Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 63029 times)

Offline davidgzach

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2012, 12:51:47 PM »
I would think that process would be bottom of the list, but I'm still finding that for myself.
I just didn't perceive enough of a benefit to justify doing them regularly.

+1 to that. And I agree that process is at the bottom of the list after water (for Light Lagers), yeast and ingredients. 

I seriously wish we could have this discussion over the two Spaten clones in my basement.  The difference just the yeast made is amazing!

Dave

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Offline tankdeer

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2012, 01:23:13 PM »
While admittedly I'm still fairly new into the lager game, I will say that besides obviously good fermentation & sanitation practices, that high quality ingredients seems to be key. Good lager yeast, German pils malt (I've had great results with both Weyermann & Best Malz), and fresh Noble hops. I've made some very good Helles & Pilsners using just that and single infusion mashes.
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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 06:30:53 PM »
So the general consensus seems to be that yeast plays the biggest role, followed by ingredients, followed by water, then process.  The constant being good fermentation temps and control.

So the yeast gives the beer a very clean flavor which allows the wonderful malt flavors to shine through while giving it a wonderful flavor itself...I guess I'll just have to get some patience and brew some lagers.
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Offline chumley

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2012, 08:44:26 PM »
Ummmm.....the yeast thingy is BS.  A good lager yeast pretty much will do any German beers.  My best bocks have been made with WY2278 Czech Pils.

Malt, malt, malt...MALT!!!!!!  THE DOMINATING VARIABLE!!!!

Hops, no. 2

Everything else can be readily controlled.

Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2012, 04:44:01 AM »
Ummmm.....the yeast thingy is BS.  A good lager yeast pretty much will do any German beers.  My best bocks have been made with WY2278 Czech Pils.

Malt, malt, malt...MALT!!!!!!  THE DOMINATING VARIABLE!!!!

Hops, no. 2

Everything else can be readily controlled.

Except you wouldn't want to use "C" hops in a German beer. ;)  I agree that hops should be in the background for helles, bocks, etc, but pilsners, even German examples have a pretty firm bitterness, spicy hop flavor and a crisp finish.
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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2012, 05:26:08 AM »
I would wait until a few more experienced forum members chime in before drawing too many conclusions.  I think that Jeff Rankert, Ron Price, Denny, and several others who haven't yet posted might have a few more insights.

edit: This is not to say that people who have responded aren't experienced brewers!  But as more people respond, you might find different opinions.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 06:33:26 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2012, 05:37:58 AM »
Good continental malts a crucial players in that German lager flavor. Bohemian Pil and Light Munich are my favorites. Yeast is another big player. I am a huge fan of WLP830, 833 and 838. Using noble hops is never a bad thing.

IMO, to really get that German lager flavor, use german ingredients.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 05:46:35 AM »
Water, yeast, ingredients, process.

Edit:  IF you want an authentic German lager.  You can make great beer with different water types, yeast, grains, hops, etc.  It will just not be authentic.

Dave
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 05:50:12 AM by davidgzach »
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Offline jeffy

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2012, 07:30:18 AM »
I had a German Pils that used "c" hops last night at the conference.   I loved it, but......
I think ingredients are first, including yeast.  Pils malt from Europe has a distinct flavor, the hops have to be noble, and lager yeast of any variety, but especially one that throws off a little sulphur.
I get best results with decoctions when trying for that German flavor.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2012, 07:33:37 AM »
I had a German Pils that used "c" hops last night at the conference.   I loved it, but......
I think ingredients are first, including yeast.  Pils malt from Europe has a distinct flavor, the hops have to be noble, and lager yeast of any variety, but especially one that throws off a little sulphur.
I get best results with decoctions when trying for that German flavor.

+1 for decocting. I love the way it brings those German malt flavors out.
Michael P Mitchem
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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2012, 07:46:36 AM »
Great discussion guys, I'm digging this.

Perhaps it is that sulfur flavor that I'm thinking of from the yeast...
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Offline ajk

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That German lager flavor
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2012, 07:48:04 AM »
The right lager yeast (with appropriate pitching rate and temperature control) and just the right amount of Weyermann Münich II (9L) are what make me happy. Both Wyeast and White Labs offer some great strains. I've recently done side-by-sides with Wyeast 2124 and 2487—both great yeasts but so different!  2124 is just the picture of clean, whereas 2487 throws that bock-like chewiness that really accentuates Münich and Vienna malt favors.

I've recently started using US-grown noble hop varieties such as US Tettnang and Liberty. Seems like sacrilege, but the character is indistinguishably noble, and I think fresher.

Offline ajk

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That German lager flavor
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2012, 07:52:20 AM »
Perhaps it is that sulfur flavor that I'm thinking of from the yeast...

Yes, lager yeast throws definite sulfur notes, mostly reminiscent of sulfur dioxide (struck matches) in my perception.  These notes are at very low levels—so low that many tasters don't seem to notice them—but they do change the character of the beer.

I'm not talking about the hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg) aroma thrown by some lager yeasts during fermentation—that tends to dissipate during conditioning.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2012, 08:01:30 AM »
+1.  Good thread.  Keep em coming!

I should also clarify why I think water is first.  I think the assumtion is made that one is using treated RO or decent brewing water.  That being the case, then water would fall on my list of contributing factors.  But since water is the main ingredient in beer, I put it as #1.  You cannot make an authentic Bohemian Pilsner with super hard water just as you cannot make a authentic Dortmunder with super soft water.  And crappy water cannot make any good beer!   :D

Dave
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2012, 08:33:34 AM »
I agree with Dave.  The correct water chemistry definitely influences your results positively. :)  With all beers.
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