Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 64912 times)

Offline redzim

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #195 on: August 10, 2012, 06:53:43 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

I do this on most but not all my lagers....   I skip it on the ones I've got really dialed in and don't even notice/care if they come out a couple points off (like Schwarzbier)

-red

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #196 on: August 10, 2012, 08:41:29 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

Yep, I do, Jim.  It's really subjective, so you might want to start with that and adjust in the future depending on what you taste.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #197 on: August 10, 2012, 09:31:08 AM »
Thanks!  Any experience with FWH in a Helles?  I think I will be doing that after my Oktoberfest is done lagering.
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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #198 on: August 10, 2012, 09:45:46 AM »
Thanks!  Any experience with FWH in a Helles?  I think I will be doing that after my Oktoberfest is done lagering.

Nope, no experience with Helles.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #199 on: August 10, 2012, 10:00:55 AM »
Thanks!  Any experience with FWH in a Helles?  I think I will be doing that after my Oktoberfest is done lagering.

Try it. The main difference between Helles and Pilsner is the bitterness and hop aroma. Some hop presence works well in a Helles. There are Helles beers in Germany that have more hop presence than some Pilsners.

Kai

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #200 on: August 10, 2012, 11:07:23 AM »
Thanks!  Any experience with FWH in a Helles?  I think I will be doing that after my Oktoberfest is done lagering.

Try it. The main difference between Helles and Pilsner is the bitterness and hop aroma. Some hop presence works well in a Helles. There are Helles beers in Germany that have more hop presence than some Pilsners.

Kai

Can you name a few. I will seek those out on my next trip to Germany. Research you know!
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #201 on: August 10, 2012, 11:50:58 AM »
Thanks!  Any experience with FWH in a Helles?  I think I will be doing that after my Oktoberfest is done lagering.

Try it. The main difference between Helles and Pilsner is the bitterness and hop aroma. Some hop presence works well in a Helles. There are Helles beers in Germany that have more hop presence than some Pilsners.

Kai

Can you name a few. I will seek those out on my next trip to Germany. Research you know!

Jeff,  Kai has a number of German beer reviews on Braukaiser and there are a few Helles listed there.

Jim
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #202 on: August 10, 2012, 01:03:17 PM »
Can you name a few. I will seek those out on my next trip to Germany. Research you know!

Try to find these:

- Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus: Tannenzaepfle - very nice Pils with a dry finish and good hop character
- Allgauer Brauhaus: Teutsch Pils - This was amazing and how a Pils should taste. Very nice hop character (http://braukaiser.com/blog/beers/2011/01/27/allgauer-brauhaus-teutsch-pils/)

These were the only two that stood out to me. A Helles that tastes as bitter as a Pils is the one brewed by Ayinger.

Kai

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #203 on: August 10, 2012, 01:10:29 PM »
- Allgauer Brauhaus: Teutsch Pils - This was amazing and how a Pils should taste. Very nice hop character (http://braukaiser.com/blog/beers/2011/01/27/allgauer-brauhaus-teutsch-pils/)

This is sold at a local bottle shop and is amazingly good.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #204 on: August 10, 2012, 01:18:07 PM »
I didn't even think that this would be available in the US. But then again, a lot of the smaller German beer brands find more appreciation in the US than in Germany.

Kai

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #205 on: August 10, 2012, 01:19:45 PM »
Can you name a few. I will seek those out on my next trip to Germany. Research you know!

Try to find these:

- Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus: Tannenzaepfle - very nice Pils with a dry finish and good hop character
- Allgauer Brauhaus: Teutsch Pils - This was amazing and how a Pils should taste. Very nice hop character (http://braukaiser.com/blog/beers/2011/01/27/allgauer-brauhaus-teutsch-pils/)

These were the only two that stood out to me. A Helles that tastes as bitter as a Pils is the one brewed by Ayinger.

Kai
Kai - thanks. I am reading on wiki often, not the Blog. Need to go there more often.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #206 on: August 10, 2012, 01:29:42 PM »
Kai - thanks. I am reading on wiki often, not the Blog. Need to go there more often.

The brewing blog is where I write more often these days. Stuff written there doesn't have to be as complete and comprehensive as on the Wiki. The beer blog is for beers I had during a 2008 trip to Germany. I had many beers on my last trip too, but not many of them stood out. I may want to add the ones that did stand out to me.

Kai

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #207 on: August 10, 2012, 01:39:49 PM »
I didn't even think that this would be available in the US. But then again, a lot of the smaller German beer brands find more appreciation in the US than in Germany.

Kai

Our local bottle shop (The Bier Stein for those in the area) has an amazing array of imported beers that I haven't seen elsewhere.  And they're generally in pristine condition.  IIRC, they have at least 3 varieties of the Allgauer.
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Offline musseldoc

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #208 on: August 12, 2012, 05:14:15 AM »
I hope I am not too late for the discussion to throw my two cents in here:

I think process, ingredients, water and fermentation play an equal role.  It is a combination of variables and no one thing.  While we have documentation of historical and current water profiles, German's cut their water with RO/DI too.  I know the Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY uses a water softener on all of their brewing water.  I have found, myself, that when I cut my tap water 50% or 75% with RO/DI I get a different beer.  Generally, I prefer the lower hardness water as the malts flavors are richer and bitterness less harsh.

There is much discussion about decoction mashing.  I have found it results in a dryer finish (due to the higher fermentability of the wort), maltier profile and more authentic taste.  I have been amazed at how much malt flavor and complexity I can get out of a Pils only recipe using a decoction mash.  However, I believe the effects of the decoction mash are minimized if you use kilned specialty malts. The melanoidins are already present in the higher kilned malts, so you don't notice the effect of the decoction like you do with Pils only beers. 

I also believe the source of the malt makes a big difference.  I have made many pils only beers using different cultivars and maltsters, and they all taste different. They all have that signature Pils sweetness, but side by side you can definitely tell they are not the same malt.  Some continental pils have too much sweetness and throw off the malt profile, for me; the resulting beers are a little less authentically German.  They come out more like French Pilsners, with almost a grape-like pils sweetness. 

Yeast makes beer, right, so no doubt yeast makes a big difference.  I would even claim that using a yeast outside of its sweet spot even results in a profile that just makes you teeter on the edge and say its just a little off from authentically German.  I think in our haste, too warm of a diacetyl rest, too soon in the process, can slightly affect the melding (oxidation, conversion and reabsorption) of flavors.  I feel I get a slightly maltier beer when I leave it at 50F for 4-8 weeks, rather than fermenting 2-3 weeks and doing a D-rest warm.  I also lose that slight, fleeting, initial sulfur character that I taste in a lot of the great German lagers when I do the warm D-rest.  This may just be due to physics and vapor pressures and such when performing a warm D-rest rather than fermenting cold continuously.  In terms of fermenting, I think of it like low and slow in barbecuing.  Yeah, you can cut an hour off your day by searing, then going low and slow, but it just isn't quite the same as slowly and continuously letting the juices leak out of your grillables and sear over a long period at low temperatures.  The hard way is usually the best way, for me.   

Then again, what is authentically German anyways.  Traditional?  Modern?  Modern lagers are changing due to economics.  If chasing the flavors of a modern, mass-produces German lager is authentic, then I don't want to be authentic anyways.   
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #209 on: August 12, 2012, 07:21:00 AM »
I have found it results in a dryer finish (due to the higher fermentability of the wort), maltier profile and more authentic taste.  I have been amazed at how much malt flavor and complexity I can get out of a Pils only recipe using a decoction mash.  However, I believe the effects of the decoction mash are minimized if you use kilned specialty malts. The melanoidins are already present in the higher kilned malts, so you don't notice the effect of the decoction like you do with Pils only beers. 

Some continental pils have too much sweetness and throw off the malt profile, for me; the resulting beers are a little less authentically German.  They come out more like French Pilsners, with almost a grape-like pils sweetness. 

If decoction makes a more fermentable beer, it doesn't do so consistently. I haven't found that to be the case. Decoction cuts down on the hot break in the kettle, which would otherwise bind with hop acids and decrease utilization. So less hot break = more bitter beer. I also suspect decoction mashing extracts more tannins which contribute to that perception of dryness. I haven't found decoction to make my beers tastes more "authentic," though I do have a slight preference for decoction over melanoidin malt, but I've made beers I enjoy without either, just using 100% base malt and single infusion.

I've noticed that grape-like pils sweetness on some beers too, but I wasn't sure what was causing that.
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