Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 63026 times)

Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #270 on: September 17, 2012, 07:23:02 AM »
...but I'm more interested in that flavor in Spaten helles or dunkel, or the flavor of a nice bock or doppelbock.

For the Dunkel and the Doppelbock, I think aging the beer is key.

Kai
Good to know.
I tapped a keg of dunkel this weekend and it tastes very good, I'm quite happy with it. It may still be missing just a hint of that mysterious flavor, but it's still very nice tasting. It had only been lagering for about 4 weeks, but the gravity was pretty low, only ended up being about 4.4% abv.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #271 on: October 20, 2012, 05:24:35 PM »

Kettle acidicfication allows you to run your mash at a higher, more optimal pH for starch conversion, while keeping the kettle pH optimal for protein coagulation, bitterness quality and cast-out pH. With higher mash pH you may actually get a lower beer pH. This has to do with a increase of the wort's pH buffer capacity due to phytase that is more active at lower mash pH.


Very good point.  Not a band aid.

Well time had come to taste my Pilsner.
The same recipe as last two brews.
First hops additions was 60 min (just to make sure) and I added lactic acid for sparge water to BK.
I did not measure pH of BK (me bad).

Results.
Looking pretty good.
No harsh bitterns at all.

I am brewing Pilsner tomorrow. I will measure pH of BK.
Thank you guys.
Na Zdravie

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

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #272 on: October 21, 2012, 08:36:46 AM »
pH of first batch was 5.0 with coloroHast strips on sunlight.
There is an adjustment factor to it that I do not remember right now.
Na Zdravie

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

Offline mabrungard

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #273 on: October 21, 2012, 08:51:03 AM »
The pH adjustment with colorpHast strips is somewhere around 0.2 to 0.3 units higher, so your strip reading of 5.0 suggests that you were in the desirable range of 5.2 to 5.3 for the mash.  That aspect shouldn't give you trouble.
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Offline muhleisenmatt

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #274 on: November 16, 2012, 08:47:23 AM »
Hey Guys,

My first post having just joined the AHA a few weeks back.  I've been brewing fairly consistently for the last 3-4 years.  Like all of you I have made some bad beers and some good ones but I keep improving, which is good. 

Anyways, like the OP, I am a sucker for that 'German Lager Flavor' which I can only describe as light bready/malty with a grape-like flavor in the finish that is so unique and refreshing. 

I double decocted an Oktoberfest back in March and did the typical fermentation schedule, giving it 2 months of lagering before I kegged it and let it sit in a keg until my Oktoberfest party in early October.  I took occasional samples through the summer and while it always tasted good, it wasn't until right around the time of the party that it really took a turn for the better.  I tasted all those great flavors that I've always loved in a good German lager.  It even had the mysterious grape-like finish.  Not to toot my own horn, but I enjoyed that beer as much as any lager I've ever had.  Ever.  Too bad for me, so did everyone else at my party.

At any rate, the decoction mash I think helped.  I really dialed in my water chemistry to give me a good pH while also keeping the mineral content low but balanced just to the malty side.  I'd be happy to share my entire recipe for anyone interested.

This is a long reply that only serves to agree with what Kai and other have said.  A good long aging period (in my case 7 months from brewday) really made my lager fantastic.  I can't wait to do it again, next time I'll make more than 5 gallons!

Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #275 on: November 16, 2012, 08:57:28 AM »
Nice to hear, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.  Post that recipe and water profile if you want, I'd like to see it, at least.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #276 on: November 16, 2012, 09:09:38 AM »
I've been reading this thread from the start.  Posted a few times I think.  I tried something new with my past couple of German Lagers that has really changed the game for me and made that "wow, that's amazing" beer. 

This may be back there somewhere, but I have been lagering on the cake, in primary for 2-3 weeks before kegging.  I'll let it finish out, raise it to 65F if it's not at FG, then bring it down 2-3F every day until I'm at 36F.  I leave it there for 2-3 weeks, then keg and continue lagering until I need a beer on tap.  I took one out the other day that was kegged for only a week as an emergency party continuer, and it was great.  Not only clean, but really had "That German Lager Flavor". 

Just passing along my experience with this.

Dave
Dave Zach

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #277 on: November 16, 2012, 02:40:18 PM »
There is a Dunkel in the kegerator that was always a good one. Didn't have it on tap for a while. It is now excellent. The BJCP judges at the last club meeting said 44-45 points in a competition. The longer lagering and the Redox that goes on has really helped this one.

80% dark Munich, ~19% pils, ~1% Carafa for color, WLP-833, and some HM for hops to 20 IBU. Hochkurtz Decoction also. Simple recipe, excellent beer.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #278 on: November 17, 2012, 05:32:48 PM »
Long lagering time seems to be the key more than anything else, I'm gathering.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #279 on: November 18, 2012, 08:14:44 AM »
I've been reading this thread from the start.  Posted a few times I think.  I tried something new with my past couple of German Lagers that has really changed the game for me and made that "wow, that's amazing" beer. 

This may be back there somewhere, but I have been lagering on the cake, in primary for 2-3 weeks before kegging.  I'll let it finish out, raise it to 65F if it's not at FG, then bring it down 2-3F every day until I'm at 36F.  I leave it there for 2-3 weeks, then keg and continue lagering until I need a beer on tap.  I took one out the other day that was kegged for only a week as an emergency party continuer, and it was great.  Not only clean, but really had "That German Lager Flavor". 

Just passing along my experience with this.

Dave

I have lagered on the primary yeast for as long as 8 weeks.  The result is a very clean tasting, beautifully clear beer.  My usual is at leat 4 weeks.  I have learned to not be in a hurry when it comes to lagers.
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Offline muhleisenmatt

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #280 on: November 18, 2012, 08:56:25 AM »
Nice to hear, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.  Post that recipe and water profile if you want, I'd like to see it, at least.

OK, this recipe is based around JZ's recipe from 'Brewing Classic Styles'.  But, in anticipation of higher efficiency due to the decoction, I adjusted my grains as I saw fit and deviated slightly from his recipe.

As a quick side note, I've focused on water chemistry this year (about 16 batches) and I feel like I'm brewing much better beer.  Here my recipe:

Water Chemistry:
50% Mountain Valley Spring Water (I live in Northwest Arkansas so have easy access to this water)
50% Distilled water
~3g CaCl for every 5 gallons of brewing water
~2g CaSO4 for every 5 gallons of brewing water

Based on Palmer's Residual Alkalinity worksheet, the above ratios yield:
Ca - 102ppm
Mg - 4ppm
Alkalinity as CaCO3 - 95
Na - 1ppm
Cl - 78ppm
Sulfate - 64ppm

Grains:
Weyermann German Pilsner - 4#
Briess Munich 10L - 3.5#
Briess Vienna - 2.5#
Crystal 60L - 0.5#
Belgian Cara45 - 0.5#

Hochkurz Double Decoction.  First Sacc rest at 146F for 60minutes.  Second Sacc rest at 158F for 30min. 85% efficiency.  Preboil gravity on 7.5 gallons was ~1.044.

90 minute boil to reduce to 6 gallons, racking 5.5 gallons to primary.  6 gallon OG was 1.055.

Hops:
1.1oz Hallertau (5.7AA) at 60min
0.4oz Hallertau at 20min

My cooling setup is pretty pathetic and I was only able to cool to about 65F.

Pitched WLP820 Oktoberfest yeast which I had built up off one vial and a 2-stage starter.  1 liter to get the viability up and the yeast active, then cooled and decanted.  Pitched into a 2 liter starter to get cell count where I wanted it.

Obviously pitched warm but put in fridge set at 49F (I don't have an O2 stone or anything like that...when I rack to my primary fermentor I keep the vinyl tubing at the opening of the carboy so the beer splashes and tumbles into the fermentor, has worked well for me in my opinion).  Took almost 48 hours to show good signs of fermentation (i.e. krausen).  Primary for 3 weeks.  Diacetyl rest at 60F for 4 days then cooled slowly to 40F over the next 3 days and racked to secondary on day 28.  Gravity was ~1.017 when racked.

Lagered for 9 weeks (this wasn't premeditated, rather just when I was able to finally keg based on other life activities) at 34F before kegging.  Put into kegerator under 12psi at 45F for 17 weeks until my Okto party.

I think that covers most of the recipe....any questions let me know.  Again, this was my favorite beer I've ever made and I plan to do it again, on a larger scale.  It demanded patience but was worth it.


Offline musseldoc

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #281 on: December 25, 2012, 11:25:50 AM »
John Palmer made a statement about noble hops and German beer on his last interview with BeerSmith.  He claimed that the oxidized beta acids are largely responsible for the bittering of German beers and the characteristic noble hop character.  Anyone investigated this with their beers?  Any discussion on that interview in regards to this thread?
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Online Kaiser

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #282 on: December 26, 2012, 06:29:31 AM »
I'm not sure about the oxidized beta acids. German brewers do take care not to oxidize hops too much. In fact, most of the time they are using hop extract which stores very well.

At the ANHC I mentioned that the German hop character in beers is likely from aroma compounds that oxidize in the boil. I'm not sure if John misunderstood that comment.

Kai

Offline bluesman

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #283 on: December 26, 2012, 10:47:29 AM »
I have lagered on the primary yeast for as long as 8 weeks.  The result is a very clean tasting, beautifully clear beer.  My usual is at leat 4 weeks.  I have learned to not be in a hurry when it comes to lagers.

+1

This has been my experience as well. 

Someday I'd like to try an experiment by splitting a  ten gallon batch using the same yeast but lagering one batch on the yeast and the other racked into a keg to lager off of the primary yeast. Then do some blind tasting to determine the differences, if any.
Ron Price

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #284 on: December 28, 2012, 09:49:16 AM »
For those that lager on yeast, are you doing this in a topped up carboy?  A carboy with some head sapce?  Or transferring the beer to a keg with a good amount of the yeast?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO