Author Topic: That German lager flavor  (Read 123744 times)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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That German lager flavor
« Reply #360 on: February 17, 2015, 07:26:02 pm »

I've found a Hochkurtz 2 step infusion mash is my favorite and easiest.  I rest at 145 for 30 minutes, infuse with a gallon or so of boiling water up to 158, rest for 40 minutes. Get good efficiency, good head retention, and great attenuation (1.010-1.012). I've been thinking about doing this mash schedule for all my beers, regardless of style.

I do the same, only with full volume/no sparge.  Half of my water to mash i at 145, the other half to raise to 155-158, vorlauf, drain, boil.

I do this for all styles, but I'll alter the rest times depending on what I'm brewing.  Pales usually get 45/15, Porters get 15/45, others 30/30.

Are you measuring and adjusting ph at each step?


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I had the same gut reaction when I first read this. If the infusion water has low alkalinity and the mash pH at the beta rest is adjusted to be in the neighborhood of 5.4, I would expect the extra gallon of mash water to raise the pH to no higher than 5.5 or 5.6. This might even be beneficial for alpha amylase, as it has a pH optimum at 5.7.
Part of what I found to be the PITA with infusion steps. Assuming a PH OF 5.4 could be incorrect , worrisome if no measurements are being taken. Could very well be at the 5.5-5.6 in first step, or depending on the grist much lower or higher. Just takes more management.


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« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 04:31:39 am by Wort-H.O.G. »
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dfhar

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #361 on: February 17, 2015, 07:30:37 pm »
Absolutely (I edited my last posts with a few additional thoughts regarding this). No-sparge is dangerous if you don't know your water - I have measured no-sparge mashes with a pH that was 0.4 higher than the same grist at 2qt/lb.

I prefer to direct heat or use a decoction for my steps. I typically direct heat from 130 to 145, then decoct up to 160. I adjust my pH to 5.4 (measured at room temp) during my protein rest, and it always stays around there for the remainder of the mash.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 07:33:20 pm by dfhar »

Offline wobdee

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #362 on: February 18, 2015, 07:15:02 am »
Hmm, more excuses for me to purchase a PH Meter. I brew full volume no sparge and adjust my water according to Brewers Friend calculator. It always seems I need another toy with this hobby.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #363 on: February 18, 2015, 07:16:26 am »
Hmm, more excuses for me to purchase a PH Meter. I brew full volume no sparge and adjust my water according to Brewers Friend calculator. It always seems I need another toy with this hobby.

a must have IMO. i hate flying blind. even with a recipe ive brewed, any new malt or different lot can tweak the PH.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

rabeb25

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #364 on: February 18, 2015, 07:56:01 am »
That brings up a good point... What pH's do you like for the rests?

FYI, I am no sparge and build my water from scratch. I have no problems hitting really close if not dead on pH's that Brunwater predicts.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 07:59:27 am by rabeb25 »

rabeb25

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #365 on: February 18, 2015, 08:01:02 am »
I've found a Hochkurtz 2 step infusion mash is my favorite and easiest.  I rest at 145 for 30 minutes, infuse with a gallon or so of boiling water up to 158, rest for 40 minutes. Get good efficiency, good head retention, and great attenuation (1.010-1.012). I've been thinking about doing this mash schedule for all my beers, regardless of style.

I do the same, only with full volume/no sparge.  Half of my water to mash i at 145, the other half to raise to 155-158, vorlauf, drain, boil.

I do this for all styles, but I'll alter the rest times depending on what I'm brewing.  Pales usually get 45/15, Porters get 15/45, others 30/30.

Would love to see some of your results (fg's and whatnot) from your different rest times... thanks!

Offline brewday

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #366 on: February 18, 2015, 08:53:36 am »

I've found a Hochkurtz 2 step infusion mash is my favorite and easiest.  I rest at 145 for 30 minutes, infuse with a gallon or so of boiling water up to 158, rest for 40 minutes. Get good efficiency, good head retention, and great attenuation (1.010-1.012). I've been thinking about doing this mash schedule for all my beers, regardless of style.

I do the same, only with full volume/no sparge.  Half of my water to mash i at 145, the other half to raise to 155-158, vorlauf, drain, boil.

I do this for all styles, but I'll alter the rest times depending on what I'm brewing.  Pales usually get 45/15, Porters get 15/45, others 30/30.

Are you measuring and adjusting ph at each step?


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I don't.  I used to, but I can't even remember the last time that I did.  My readings were always in range as predicted by Martin and/or Kai's models each and every time, so I ditched the meter.  One less thing to deal with.

I will say that my process is very consistent.  I use RO water with all salts added in advance and one of only three base malts (TF&S MO, Avangard Pils, or Rahr Pale Ale) depending on style.
Jon Weaver

Offline brewday

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #367 on: February 18, 2015, 09:03:46 am »
I've found a Hochkurtz 2 step infusion mash is my favorite and easiest.  I rest at 145 for 30 minutes, infuse with a gallon or so of boiling water up to 158, rest for 40 minutes. Get good efficiency, good head retention, and great attenuation (1.010-1.012). I've been thinking about doing this mash schedule for all my beers, regardless of style.

I do the same, only with full volume/no sparge.  Half of my water to mash i at 145, the other half to raise to 155-158, vorlauf, drain, boil.

I do this for all styles, but I'll alter the rest times depending on what I'm brewing.  Pales usually get 45/15, Porters get 15/45, others 30/30.

Would love to see some of your results (fg's and whatnot) from your different rest times... thanks!


Sure thing.  Here are some recent batches with beta/alpha rest times, OG & FG.  The Germans got WY 1007 or WY 2565, everything else WY 1968.

ESB
45/15
1.057 -1.014

Best Bitter
45/15
1.048 - 1.012

Porter
15/45
1.060 - 1.016

Altbier
30/30
1.053 - 1.012

Sticke Altbier
45/15
1.060 - 1.012

Kolsch
45/15
1.048 - 1.009

IIPA / American Barleywine
60/15
1.090 - 1.016

APA
60/15
1.053 - 1.010
Jon Weaver

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #368 on: February 18, 2015, 11:35:25 am »
Interesting discussion, but to the topic, do you also do this with your lagers?  I have decocted in this manner 45/15 or 60/15 with some success, especially for a Munich Helles.  I've even had the second rest at 156-158F due to the uncertainty of the grist volume pulled.  I like the flavor profile achieved with at least one decoction and the head retention from the higher rest step.  I could be wrong, but it seems to have improved my lagers more than anything since doing the RO with salts and lactic adds per Brunwater....
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Offline brewday

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #369 on: February 18, 2015, 02:03:33 pm »
Interesting discussion, but to the topic, do you also do this with your lagers?  I have decocted in this manner 45/15 or 60/15 with some success, especially for a Munich Helles.  I've even had the second rest at 156-158F due to the uncertainty of the grist volume pulled.  I like the flavor profile achieved with at least one decoction and the head retention from the higher rest step.  I could be wrong, but it seems to have improved my lagers more than anything since doing the RO with salts and lactic adds per Brunwater....

My apologies - I wasn't trying to steer the topic away from lagers, just responding beersk's thought of expanding his two-step infusions to other styles.

Having said that, I'm not a lager brewer but everything you mentioned is in line with my expectations, and I would absolutely use this mash program if I were brewing lagers.  As for decoctions, I have incorporated them into these step mashes for Hefeweizens and Berliners and I like the results.
Jon Weaver

Offline beersk

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #370 on: February 19, 2015, 11:08:01 am »
Interesting discussion, but to the topic, do you also do this with your lagers?  I have decocted in this manner 45/15 or 60/15 with some success, especially for a Munich Helles.  I've even had the second rest at 156-158F due to the uncertainty of the grist volume pulled.  I like the flavor profile achieved with at least one decoction and the head retention from the higher rest step.  I could be wrong, but it seems to have improved my lagers more than anything since doing the RO with salts and lactic adds per Brunwater....
You REALLY notice a difference, huh? I may have to try one again on my next helles. I'm trying to brew a helles every 3rd batch or so just because it's a style I can drink everyday and never get tired of it. I've had poor luck with decoctions in the past though...I never seem to be able to get to my next rest from 145 to 158 and I usually pull a quart for every pound of grist, which ends up being almost all of the grist. Then I always loose several degrees while I'm boiling the decoction (even when the decoction boil is short >10). I just gave up...didn't feel it was worth the effort.
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Offline wobdee

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #371 on: February 20, 2015, 11:28:43 am »
What about length of wort boil? Could longer 2+ hour boils contribute to that German Lager flavor?

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #372 on: February 23, 2015, 05:19:06 am »
Beersk - I have lost temp, too on occasion, but I can direct fire to maintain  temp in my MLT.  Others will drain off to a prewarmed cooler to hold temp on the wort that is not being decocted.  One fellow brewer swears that decoction is the key to the "true" Munich Helles flavor profile.  He never uses Melanoiden malt.

As to longer boils, I don't think that boiling beyond 90 minutes (to drive off SMM) is necessary, but it may give you a better chance at higher amounts of Maillard reactions. I haven't done so, but iwould like to hear the comments of others.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 05:06:51 pm by ynotbrusum »
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Offline wobdee

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #373 on: February 23, 2015, 05:41:26 am »
Doesn't Pilsner Urquell boil for 2+ hours? Then if you add the triple decoction boils on top of that. It would be interesting to know the boiling lengths of other brewers.

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Re: That German lager flavor
« Reply #374 on: February 23, 2015, 05:47:43 am »
Beersmith - I have lost temp, too on occasion, but I can direct fire to maintain  temp in my MLT.  Others will drain off to a prewarmed cooler to hold temp on the wort that is not being decocted.  One fellow brewer swears that decoction is the key to the "true" Munich Helles flavor profile.  He never uses Melanoiden malt.

As to longer boils, I don't think that boiling beyond 90 minutes (to drive off SMM) is necessary, but it may give you a better chance at higher amounts of Maillard reactions. I haven't done so, but iwould like to hear the comments of others.

Browning reactions: Also known as Maillard reactions, browning reactions is the term used to describe the chemical change that occurs when a sugar solution is heated. The chemistry of the reaction begins when amino acids (liberated during mashing) and reducing sugars combine under heat to produce melanoidins, which add color and body to beer. These reactions occur during the malting process of some grains as well as in the kettle and can be very beneficial in some styles, such as Bock beers. Flavors associated with melanoidins include toffy, nutty, malty, and biscuity.

EDIT: i dont rule out a decoction schedule can do this ^^^^^.
I often wonder if either on our scale of brewing, or because there's a very precise method for achieving this, that it can be difficult to replicate what breweries perform. I may run experiment soon, taking my melanoidin and about a pound of the base malt (pils for instance) and withhold that. then boil it, mash in, and add that to the entire single infusion mash. perhaps additional melanoidins will be created and into the kettle for increased maillard reactions to occur.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 06:08:14 am by Wort-H.O.G. »
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest