Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 64850 times)

Online Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #255 on: September 07, 2012, 10:45:25 AM »
I wouldn't call kettle wort acidification a band-aid. There are legitimate reasons to acidify in the mash and kettle or only one place. I have been using kettle acidification on occasions.

Kettle acidicfication allows you to run your mash at a higher, more optimal pH for starch conversion, while keeping the kettle pH optimal for protein coagulation, bitterness quality and cast-out pH. With higher mash pH you may actually get a lower beer pH. This has to do with a increase of the wort's pH buffer capacity due to phytase that is more active at lower mash pH.

If the Kettle acidification is necessary because alkaline sparge water increases pH too much, I do agree that sparge water acidification is a better approach.

Kai

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #256 on: September 07, 2012, 12:17:10 PM »
Reviving this thread just to say that I had the opportunity to pick up three growlers of Leos' beer on the way to my family's cabin in WI last weekend.  I got to try his Vienna Lager, Bohemian Pils, and Czech Dark Lager.  All were absolutely top notch brews!  The Vienna was smooth and malty with a nice crisp finish.  The Czech Dark had a rich and slightly robust malt quality -- almost earthy -- while remaining very drinkable.  And the BoPils was fantastic too.  In fact, we ran out of that one first. ;)

Great work, Leos!

Thank you Matt. Glad you like the beers.
Vienna was just a little bit bigger then usual.

We will start canning before Christmas but still no plans to go over the border.
Pilsner will be first to go.
I am quite exited about that.
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On Tap At The TapRoom:
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Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #257 on: September 07, 2012, 12:25:31 PM »
I wouldn't call kettle wort acidification a band-aid. There are legitimate reasons to acidify in the mash and kettle or only one place. I have been using kettle acidification on occasions.

Kettle acidicfication allows you to run your mash at a higher, more optimal pH for starch conversion, while keeping the kettle pH optimal for protein coagulation, bitterness quality and cast-out pH. With higher mash pH you may actually get a lower beer pH. This has to do with a increase of the wort's pH buffer capacity due to phytase that is more active at lower mash pH.

If the Kettle acidification is necessary because alkaline sparge water increases pH too much, I do agree that sparge water acidification is a better approach.

Kai

My HLT, MT and BK are the same size. What this means is that HLT is undersized and I need to refill it when I sparge. This is where the challenge is to acidify the water in HLT. I also double brew in one day so I constantly refill HLT and my main concern there is to maintain the water temperature.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline mabrungard

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #258 on: September 07, 2012, 12:43:17 PM »

Kettle acidicfication allows you to run your mash at a higher, more optimal pH for starch conversion, while keeping the kettle pH optimal for protein coagulation, bitterness quality and cast-out pH. With higher mash pH you may actually get a lower beer pH. This has to do with a increase of the wort's pH buffer capacity due to phytase that is more active at lower mash pH.


Very good point.  Not a band aid.
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Online Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #259 on: September 07, 2012, 02:00:31 PM »
Thirsty, when amount of acid you need in the   MLT depends on alkalinity and volume. You could add premeasured amounts of acid when you (re) fill the MLT.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #260 on: September 07, 2012, 06:48:42 PM »
Thirsty, when amount of acid you need in the   MLT depends on alkalinity and volume. You could add premeasured amounts of acid when you (re) fill the MLT.
Good Point. Thank you.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline redzim

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #261 on: September 13, 2012, 01:09:36 PM »
Just got back from two weeks in Germany (near Jena in Thüringen if anyone knows the area) and of course took the opportunity to "recalibrate" the palate.  Interestingly,  I found, while sampling a number of regional and national German Pilsners, some in bottles, some "vom Fass", (Köstritzer, Ur-Krostitzer, Wernesgrüner, König, Saalfelder, Jever, Radeberger, Bitburger are the ones I can remember)  that what I am chasing as a German Pils aroma over here in the US seems to be mostly muted or subdued in Germany, and in some cases it is non-existent (for example in Ur-Krostitzer which I had from the tap at a reputable place run by friends of my brother, that I know plows through the stuff, so I know it was quite fresh).

I've heard/read some comments along those lines but would be interested what others who have been to Germany recently think on this issue....  is it possible that some of what we are discussing here is just a bit of oxidation, perhaps some light- and heat-struck issues, etc, rather than an actual "good" component of a beer that we should be trying to emulate?

Just a thought...

-red

Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #262 on: September 14, 2012, 08:26:30 AM »
Just got back from two weeks in Germany (near Jena in Thüringen if anyone knows the area) and of course took the opportunity to "recalibrate" the palate.  Interestingly,  I found, while sampling a number of regional and national German Pilsners, some in bottles, some "vom Fass", (Köstritzer, Ur-Krostitzer, Wernesgrüner, König, Saalfelder, Jever, Radeberger, Bitburger are the ones I can remember)  that what I am chasing as a German Pils aroma over here in the US seems to be mostly muted or subdued in Germany, and in some cases it is non-existent (for example in Ur-Krostitzer which I had from the tap at a reputable place run by friends of my brother, that I know plows through the stuff, so I know it was quite fresh).

I've heard/read some comments along those lines but would be interested what others who have been to Germany recently think on this issue....  is it possible that some of what we are discussing here is just a bit of oxidation, perhaps some light- and heat-struck issues, etc, rather than an actual "good" component of a beer that we should be trying to emulate?

Just a thought...

-red

Some of what we experience here in bottled commercial examples is without a doubt oxidation and perhaps light-struck.  I calibrate my pils palate with Bitburger on tap from my local German restaurant.  There is firm bitterness from the hops and a crisp finish.  there is also some nice aroma as well and we have found, on the homebrew scale anyway, that this can be attained through generous late hop additions.  Had a fairly fresh Konig Pilsner last night from a bottle and it did not have the flavor from oxidation that some get.  It was also packaged in the sixpack that does not let light in.  It was quite nice.
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Online Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #263 on: September 14, 2012, 10:27:56 AM »
I totally forgot to reply to red’s post. I read it on my phone and wanted to give a more lengthy response w/o writing it on the phone.

I studied in that area on Germany and have been to Jena many times.

If you are looking for a good German pilsner, you have to search for them these days. Major brand Pilsners like Bitburger, Hasseroeder, etc. are becoming more and more bland. They are the German equivalent of Budweiser. No hop aroma and very little bitterness for the style. This is why German brewers also have a hard time winning in the Pils category at big international Beer comps. You’ll have to go off the beaten path and seek out smaller brands that you find in well stocked beverage markets in Germany. Don’t be afraid to buy lots of different beers and pour them out when you don’t like them. This way you can cover a lot of ground w/o getting wasted.

It’s difficult to tell exactly how a good German Pils should taste when even in Germany it’s difficult to find good examples.  I mentioned Algaeuer’s Teutsch Pils and Rothaus’s Tannenzaepfle Pils as 2 examples of Beers that stood out to me in Germany. There are likely more, but you have to find them.

Kai

Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #264 on: September 15, 2012, 06:16:45 PM »
Just got back from two weeks in Germany (near Jena in Thüringen if anyone knows the area) and of course took the opportunity to "recalibrate" the palate.  Interestingly,  I found, while sampling a number of regional and national German Pilsners, some in bottles, some "vom Fass", (Köstritzer, Ur-Krostitzer, Wernesgrüner, König, Saalfelder, Jever, Radeberger, Bitburger are the ones I can remember)  that what I am chasing as a German Pils aroma over here in the US seems to be mostly muted or subdued in Germany, and in some cases it is non-existent (for example in Ur-Krostitzer which I had from the tap at a reputable place run by friends of my brother, that I know plows through the stuff, so I know it was quite fresh).

I've heard/read some comments along those lines but would be interested what others who have been to Germany recently think on this issue....  is it possible that some of what we are discussing here is just a bit of oxidation, perhaps some light- and heat-struck issues, etc, rather than an actual "good" component of a beer that we should be trying to emulate?

Just a thought...

-red

I certainly wouldn't be surprised if that flavor we all seek is just the oxidation/light struck flavor.  Might be chasing ghosts...which is sad if it's true.
This seems to have come to focus on the pils flavor, but I'm more interested in that flavor in Spaten helles or dunkel, or the flavor of a nice bock or doppelbock.
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Online Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #265 on: September 15, 2012, 07:04:44 PM »
...but I'm more interested in that flavor in Spaten helles or dunkel, or the flavor of a nice bock or doppelbock.

For the Dunkel and the Doppelbock, I think aging the beer is key.

Kai

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #266 on: September 16, 2012, 09:11:56 AM »
...but I'm more interested in that flavor in Spaten helles or dunkel, or the flavor of a nice bock or doppelbock.

For the Dunkel and the Doppelbock, I think aging the beer is key.

Kai

Having tried Kai's beers, I have to say that if he's aging them to get that flavor, it's the right thing to do.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #267 on: September 16, 2012, 06:25:19 PM »
I base my "German" flavor on the German beer that my friend brings back from Germany - he travels there at least twice a month, but he usually brings back Franfurt area beers, like Binding, Licher and Henninger.  I know that they are as mass produced as any other like Spaten or Augustiner, but I like them and they are extremely fresh.

I stop and pick up Leo's beers at least twice a year and they taste very good and I think that they mimic the German profile very well.

I have been fermenting cold with bottled spring water and calcium chloride additions and most of my friends are pretty happy with the results.  I try to stay consistent with my methods, but I don't have a pH meter to test acidity levels.  For the average homebrewer, I think the best we can do is make a style over and over and over until we get what we like.

All that having been said, it is interesting to hear from those of you that have the science behind the process to help us non-science types cut down on the trials and errors.  Please keep up the posting, as it helps the intermediate brewers greatly.
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Offline craigevo

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #268 on: September 17, 2012, 01:44:55 AM »
Martin, when you say make sure your wort pH in the kettle ends up in the 5.3 to 5.4 range when measured at room temperature...

Do you mean pH at the start of the boil or end of the boil ?

Offline mabrungard

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #269 on: September 17, 2012, 05:43:43 AM »
That is a Start of boil pH.
Martin B
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