Is it just me that thinks this thread was derailed a long time ago.
Leos - you make good German style beers. I would love to hear your thoughts on this....
With all due respect. There is no IT in beer overseas. I lived there half of my life and If there was IT in it would know what it is.
Now when we talk about the flavor. First it is barley. Continental barley has more flavor then domestic barley. Yes different maltsters get you a different flavors for the same style of malt. So you need to be maltster specific. You can actually blend base malt. Let say Weyernman Pilsner and Castle Pilsner.
Water is from soft to moderate. So there is a wide range. Adjust your recipe to your water.
Hops. Imported hops are fine quality and correct variety.
Yeast. Please do not tell me that 2124 is too clean and that augusteener is superb. Pick a yeast you like and work with it. You want clean beer with it, make it ferment clean. You want more esters in it ferment it that way. Fermentation flavor is dependent on vessel geometric, pitching rate and temperature. How many of you considered fermenting in open fermenter? Or open shallow fermenter?
Wort production. If you do step mashing it is less error prone and can create more fermentable wort. Not sure if decoction do too much to it. It is a good way to raise mash temp on large scale. If you have 6 vessel Brewhouse you can knock out one batch every 2 hours.
German/Czech beers sold in your local store are old beers that did sit in hot shipping container for couple of weeks. So I would not take it as a reference point. I suspect that PU in U.S. Is brewed in here. When you buy a keg it comes in Miller keg. With beer companies consolidation Europe is suffering from Euro Lager beer. This is a mass produced low flavor lager that compares to domestic mass produced lagers.
If you want to read more specifics about individual beers do a research in European product marks. You will find a lot of good info that is in English from malt modification index to final beer pH. This is on brewery bases that file for this regional mark protection.
Finally. Brew a lot and practice the art. Have fun.
Sorry for the novel.