« on: March 30, 2010, 11:43:25 AM »
Given that many beers brewed with the Munich water profile (moderate hardness) have the same German characteristic, I don't think water is the key.
I would focus on the yeast, malt and hops.
- Using a German yeast in itself won't guarantee success without a healthy fermentation. You need to pitch enough yeast (at least a 1 gallon starter for an average gravity beer) and control temperatures properly -- pitch below 50, monitor fermentation (not ambient) temperature and keep it around 50 during primary).
- For a beer with only pils malt, using a German malt is going to make a big difference.
- Use noble hops as Kai described.