, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    Every brewery? I find that difficult to believe, Many of the smaller Brauerei Gasthaus I visited didn’t open ferment. Don’t believe the Forschungsbrauerei in Perlach does either.

    Then again, there’s no real way of telling if the pic is actually an open fermentation, as I said earlier — maybe Stan just stuck his head under the lid!

  14. HBTolllllo October 17, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    It’s a lemon meringue pie. Stan just dropped his maglite into it.

  15. Ron Pattinson October 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    SteveH I didn’t say every brewery. Every brewery I’ve looked around. I’m talking established breweries, not new brewpubs.

    Sure does look beautiful, though, that merangue head.

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