Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 63329 times)

Offline bluesman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #180 on: August 06, 2012, 09:51:16 AM »
There may be some credence to the effects of vessel geometry and how it can affect beer flavor. For example, the pressure that is on the yeast during fermentation and how that can effect the esters produced or lack there of. Troughs vs conical, etc..

Yes, that is probably the most difficult aspect to mimic. One could try pressurized primary fermentation, which has been done on the home brewing scale.

However, I think it is possible to get to this German flavor even w/o big fermenters. For the longest time I thought the 7 day primary fermentation at 8 C is only possible b/c of the strong circulations in larger fermenters until I saw in a paper that the same primary fermentation time can also be achieved in 20 l fermenters.

Kai

I tend to agree with you. 

I have a 14.6 gallon Blichmann conical that I fermented a 5 and 10 gallon batch of the same recipe only to achieve two very different flavor profiles.  The five gallon batch had a very estery flavor profile while the ten gallon batch exhibited a much more subdued ester profile (relatively speaking).  I believe that this is related to the pressure on the yeast during fermentation.  I think that the yeast are more prone to ester production when they have less pressure upon them during fermentation.  This isn't reasonably scientific but an observation that I noted.

Ron Price

Offline onthekeg

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #181 on: August 08, 2012, 09:36:59 PM »
Most of the time if the beer is brewed in a horizontal vessel, there is less pressure than with a vertical one such as a conical.
I believe historically German's used barrels for lagering.


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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #182 on: August 09, 2012, 06:17:07 AM »
Most of the time if the beer is brewed in a horizontal vessel, there is less pressure than with a vertical one such as a conical.
I believe historically German's used barrels for lagering.


Yes, but it's probably not as common today.  My original intent was to find that "flavor" present in Spaten or Weihenstephaner lagers.  From what Kai says, it sounds like he is even still searching for it......
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #183 on: August 09, 2012, 06:43:04 AM »
I believe that "flavor" you are looking for may be related to late hop additions.  Ron made a Helles earlier this year that was somewhat over hopped at the end making it more of a pilsner, but the flavor that the late hops imparted reminided me very much of the elusive flavor that we have been looking for in our lagers.  More experimentation needs to be done, of course, but the results from this happy (hoppy?) accident are very promising.  I haven't yet had time to brew a helles using this hopping strategy (adding all late hops after 5 minutes left in the boil, no flavor addition), but I plan on doing one in the near future.  It will be a SMASH using German pils malt, Mittelfruh hops and WLP833 yeast.  It may sound strange getting a flavor component from an aroma charge, but I think the results will prove it out.  Please stand by............
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #184 on: August 09, 2012, 07:00:44 AM »
To comment on the effects of fermenter geometry, I found this German article (http://www.sachverstand-gutachten.de/veroeffentlichungen/veroeffentlichungen_brauerei_gaerungsnebenprodukte_braum_09_05.html) a while back. There is one pargraph worth translating:

Quote
When 25 years ago most big breweries moved from vats to conicals for fermentation they realizes that the necessary brewing procedures also depends on the available technology. In other words the change in fermenter geometry changes the flavor of the beer significantly of the rest of the brewing process is kept the same

This tells me that there is a lot of compensating that is done in breweries just to keep the beer flavor changes to a minimum. I suspect that if the beer flavor is allowed to change this change has to be gradual so it is not noticed by the consumer.

@redbeerman, yes I do think that the right hop presence in the aroma has a lot to do with that typical German flavor. My experiences however is that FWH and/or fairly early aroma hop additions do better than late aroma additions.

Kai

Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #185 on: August 09, 2012, 11:29:17 AM »
Have not tried FWH yet in a lager, but I know 20-10min additions won't give me the results I'm looking for.
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Offline denny

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #186 on: August 09, 2012, 11:48:49 AM »
Have not tried FWH yet in a lager, but I know 20-10min additions won't give me the results I'm looking for.

I always FWH my German pils and Maibock and I love the results.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #187 on: August 09, 2012, 11:52:25 AM »
Have not tried FWH yet in a lager, but I know 20-10min additions won't give me the results I'm looking for.

I always FWH my German pils and Maibock and I love the results.

That sounds awesome, especially with the mellow bitterness you get from a FWH. I will try that once on my next Maibock, which was said to "need a little more hop bitterness" at NHC this year. Good tip!
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Offline bluesman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #188 on: August 09, 2012, 01:23:31 PM »
Have not tried FWH yet in a lager, but I know 20-10min additions won't give me the results I'm looking for.

I always FWH my German pils and Maibock and I love the results.

I'm going to try FWH my Ofest tomorrow.  I've never tried it on a German lager.  Should be interesting.
Ron Price

Offline malzig

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #189 on: August 09, 2012, 06:17:51 PM »
Have not tried FWH yet in a lager, but I know 20-10min additions won't give me the results I'm looking for.
I always FWH my German pils and Maibock and I love the results.
I FWH all my German Lagers. My favorite Dunkel might come out with a little too much hop flavor (surprisingly much, considering how little hops go into the FWH, which is the only hop charge), but I love it. 

Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #190 on: August 10, 2012, 04:27:21 AM »
Denny, do you calculate bitterness as a ~ 20 minute boil addition for FWH?  This is something that has caused me some confusion in the past, since it's more about perception of bitterness than actual bitterness.

Thanks,

Jim
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #191 on: August 10, 2012, 05:29:25 AM »
What would the FWH addition look like for a German Pils?  And what would the rest of the additions look like?

Denny, IIRC, you calculate the perceived bitterness from a FWH addition as being similar to that of a 20 minute addition.  In addition to a 20 minute addition, I usually do 10, 5, and 0 minute additions for my German Pils.  If I were to FWH my Pils, would I still do the 10, 5, and 0 minute additions?
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Offline redzim

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #192 on: August 10, 2012, 05:47:33 AM »

A few month back I got pointed to a very good German TV documentary that highlighted how German beer had lost its way. For posterity, here is the link (http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1656374/ZDFzoom-Hopfen-und-Malz-verloren!#/beitrag/video/1656374/ZDFzoom-Hopfen-und-Malz-verloren) there are a few German speakers on this forum for which that might be useful.

Kai

Interesting film, just watched the first third of  it and will have to finish later...  and I think your other comments are unfortunately right on, in that there is no ONE thing to do to get that German beer experience except for us all to keep trying little tweaks to our various processes and sharing them here!  I've certainly gotten closer over the last 2 years and 8 or so batches of Pilsner plus at least that many other German styles (Helles, O-Fest, Schwarz, a variety of Bocks), thanks mainly to info and suggestions from you folks on this forum...

One thing I do have to say is that since adding a warmer-than-I-would-have-thought (~65-70F) maturation rest to my German beers, usually for only 48 hrs, I like the results... I think it does help to hit those final gravities and attenuate the beer out more fully.  I may have to try that for a week as Kai suggests...

-red

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #193 on: August 10, 2012, 05:53:38 AM »

A few month back I got pointed to a very good German TV documentary that highlighted how German beer had lost its way. For posterity, here is the link (http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1656374/ZDFzoom-Hopfen-und-Malz-verloren!#/beitrag/video/1656374/ZDFzoom-Hopfen-und-Malz-verloren) there are a few German speakers on this forum for which that might be useful.

Kai

Interesting film, just watched the first third of  it and will have to finish later...  and I think your other comments are unfortunately right on, in that there is no ONE thing to do to get that German beer experience except for us all to keep trying little tweaks to our various processes and sharing them here!  I've certainly gotten closer over the last 2 years and 8 or so batches of Pilsner plus at least that many other German styles (Helles, O-Fest, Schwarz, a variety of Bocks), thanks mainly to info and suggestions from you folks on this forum...

One thing I do have to say is that since adding a warmer-than-I-would-have-thought (~65-70F) maturation rest to my German beers, usually for only 48 hrs, I like the results... I think it does help to hit those final gravities and attenuate the beer out more fully.  I may have to try that for a week as Kai suggests...

-red
The wife and I watched that program a while back, and were able to follow it pretty well with our meager German skills. Thought it was a good report on the state of German brewing.

When Kai mentioned the 70F rest, well that caught my eye. Will try that on my next Pils.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #194 on: August 10, 2012, 06:33:43 AM »
One thing I do have to say is that since adding a warmer-than-I-would-have-thought (~65-70F) maturation rest to my German beers, usually for only 48 hrs, I like the results... I think it does help to hit those final gravities and attenuate the beer out more fully.  I may have to try that for a week as Kai suggests...

red, unless you are already doing this, start doing the fast ferment test: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fast_Ferment_Test . It's result will help you guide your fermentation. W/o it you'll be flying in the dark.

Kai