Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Ice cold beer lacks the exhilarating effect."

The Wahl-Henius Institute was a brewing research laboratory and school in Chicago that operated between 1886 and 1921. Founded in 1886 by Dr Robert Wahl and Dr Max Henius as the Wahl & Henius, the name was changed to the Scientific Station for Brewing of Chicago and then to the Institute of Fermentology before becoming the Wahl-Henius Institute. Its educational division, the American Brewing Academy, was created in 1891. The school and laboratory operated successfully until Prohibition, when the near dissolution of the brewing trade forced its closure and sale to the American Institute of Baking, which retains the nucleus of the Wahl-Henius library.

The Wahl-Henius Handy Book of Brewing, Malting and the Auxillary Trades, coauthored by Wahl and Henius [in 1901], is a comprehensive and wide-ranging view into American brewing [of the time]. It also contains basic chemical analyses of many contemporary American and European beers, providing an unusually valuable window into the brewing past.
—Randy Mosher ( Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine).

After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Robert Wahl and his son, Arnold Spencer Wahl, re-opened the school, but without Max Henius. In 1937, they published Beer From the Expert's Viewpoint, "the first book of what was intended to be a four-volume set designed to educate a new generation of American brewmasters." The elder Wahl died later that year and the school would close soon thereafter.

In 2014, BeerBooks (of Cleveland, Ohio) reprinted Beer From the Expert's Viewpoint. The copyright remains in the family, held now by Roger Wahl.

Beer From the Expert's Viewpoint


Ice cold beer has no flavor or taste.

Among much that is fascinating (and much still valid) in the Wahls' book, here is some "exhilarating" wisdom it imparted. Eighty years on, this advice is often disdained.
Ice cold beer has no flavor or taste. The intense cold does not permit the natural flavor of the beer to become volatile and only what is volatile can be discerned as a flavor. The intense cold benumbs the taste nerves and consequently, the taste of such beer is insipid.

When a stein of beer is taken in one gulp, as is often done, it lies in the stomach like ice, chilling the nerves of the stomach that control digestion. The beer remains ice cold in the stomach until it is gradually warmed up sufficiently so that the digestive processes can begin.

The brewer, in order to have his beer effervesce properly even though ice cold, charges the beer too heavily with carbonic gas, so that, when the beer finally warms up in the stomach, it gives off this surplus gas rapidly, causing bloating or belching. Of course, this beer lacks the exhilarating effect.

Heed that advice. Protect yourself and your beer. Prevent bloating and belching. Don't drink beer ice-cold. Don't be insipid. Be exhilarated.


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