Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 64886 times)

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #240 on: August 19, 2012, 07:22:15 PM »
Back to FWH.

I have to say that earlier hops additions gives me harsher and lingering bitterness.
Not sure why FWH would not do the same.

This is my experience.
Kind of learned it hard way with 350 gallons of beer.

In George Fix's book, principles of brewing science, he sites the blind taste tests where FWH was show to have a cleaner, less harsh bitter taste, despite having higher measured IBU's.  I think Gordon goes into this in his book too, and he is a big believer in FWH.  I only tried it once with an APA.  I took a medal at a fairly large competition (300+ entries), and my scoresheets described the beer as malty and dry with a bright hop flavor and no harsh bitterness.  I am fairly convinced that FWH does produce different flavors than 60 minute additions.  I know Jamil is not sold on it tho. 

I know that regardless of traditional or FWH,when I use a low alpha hop to get a lot of IBU's, then I get a lot of vegetal material (polyphenols) dissolved in the beer and it comes out grassy and astringent.  To me, that makes the bitterness harsh.

If FWH works for you, go for it.
This is not my experience and I did it a few times.
Could be my water or my process.
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On Tap At The TapRoom:
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Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
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American Brown Ale
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #241 on: August 19, 2012, 08:29:12 PM »
If FWH works for you, go for it.
This is not my experience and I did it a few times.
Could be my water or my process.

Thirsty,

You are not the first one that reports that FWH doesn't work. Is it just the harsh bitterness or also the lack of flavor and aroma? I too wonder why. Could it be that you expect something else? I think the flavor and aroma one gets from FWH is not the same that you get from a late hop addition.

My current theory is that FWH has to do with oxidation of hop compounds. However, what if its some enzymes active in the FW that are responsible for flavor and aroma of FW hops surviving the boil.

Kai
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 08:33:38 PM by Kaiser »

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #242 on: August 20, 2012, 06:32:23 AM »
Is it just the harsh bitterness or also the lack of flavor and aroma? I too wonder why. Could it be that you expect something else? I think the flavor and aroma one gets from FWH is not the same that you get from a late hop addition.

From mentioned hop schedule I got sharp and lingering bitterness.
I thought that it was sharper because it had more Saaz and lingering because I added it at 75 min.

I also use 10 min Saaz addition for aroma.

People commented if I "Changed the sanitizer". I have messed with recipe before. From time to time you can not get the same malts and I have to use substitute. I never had returned beer before. People who knew my pilsner were not very happy.

I think mine water composition to why I do not like FWH, Melenoiden malt and WY2178 and other people are just fine with it.
Na Zdravie

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

Offline Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #243 on: August 20, 2012, 07:02:04 AM »
Thanks.

In the near future I actually plan to ferment 5 1 gal Pilsner batches from the same wort but with different hopping schedules. I think that getting the hopping right will be key to an authentic Pils and I want a good side-by side of the hopping options.

Kai

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #244 on: August 20, 2012, 07:10:09 AM »
I would not be surprised if the water in Eau Claire is hard and alkaline.  That area is prone to that. 

I assume that Thirsty is properly controlling alkalinity and pH of mash and kettle wort.  If that pH was a little high, that could make the hop flavor coarser and less pleasant. 

I have found FWH to be quite effective in my ales.  I haven't made a hop-forward lager, so I can't comment on the effect there. 
Martin B
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #245 on: August 20, 2012, 04:34:12 PM »
I will post this month water report when I take picture of the report.
Na Zdravie

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

Offline narvin

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #246 on: August 20, 2012, 10:17:24 PM »
I had a Bier-Hannes Zwickel Pils today that a coworker brought over in his suitcase from Frankfurt.  Even for not being a typical lager (served fresh, i.e. cloudy), it had that lager flavor of bready grains with slight sulfur. 

The "best by" date was 28-10-2012, but I'm not really sure what this means in terms of the bottling date.  It's entirely possible that it has been sitting at room temperature for 6 months, so some aging and slight oxidation could have occurred.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #247 on: August 22, 2012, 01:02:41 PM »
Water report from Aug 1 2012.
City Of Eau Claire.
all in mg/L

Calcium   20
Chloride  13.0
Chlorine  1.0

Magnesium 6.8
Manganese <0.02

Nitrate-Nitrogen 1.1
pH   8.9 (guess this is not in mg/L)
Potassium 0.9
Sodium  7.9

Sulfate (Not listed but I have found older source (from city water dept) that lister 5.8)
Total Alkalinity 82.0
Total Hardness 104.0
Total Solids  144.5

This water report is from city (NOT from Ward Lab).
Na Zdravie

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

Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #248 on: August 22, 2012, 01:59:46 PM »
That's pretty low in minerals, seems to me the harshness wouldn't be coming from that.
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Offline narvin

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #249 on: August 22, 2012, 02:06:55 PM »
You do have moderate alkalinity with little calcium, which could cause an elevated pH for light colored beers.  If you aren't lowering the pH with acid, this does cause a harsher bitterness.  I don't know if this would affect FWH more than using a bittering and flavor addition instead, but perhaps it could because of the longer boil time?
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Chris S.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #250 on: August 22, 2012, 05:40:28 PM »
Yes I add lactic acid to lower pH of the mash. I also adjust the sulfate to chloride to be balanced to malty depending on beer.
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On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #251 on: August 22, 2012, 05:41:50 PM »
I think Chris nailed it.  The alkalinity is fairly high and the hardness is modest.  The residual alkalinity is in the 60 ppm range and that could be problematic for a light beer like a pils.  Slight acidification of both mash and sparge water appears needed for brewing a light beer with this water.  High kettle pH of the wort can increase the harshness perception of hopping. 

Thirsty, make sure your wort pH in the kettle ends up in the 5.3 to 5.4 range when measured at room temperature.
Martin B
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #252 on: August 23, 2012, 08:02:39 AM »
Thirsty, make sure your wort pH in the kettle ends up in the 5.3 to 5.4 range when measured at room temperature.
Martin,

I used to measure the wort pH and I was always in the range. I do not do it now but I will start again.
My HLT is not large enough to hold all the liquid for brew session and I always add more water to it as I brew.

If I find that my wort pH is higher can I add more lactic acid to it?
Na Zdravie

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

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #253 on: September 07, 2012, 05:39:12 AM »
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!
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #254 on: September 07, 2012, 10:15:16 AM »
If I find that my wort pH is higher can I add more lactic acid to it?

Sorry, I didn't see this post earlier.  Yes, if you find that the wort pH in the kettle is higher than your target, then adding an acid to the kettle is a good idea.  Having a high wort pH can make the bittering and hop character a little rougher. 

Of course, if the sparging water has already been treated to have low alkalinity or it natually has low alkalinity (like RO) and the pH in the mash is kept in the desired range, then its unlikely that the wort pH in the kettle will be out of range.  Focus on all the contributors before adding a band aid at the end, if at all possible.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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