March 11, 2016 by fhsteinbart
No, this isn’t an Egyptian beer, it’s more of a wheat ale produced in Germany (still!) that is not well attenuated, high in dextrins, and low in alcohol. Typically made to a strength of around 4% ABV, this beer would appear to be on the sweetish side if not for the copious quantities of German style hops (most likely Tettnanger) added to the boil to balance out the residual extract and make the beer a more balanced affair. I’ve had Mumme in a can, and it tasted rich, flavorful, and full bodied. While making of this ancient beer can be more problematic for extract brewers, I recommend using malto-dextrin powder to increase the residual extract to give the impression of fuller body and mouthfeel. Also the use of a minimash also helps in the flavor department as well. As for yeast, I prefer this beer to use either an Alt or Kolsch style yeast as these yeast are not too attenuative to result in the proper admixture of sugars, dextrins, and oligosaccharides. Below is a recipe of mine that makes a reasonably close enough approximation of what this ancient beer would have been about.
- 3.3 lbs. Amber LME
- 3.3 lbs. Wheat LME
- 1 lb. Carastan Crystal Malt
- 1 oz. Tettnang Hops (Bittering)
- 1 lb. Malto-Dextrin Powder (at end of boil)
- Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
- ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the boil.
- Wyeast 1007, WLP036, Imperial G02 Kaiser, or Safale S-04 yeast
- Heat ¾ gallon of water to 155°F.
- Turn off heat and add steeping grains, and steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove the steeping grains, adding the malt extract and stirring until fully dissolved, then add water to volume.
- Return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min. then add bittering hops.
- At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
- After boil has finished, turn off heat, add the malto-dextrin powder, and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
- Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
- Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
- Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
- Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.
4 lbs. Mild Ale Malt
- 2 lbs. Dark Wheat Malt
- 2 lbs. Dextrin Malt
1 lb. Caramunich Crystal Malt
1 oz. Tettnang Hops (Bittering)
- ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in both mash and boil.
Wyeast 1007, WLP036, Imperial G02 Kaiser, or Safale S-04 yeast
Infusion mash at 158°F for 1½ hours, using a standard (1.33qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 0 minutes (knockout), cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.
Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 120 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 20 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 45°~50°F in a Dimpled mug or German Bier Stein, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.