Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 64853 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #315 on: May 30, 2013, 06:19:44 AM »
That is open invite. I am in :)

If you make it over, let's go to the Czech Rep. too! I don't speak any Czech, so that'd be super convenient.
Prague is another on my list of dream European beer vacations.  I've heard amazing things from people who have been there.  Much more affordable than some of the other nearby countries.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #316 on: May 30, 2013, 06:35:41 AM »
Moving there indefinitely or temporarily? Pretty lucky, dude.

Temporarily for sure, maybe indefinitely, if I can swing it. I'll be in Aachen for my last semester of grad school, and I have a friend in Munich who might be able to get me a gig at his bank after I graduate. He also might be able to get me an internship there before I go to Aachen, it's all kind of up in the air right now.

I'm super excited. In Aachen, I'll have a bus/rail pass from school for the whole state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, so I'm planning on spending a lot of time in Köln and Düsseldorf, and making some trips to Belgium too.
Very easy to make beer runs to Belgium from Aachen (your German friends will not understand).

To really get an understanding of German lagers, you will need to travel around the country, as Aachen is not German Bier heaven. You probably know this already. Have fun.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #317 on: May 30, 2013, 07:35:03 AM »
That's very exciting that you'll be able to spend a good amount of time exploring.  My co-brewer and I started an Oktoberfund account where we have $30 from every check direct deposited into a joint account.  We're looking at going over for a couple weeks in either '14 or '15 to at least see the Munich O-fest but mostly explore the countryside a bit.
Any advice for first timers with a two week window?
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #318 on: May 30, 2013, 08:18:39 AM »
@ beersk - There is an American guy in Germany, ex-military, IIRC, who does bulk orders of hops from America. He sells them for super cheap, sometimes much cheaper than we can buy here. My friend in Munich said he paid like ~$5 USD per lb on the last order. Malt is super cheap there, as well. You can get a sack of Weyermann bopils for like $40, shipped to your door. Not nearly as many LHBSs there, but there are a handful of good online shops.

@ Hoosier - I have a friend who goes to Prague every other year or so. She loves it there. It does sound super rad, more old-school European than some of the big cities in western Europe.

@ Jeff - yeah, I know what you mean. One of the guys I talk to is from near Brackwede, between Bielefeld and Dortmund, and he has never even visited Belgium, or the Netherlands. I was kind of amazed. I mean, it's like, a day trip, and a $20 train ride. I guess if you're from there, you don't appreciate how easy it is to travel.

@ Pinski - I'll probably have more advice after I've been there for a while, but I'd say learn as much German as you can. Most Germans under about 40 can speak English passably, but many older people don't speak any English. Among the 20-30-year-olds I talk to, one is fluent, but most have big holes in their English. Between my bad German and their bad English, though, we can communicate fine. So if you can learn some German and try to meet them half-way, I bet you'd have a much better time. 

I've been to south and central America. I don't speak more than a few words of Spanish, and it was kind of a bummer. It was still awesome, but I think I would've had a much better time if my Spanish was better.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 08:20:43 AM by nateo »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #319 on: May 30, 2013, 08:46:52 AM »
My German acquaintances would travel the world - Africa, America, Asia, and even the  Arctic to the North Pole. Some had never been to parts of Germany that we traveled to. The ones that had assignments to the USA would go places I had never been though.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #320 on: May 30, 2013, 09:36:15 AM »
I have a Munich Helles that's been lagering on the yeast for a couple of weeks. I plan to keg it this weekend and start a German Pilsner with the yeast cake from the Helles.

Love them German Lagers!
What's your preferred yeast for those beers?

This time I'm using WLP830 German Lager Yeast which is the equivalent of  Wyeast's 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast, but I also like to use WLP833 (lends a bit more maltiness) for my Helles as well.
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Offline redzim

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #321 on: May 30, 2013, 11:47:22 AM »
I have a Munich Helles that's been lagering on the yeast for a couple of weeks. I plan to keg it this weekend and start a German Pilsner with the yeast cake from the Helles.

Love them German Lagers!
What's your preferred yeast for those beers?

This time I'm using WLP830 German Lager Yeast which is the equivalent of  Wyeast's 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast, but I also like to use WLP833 (lends a bit more maltiness) for my Helles as well.

I have had a couple years of great success using W-34/70 (dry) for all malty German styles: Helles, Maibock, Trad Bock, Schwarzbier, I've even used it on an Alt and a couple Oktobers....  it starts slowly, so I'll make a 1.050 Helles first, then use the cake from that for a Maibock and it goes off like a rocket.

It does work for Pilsners too.... but I find I am having to tweak water and hops to get them where I want them.

-red

Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #322 on: May 30, 2013, 01:09:06 PM »


This time I'm using WLP830 German Lager Yeast which is the equivalent of  Wyeast's 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast, but I also like to use WLP833 (lends a bit more maltiness) for my Helles as well.

I have had a couple years of great success using W-34/70 (dry) for all malty German styles: Helles, Maibock, Trad Bock, Schwarzbier, I've even used it on an Alt and a couple Oktobers....  it starts slowly, so I'll make a 1.050 Helles first, then use the cake from that for a Maibock and it goes off like a rocket.

It does work for Pilsners too.... but I find I am having to tweak water and hops to get them where I want them.

-red

I am planning on trying the 34/70 out on a Helles here soon. Why is it more troublesome for Pilsners for you?
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Offline Pinski

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #323 on: May 30, 2013, 01:30:59 PM »
I have a Munich Helles that's been lagering on the yeast for a couple of weeks. I plan to keg it this weekend and start a German Pilsner with the yeast cake from the Helles.

Love them German Lagers!
What's your preferred yeast for those beers?

This time I'm using WLP830 German Lager Yeast which is the equivalent of  Wyeast's 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast, but I also like to use WLP833 (lends a bit more maltiness) for my Helles as well.

I have had a couple years of great success using W-34/70 (dry) for all malty German styles: Helles, Maibock, Trad Bock, Schwarzbier, I've even used it on an Alt and a couple Oktobers....  it starts slowly, so I'll make a 1.050 Helles first, then use the cake from that for a Maibock and it goes off like a rocket.

It does work for Pilsners too.... but I find I am having to tweak water and hops to get them where I want them.

-red

Interesting, I find that encouraging.  I had half a batch of Dortmunder that I pitched with the Budvar strain that didn't take off after 4 days so I rehydrated and pitched with some backup 34/70.  Took off within a few hours.  That's the first time I've had a yeast not perform at all, two smackpacks worth. 
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Offline redzim

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #324 on: May 31, 2013, 04:56:14 AM »


This time I'm using WLP830 German Lager Yeast which is the equivalent of  Wyeast's 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast, but I also like to use WLP833 (lends a bit more maltiness) for my Helles as well.

I have had a couple years of great success using W-34/70 (dry) for all malty German styles: Helles, Maibock, Trad Bock, Schwarzbier, I've even used it on an Alt and a couple Oktobers....  it starts slowly, so I'll make a 1.050 Helles first, then use the cake from that for a Maibock and it goes off like a rocket.

It does work for Pilsners too.... but I find I am having to tweak water and hops to get them where I want them.

-red

I am planning on trying the 34/70 out on a Helles here soon. Why is it more troublesome for Pilsners for you?

I miss a certain aroma that I associate with classic German Pilsners like Jever, Warsteiner, Krombacher, Bitburger, Radeburger, etc.  The flavor/bitterness is fine but I find aroma lacking somehow.  Some interplay between hops, sulfates, yeast, etc. It's a puzzler.  For the maltier styles mentioned above, for some reason, it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue. YMMV.

HOWEVER I continue to use 34/70 for Pilsners because of ease of use (I can brew on a day's notice with dry yeast; no starter needed), and I'm happy that my Pils is "close enough". And also because of based on discussion on this board, a number of you also find  your Pilsners lacking that "special something" even when using different yeasts. (The more I brew, the more I think a lot of that special aroma might be oxidization...)

-red

Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #325 on: May 31, 2013, 06:35:08 AM »
Hey red, I have found that boosting the late hops in pilsners really kicks up both the flavor and aroma.  And I do agree that the certain flavor profile is most likely from oxidation.  I have noticed, for instance, that Bitburger from tap has none of those properties that I have found in the bottled version, but instead has a nice clean flavor with medium bitterness, and good hop flavor and aroma (My homebrew is still better though ;)).  It also is available in cans, which I have yet to try.
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #326 on: May 31, 2013, 06:44:57 AM »
The Germans I talk to tell me they keep all the good beer for themselves. The really good brewers don't export. I don't know if it's true, or not, but they also decry the expansion of macro-lager in Germany. Under the current German beer laws, lager brewers can use adjuncts when brewing export versions. So big brands like Krombacher or Bitburger are probably closer to Budweiser than most people think.   
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