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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: rail on August 02, 2010, 04:49:03 PM

Title: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 02, 2010, 04:49:03 PM
I have several questions about brewing old style Bavarian Lager!

Is Marzen and Bock the same type of Lager?

What are good references to study for all-grain brewing of Lager?

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: babalu87 on August 02, 2010, 05:25:44 PM
Dunkel is more than likely what is being referred to.

Bavarian Helles by Horst Dornbusch might be a good place to start though I dont know if he covers Dunkel in that book or not.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: denny on August 02, 2010, 05:50:13 PM
Is Marzen and Bock the same type of Lager?

Nope, not even in the same ballpark.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 02, 2010, 06:00:21 PM
Ok,

Oktoberfest and Marzen are similar? The time of year that the Lager is brewed!

Bock = strong Lager?

Helles = pale Lager?

Dunkel = dark Lager?

I want to brew the copper colored, cream like taste or feel Lager.

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: majorvices on August 02, 2010, 10:45:25 PM
You kind of have the above correct. A Bock is a strong dark lager, except for in the case of a Maibock or Hellesbock.

Whenyou say "Old Style" Bavarian Lager then you say "colored" it remind me of an Alt (literally "old" in German. Of course, it is neithe rin Bavaria nor is it a true lager - rather it is an ale that undergoes a lagering process.

The other thing that may fit your criteria even better is what I mentioned above - a Maibock or Hellesbock. These care higher gravity, pale lagers that fit your description fairly well.

High highly recommend checking out the style guides at http://www.bjcp.org/stylecenter.php to get an idea what style is what.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: joeysmokedporter on August 02, 2010, 11:09:26 PM
Dunkel is thought to be the "original" German lager.  It is copper colored but I don't know if I'd call it (or any German lager) creamy, except for the head.  The malt character of a dunkel is quite different from a maerzen or a bock.  The maerzen and bock have a similar toasted malt flavor, with the bock having very rich malt flavors and balanced with more bitterness.  I find the dunkel to have more bready characters and some even bordering on pumpernickel-like.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 03, 2010, 05:20:20 AM
There is a local brewery that brews a pale lager, amber lager and a bock beer, "Red Oak Brewery", redoakbrewery.com.

I enjoy the "Battlefield Bock", but the "Red Oak Amber Lager" is unbelievable, smooth and clear but packs a punch!

I would like to brew a similar beer like the "Red Oak Amber Lager". How can I determine if it is a Bock Lager, Marzen/Oktoberfest or a traditional Amber Lager. It's confusing because it is smooth, filling and clear but packs that punch.

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: drf255 on August 03, 2010, 08:33:24 AM
I would like to brew a similar beer like the "Red Oak Amber Lager". How can I determine if it is a Bock Lager, Marzen/Oktoberfest or a traditional Amber Lager.
Charles


Why don't you ask them what style it is modeled after and what ingredients they use?  They may be willing to share some general info with you. 
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 03, 2010, 01:33:56 PM
I called and asked them, they replied that it is an Amber Lager.

I'm confused, the beer is bread like filling, smooth and clear, copper in color and strong.

Maybe I should try to brew a Bock.

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: blatz on August 03, 2010, 02:00:24 PM
I called and asked them, they replied that it is an Amber Lager.

I'm confused, the beer is bread like filling, smooth and clear, copper in color and strong.

Maybe I should try to brew a Bock.

Charles


amber lager says vienna/marzen/oktoberfest to me.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2010, 02:28:10 PM
Well, regardless what you plan on brewing you need to understand the complexities behind brewing a lager. You need to pitch a lot of healthy yeast. You need to be able to chill the wort down to at least the low 50's high 40s before pitching and you need to maintain very constant temps in the high 40s/very low 50s. If you can manage to do that you can make a lager. If not I would recommend sticking to ales. See the pitching calc at www.mrmalty.com to get an idea what size yeast starter you will need. Be sure to use the lager pull down menu.

And, again, check the link to the style guid on the bjcp website I mentioned above to get an idea what style fits your description.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bluesman on August 03, 2010, 02:35:24 PM
I called and asked them, they replied that it is an Amber Lager.

I'm confused, the beer is bread like filling, smooth and clear, copper in color and strong.

Maybe I should try to brew a Bock.

Charles


amber lager says vienna/marzen/oktoberfest to me.

+1

complex malt/toast = vienna/marzen

but not breadlike or strong.  

Bread crusts fall into a dunkel profile.

Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: jasoncap on August 03, 2010, 02:55:44 PM
Rail,

RedOak is a Marzen style lager as mentioned above by Blatz.  I have attempted to get some recipe help from the brewer on a couple of occasions but he is less than forthcoming with details.  I developed a clone recipe that is fairly close, but it is not exact.  It is 100% Munich malt (I use Weyermann but any continental light Munich malt will work) and it is hopped with Spalt hops.  My best guess is around 25-30 IBU's with a small flavor addition around the 10-15 minute mark.  I ferment with Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager but any clean German lager yeast will work.  I tried S-189 dry lager yeast but it did not replicate the flavor of the original beer very well so I wouldn't recommend it.

I'm not sure how much experience you have brewing lagers.  If this is your first, search some of majorvices posts for a primer on the correct way to brew a lager style beer.  His way is not the only way, but it works very well and you will be pleased with the results.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 03, 2010, 03:05:45 PM
Thanks for answering my questions! I have three books I reference too, but the Lager process is "vague". Dave Miller's: Homebrewing Guide; Palmer: How To Brew; Papazian: Complete Joy of Brewing.

I ordered Gregory Noonan's book: New Brewing Lager Beer, is this a good reference for the Lager brewing?

What is a lager pull down menu?

What type of fridge or freezer should I use in the process. Should I use stainless or copper to brew in ( I am a metal spinner and shaper, welder ) I can fabricate what I need.

I am a traditionalist, want to do things right, I ask a lot of question to learn!  Thank You for the help!

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: denny on August 03, 2010, 03:25:13 PM
Thanks for answering my questions! I have three books I reference too, but the Lager process is "vague". Dave Miller's: Homebrewing Guide; Palmer: How To Brew; Papazian: Complete Joy of Brewing.

I ordered Gregory Noonan's book: New Brewing Lager Beer, is this a good reference for the Lager brewing?

Miller's book is so far out of date that I'd just skip it.  Palmer's is excellent and kind of considered the "bible" of contemporary homebrewing.  Papazian has a great, friendly writing style and is generally good, but Palmer should be all you need.  Noonan's book is very technical and aimed more at commercial brewing that homebrewers, really.  And be sure to pay attention to what majorvices posted.  Lager brewing takes more skill, equipment and time than ale brewing, so it may not be what you want to jump into to begin brewing.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 03, 2010, 05:48:15 PM
Looking through the BJCP Style Guideline, is Marzen/Oktoberfest a Traditional Bock or Dark Lager?
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: blatz on August 03, 2010, 05:55:15 PM
Looking through the BJCP Style Guideline, is Marzen/Oktoberfest a Traditional Bock or Dark Lager?

it's European amber lager 3b
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 04, 2010, 05:24:58 AM
Marzen/Oktoberfest are the same with slight variations?

Vienna: creamy and smooth, with slightly less ABV than Marzen?

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: skyler on August 04, 2010, 05:28:53 AM

complex malt/toast = vienna/marzen

but not breadlike or strong.  

Bread crusts fall into a dunkel profile.



To be fair, a märzen/oktoberfest is a fair amount stronger than, say, bud light. i have known people who drink PBR when they want something "strong" because it is higher in alcohol than coors light.

I also think of a märzen as rather creamy for a lager... i would say he should shoot for a 1.055ish Oktoberfest... or maybe just something similar with an ale yeast.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bluesman on August 04, 2010, 11:22:34 AM

complex malt/toast = vienna/marzen

but not breadlike or strong. 

Bread crusts fall into a dunkel profile.



To be fair, a märzen/oktoberfest is a fair amount stronger than, say, bud light. i have known people who drink PBR when they want something "strong" because it is higher in alcohol than coors light.

I also think of a märzen as rather creamy for a lager... i would say he should shoot for a 1.055ish Oktoberfest... or maybe just something similar with an ale yeast.

Strong is a relative term. To me strong implies that there is evidence of alcohol in the aftertaste which is not the case for European Amber Lagers.  They start in the 1.046-1.057 and ABV's in the 4.4-5.7% range. Marzen's are smooth, clean and rather rich with a complex malt character.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: blatz on August 04, 2010, 12:30:56 PM
Marzen/Oktoberfest are the same with slight variations?

Vienna: creamy and smooth, with slightly less ABV than Marzen?

Charles


marzen/oktoberfest are interchangeable monikers for the most part.  some brewers make a 'festbier' which is a bit stronger, but that is rare to see today.

vienna and marzen are very, very close. vienna is usually a little smaller OG than marzen, and is usually most of all vienna malt (duh) whereas marzen is often some mix of vienna, munich and/or pils.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 04, 2010, 05:46:33 PM
Now that I understand the style I enjoy, "Vienna", the study begins on learning how to brew the Lager.

Storage, I would assume other than wooden kegs, aluminum is the next best thing for kegging?

Should I ask kegs questions here or in another thread?

Charles


Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: denny on August 04, 2010, 06:12:57 PM
I think you're getting ahead of yourself.  You need to check into the equipment and techniques you need for the actual brewing, fermenting, and lagering stages.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: weithman5 on August 04, 2010, 06:16:03 PM
read, read, read, read.
practice practice practice

Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 04, 2010, 06:33:42 PM
I now that I am getting the cart before the horse, but I plan to metal spin my own kegs. Just need to now if it is common to store Lager in aluminum kegs so that I can start fabricating the mandrels to spin the kegs.
 
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: blatz on August 04, 2010, 06:43:05 PM
I now that I am getting the cart before the horse, but I plan to metal spin my own kegs. Just need to now if it is common to store Lager in aluminum kegs so that I can start fabricating the mandrels to spin the kegs.
 

SS not aluminum.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: redbeerman on August 04, 2010, 06:45:13 PM
Kegs are usually stainless steel.  Beer is slightly acidic and does not play well with untreated aluminum over the long term.  Used kegs can be had for a more reasonable price than the cost of fabrication.  You really need to research and actually start brewing before you get to this stage.  Just my $.02
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: majorvices on August 04, 2010, 07:00:14 PM
Wooden kegs would need to be treated with brewers pitch so as not to impart wood flavor to your beer. There's no need to spin your own kegs when good corny kegs can be had so cheaply and easily. Buy the kegs and spend your time learning about the beer and building yourself a keggerator.

+1 to putting the cart inf ront of the horse. Brewing is a skill that takes years to develop. You can be making great beer pretty quickly - but to make truly excellent beer you need lots of practice. Kegging is a good place to start - but learn how to brew lagers first. Here's a good lager primer. Understand that if you don;t have ales firmly under your belt you should be cautious about starting onto lagers.




Quote
For lagers you definitely need a large yeast starter and you can't really ferment a lager warm and expect it to taste lagerish - it may very well be a good beer. But not a lager.

Pick up a gallon size juice jug. 2 vials in 3L/3quarts of a  1.040 OG starter wort would not be too much yeast for a 1.050 - 1.060 beer. You need at least a gallon starter with 1 vial. Pitch the yeast and ferment to completion. Cold crash in fridge for a a day or two to drop the yeast.

On brew day, cool your main volume of wort all the way down to about 44-48 degrees - even if it takes several hours (or over night) to cool. Then aerate well (about 2xs as long as you aerate for ales - with pure o2 I go about 3 minutes).  DECANT the spent starter beer from your starter and only pitch the slurry.

Try to keep fermentation temps around 48-50 degrees letting it warm up some near the end to assure complete attenuation. Give yourself at lest 2-3 (even 4-5) weeks fermentation time. Then transfer to secondary and lager at near freezing temps for 2-4+ weeks.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bluesman on August 04, 2010, 07:41:57 PM


+1 to putting the cart inf ront of the horse. Brewing is a skill that takes years to develop. You can be making great beer pretty quickly - but to make truly excellent beer you need lots of practice. Kegging is a good place to start - but learn how to brew lagers first. Here's a good lager primer. Understand that if you don;t have ales firmly under your belt you should be cautious about starting onto lagers.



+1

Learn how to crawl before you try to walk.

The art and science of brewing can be learned relatively quickly but takes a lifetime to master.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 05, 2010, 02:32:44 PM
Thanks for all the advice, it is very helpful. I would try an Ale, I enjoy them but they do not like me. I suffer from severe migraine headaches and have to watch my food intake. After several years of reintroducing foods and beverages into my diet, Lagers will not cause the migraine like Ales and some Stouts.

I enjoy some Stouts and Lambics without cause of a migraine, wheat beers are a head buster for me. I fast with the seasons and use Lagers, Bock and Dunkel for the protein in my diet.

I have a lot to learn about brewing and a lot of questions, I just appreciate everyones help.

Charles
 
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: denny on August 05, 2010, 03:35:13 PM
That's really weird about the headaches from ales.  I can't think of any logical reason when the only difference is a small variation in the yeast.  Maybe it's the particular ales?
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: weithman5 on August 05, 2010, 04:11:00 PM
FWIW, i went straight to making lagers, but i read a lot and prepared a lot for it.
Your migraines may be caused by particular esters in the ales or something else in the process including preservatives, etc.
I had a nurse once that could drink beer, booze, white wine.  but a red wine put her in the er with migraines.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bonjour on August 05, 2010, 04:21:10 PM
beers fermented warm (ales) may develop fusels which yield driving headaches
The solution is to ferment in the mid to low 60s.
Lagers are normally fermented below this point so no problem.

Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: majorvices on August 05, 2010, 04:22:52 PM
I have heard people say that "dark beers" give them head aches, but I always chalked that up to inexperience and/or a psychosomatic explanation.  ;) I suppose it is possible that the higher ester (or more likely, fusel) levels in ales could trigger a migraine. That would be the most likely explanation.

I have also heard people say that draft beer gives them headaches and bottled beer doesn't. And there is absolutely no logical explanation behind that... unless it is that they DRINK more when they aren't counting the bottles.

Bottom line, beer can cause headaches. Especially when consumed in large quantities. The worse hangovers I ever get are, without question, from Belgians. Hoppy beers seem to give me more hangovers as well. I can drink bourbon all night long and never get a hangover (though I may feel sluggish).

I once heard Mr. Jackson say that the more complex the beer, the worse hangover it gave him. And he chalked it up to there bering more chemicals creating the flavors in the more flavorful beer. That makes sense to me.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: denny on August 05, 2010, 05:15:30 PM
beers fermented warm (ales) may develop fusels which yield driving headaches
The solution is to ferment in the mid to low 60s.
Lagers are normally fermented below this point so no problem.



But aren't most commercial ales (which I think is what Charles was talking about?) fermented with pretty good temp control?  I guess it might help if we had specific examples of the beers that cause him problems.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 05, 2010, 05:21:27 PM
I has taken several years and several beers to figure this migraine issue. Did not understand that beer was such a complex creature!

Majorvices, I am reading Michael Jackson's book, "Great Beers Of Belgium". It has a lot of history and knowledge about some the worlds finest beers. The spouse and I both enjoy Lambic's, would love to brew a lambic but wow what a process.

I have a lot of studying to do here!

Why are beers from the big breweries stored and served out of aluminum kegs?

Charles

Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 05, 2010, 05:39:33 PM
Bass, New Castle, Sam Adams, Negra Modelo, most German wheat beers, just about every American made beer, other micro brewed Ales.

My body does not like foods with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, msg's and some dextrins. Have allergies to peanuts.
Is there a connection here to the Ale's.

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bonjour on August 05, 2010, 05:52:39 PM
Negra Modelo is a Vienna Lager, so not just ales.

Dextrins seems to be A common link.  All beers have them.  I didn't read the early posts, sorry.

Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 05, 2010, 06:27:58 PM
Negra Modelo, why do they label it as an Ale?

Charles
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bluesman on August 05, 2010, 06:38:39 PM
Negra Modelo, why do they label it as an Ale?

Charles


Strange but true, however it is a lager as Fred has indicated. In fact it is listed as a commercial example of a Vienna Lager under the BJCP guidelines.  Beer Advocate lists it as a Munich Dunkel.  I've had it many times and I definitely think it falls under a vienna Lager style.

I'm not sure why they label it as a dark ale when they describe it as a lager on their website.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: denny on August 05, 2010, 06:47:16 PM
Negra Modelo, why do they label it as an Ale?

Charles


Most of the time it's due to arcane state laws.  In that case, it usually has to do with alcohol content and nothing to do with the true style of the beer.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: bfogt on August 05, 2010, 07:35:03 PM
It seems to me that gluten may be the more common thing here.  Light lagers may just have a low enough level of gluten not to cause a big problem.  Celiac disease is often accompanied by migraine headaches.

Try some Bard's Tale or Redbridge and see how that works for you.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: redbeerman on August 05, 2010, 08:24:02 PM
It seems to me that gluten may be the more common thing here.  Light lagers may just have a low enough level of gluten not to cause a big problem.  Celiac disease is often accompanied by migraine headaches.

Try some Bard's Tale or Redbridge and see how that works for you.

You have a good point there.  Another thing light lagers have much less of is dextrins.  Or anything other than water pretty much.  Sounds like an allergic reaction.  That is a true bummer.
Title: Re: Old Style Bavarian Lager
Post by: rail on August 10, 2010, 05:14:57 AM
In the older style Bock Beers, how are the higher protein levels achieved with higher ABV?