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German Beer Law

  1. Only barley malt, hops, yeast and water may be used for the brewing of bottom- fermented beer, with the exceptions contained in the regulations in paragraphs 4 to 6.
  2. The brewing of top-fermenting beer underlies the same regulations, however other malts may be used and the use of technically pure cane, beet or invert sugars as well as dextrose and coloring agents derived from these sugars is allowed.
  3. Malt shall be taken to mean: any grain that has been caused to germinate.
  4. The use of colored beers, if brewed from malt, hops, yeast and water, in the preparation of beer is allowed but underlies special supervisory measures.
  5. Hop powder, hops in other milled forms and hop extracts may be used in brewing, so long as these products comply with the following requirements:
    1. Hop powder and other milled hop forms, as well as hop extracts must be produced exclusively from hops.
    2. Hop extracts must:
      1. Contribute the same flavoring and bittering substances to the wort as would have been contributed had hops been simmered with the wort.
      2. Fulfill the requirements of the German Pure Food Laws.
      3. Only be added to the wort before or during the simmering phase.
  6. Only materials, which act mechanically or by absorption and are thereafter removable, leaving no, or only such residue in the beer, which is of no health, taste or odor concern may be used to clarify beer.
  7. Upon request, in individual cases, such as the preparation special beers and beers intended for export or scientific experiments, exceptions to the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 can be made.
  8. The requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 are not applicable to brewing for personal consumption (home brewing).
  9. After establishing the original extract content in the fermenting room, water may not be added to beer without permission of the customs office. The customs office can permit the brewer to add water to beer after the original extract content has been established in the fermenting room, provided the appropriate precautionary measures have been observed. Beer wholesalers or publicans are, under no circumstances, allowed to add water to beer.
  10. Brewers, beer wholesalers or publicans are not allowed to mix beers of different original extract contents nor to add sugar to beer after the beer tax has been calculated. The Finance Minister can allow exceptions by decree.
  11. For the production of top fermenting simple or very low original extract content beer, according to the Additive Authorization Regulation (...)