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The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1965 Spiral-bound – January 1, 2014

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Broyhan Recipe


Broyhan has a rather sad history. It was the most common type of beer in north Germany for 300 years, yet has disappeared virtually without trace. In the preindustrial period, Broyhan was incredibly popular and inspired many similar beers. Berliner Weisse is reckoned by some to be a development of Broyhan.

Broyhan History

It was first brewed in Hannover but spread throughout north Germany. The reality is a little more complicated than that. Broyhan was brewed over a wide area for a long period of time and took many forms. Whatever grains were used, they would be in the form of Luft-Malz, or air-dried malt. Some versions did contain wheat malt or oats, and the exact composition of the grist probably depended on what grains were available. Others contained small amounts of hops and some ground spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and coriander seeds. As the ancestor of Berliner Weisse, it should come as no surprise that Broyhan was a sour beer, though; as the analyses in the table show, the level of acidity varied. It ranged from the mouth-puckering levels of a lambic to mildly tart. The level of attenuation was quite poor and, combined with a low OG, resulted in a beer of only 2 or 3 percent ABV. Broyhan is mentioned in technical literature in the early years of the twentieth century and was presumably still being brewed then. It probably finally disappeared around the time of World War I. “This beer is named after its creator, Cord Broyhahn, who first brewed it in 1526 in the brewhouse of Hans von Sode in Leinstrasse, Hannover. The genuine Broyhahn is very pale, similar in colour to young white wine, has a winey aroma and a pleasant sweetish yet acidic taste. Broyhahn differs from other white beers chiefly in that it is brewed from pure barley malt without the addition of wheat malt or hops. ” —“Grundsaetze der Bierbrauerei nach den neuesten technisch-chemischen Entdeckungen” by Christian Heinrich Schmidt, 1853, page 444 [My translation]


Note that despite containing no hops, the wort was boiled. There were many variations of Broyhan, so feel free to modify this recipe by adding a few hops or spices, or use wheat malt and oats in addition to barley malt. As the level of acidity varied, you could also ferment just with yeast.

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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books; Spi edition (January 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592538827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592538829
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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January 6, 2015
Format: Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
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February 4, 2014
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January 28, 2014
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December 20, 2014
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November 21, 2017
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