Author Topic: That German Lager flavor, round 2  (Read 5071 times)

Offline redzim

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2013, 06:05:46 AM »
Thanks for posting, nateo.  That was an interesting read.  I used to decoct a lot of my German lagers.  I stopped doing that last summer, opting for single-infusion mashes instead.
Any difference? I did a Vienna a couple weeks back, just an infusion. Will see what I think in a few months.

The Vienna recipe I use (it started as a Negro Modelo clone from one of the Szamatulski [sp?] books but I've tweaked it over a few years)   has just a single infusion at 150F; I've been quite happy with it over 4 or 5 batches....

-red

Offline beersk

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2013, 07:59:53 AM »
One of the things I've learned, talking to German people, is that "Germany" is kind of an abstract concept, while the historically independent regions (Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony, Franconia, etc) are very much still how Germans think about their country. "Germany" is a fairly recent invention, so "German" lager flavor is a bit of a misnomer.
Deutschland is how they think of it. Germany is what we call it.

Of course, the Franconians will tell you they are not really Bavarian.
A German woman challenged me when I said there was a German beer that had banana and clove flavors.  I told her it was common to Bavaria, and she said something like "Oh, that's Bavaria, you said German".
That's funny. What's the deal with wanting to separate everything? Bavaria is somehow not German, to her? It's a region of Germany, yes? Like saying West Coast or Cascadia is not American? Guess I don't get it since I don't live there.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 08:01:25 AM by beersk »
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2013, 08:33:53 AM »
That's funny. What's the deal with wanting to separate everything? Bavaria is somehow not German, to her? It's a region of Germany, yes? Like saying West Coast or Cascadia is not American? Guess I don't get it since I don't live there.

"Germany" was a bunch of mostly autonomous kingdoms for thousands of years. The smaller kindgoms were usually getting squeezed by Prussia and Austria, as both jockeyed for power. Modern Germany was mostly formed in the late 19th century. Even then, as part of the German Empire, Bavaria was still a semi-independent monarchy with their own army, until around 1920.

So, Bavaria is a tiny little bit like Texas, although they were independent for a much longer time. I don't want to get all political or anything, but there are some people in Texas who are Texans first, Americans second, who want to secede, and there are Bavarians who want to secede as well. I've also heard people say the west coast isn't "real America" so the sentiment isn't unusual. Whether you agree with it or not, it exists.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline beersk

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2013, 08:46:16 AM »
Thanks for the insight, I didn't know that.  And knowing is half the battle!
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2013, 09:24:14 AM »
Thanks for the insight, I didn't know that.  And knowing is half the battle!

In America, we're really spoiled. Our history is basically just Pilgrims > Revolution > Civil War > WW2 > Berlin Wall. European history is so much more complicated.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2013, 10:00:20 AM »
Great link and info Nate!  This has been a great thread.

I recently met through friends and became friends with a "German".  Big dude with an even bigger German accent.  We constantly talk about beer.  His common argument is how much different German Lagers taste in Germany versus here in the US.  They have that "German Lager Flavor" not found in the beer here.  This being the case, I was very proud when he tasted mine and told me it was as close to home as he's ever tasted here in the US.  Not sure why just yet, but it was one of my best which I have now been able to reproduce several times.

He just emailed me this morning as he was home for the holidays and brought back 6 different types of German beer for us to compare against their US counterparts.  I can't wait and will report back our findings.  I plan to print out some BJCP scoresheets and take copious notes.  I'm hoping to try and pick out where we may be falling short in comparison to the German originals. 

Dave
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2013, 06:33:26 PM »
I found a bottle of a blonde ale I brewed with K-97. I kinda forgot about it. It's been "lagering" on my porch since Thanksgiving. I'm not really sure what happened, but it's crystal clear and had more "German lager flavor" than the last lager I brewed. The last month or so, the low has been around 23*F, a few days it got up to the 60s, but it's been otherwise pretty cold.

I suspect if the beer isn't almost freezing, I'm not lagering it cold enough. I'm usually lagering around 36-40*F.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline tygo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2013, 06:37:02 PM »
I suspect if the beer isn't almost freezing, I'm not lagering it cold enough. I'm usually lagering around 36-40*F.

Well, what temp are the "Germans" lagering it at?  Traditionally it wouldn't have been lower than cold cave temps, maybe in the low 40's.  Then again they were letting it sit at that temp for a long time.  But I don't know what the current practice is.
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2013, 06:43:50 PM »
I suspect if the beer isn't almost freezing, I'm not lagering it cold enough. I'm usually lagering around 36-40*F.

Well, what temp are the "Germans" lagering it at?  Traditionally it wouldn't have been lower than cold cave temps, maybe in the low 40's.  Then again they were letting it sit at that temp for a long time.  But I don't know what the current practice is.

I imagine modern brewers aren't using caves anymore. IIRC, in one of the brewing network interviews, Charlie Bamforth mentioned cold crashing the finished beer down to slush (or right above slush, I'm not sure.) I do remember him saying something like 1 day at 28* was better than 2 weeks at 32*, flavor-wise.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline tygo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2013, 06:46:33 PM »
I imagine modern brewers aren't using caves anymore. IIRC, in one of the brewing network interviews, Charlie Bamforth mentioned cold crashing down to slush (or right above slush, I'm not sure.) I do remember him saying something like 1 day at 28* was better than 2 weeks at 32*, flavor-wise.

Yeah, I remember that interview.  Basically it's a function of time and temperature.  Lower temp, less time.  Probably don't want slush though.  Right above it is probably optimal.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2013, 08:45:59 PM »
I fermented a Czech Pils at 38F last year....yes that's right 38F. It took about two days to form the Krausen, but it was a thick white creamy layer (approx. 3" thick) of yeast WLP800, and very dense. I've never witnessed a krausen so clean, dense and white almost bright. It took almost 4 weeks for the krausen to drop. The beer was then lagered on the yeast for about 4 weeks. It had a nice clean grainy profile and a very fine beer indeed.
Ron Price

Offline davidgzach

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2013, 05:40:00 AM »
I fermented a Czech Pils at 38F last year....yes that's right 38F. It took about two days to form the Krausen, but it was a thick white creamy layer (approx. 3" thick) of yeast WLP800, and very dense. I've never witnessed a krausen so clean, dense and white almost bright. It took almost 4 weeks for the krausen to drop. The beer was then lagered on the yeast for about 4 weeks. It had a nice clean grainy profile and a very fine beer indeed.

That's a lot of patience Ron!

Dave
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Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2013, 11:53:51 AM »
I imagine modern brewers aren't using caves anymore. IIRC, in one of the brewing network interviews, Charlie Bamforth mentioned cold crashing down to slush (or right above slush, I'm not sure.) I do remember him saying something like 1 day at 28* was better than 2 weeks at 32*, flavor-wise.

Yeah, I remember that interview.  Basically it's a function of time and temperature.  Lower temp, less time.  Probably don't want slush though.  Right above it is probably optimal.

One of my best lagers was a Bavarian Helles. Due to an equipment malfunction, my temp control on the chest freezer went haywire and it froze solid. I thawed it and continued lagering, then bottled. I haven't replicated it since, even with the same recipe. "Helles frozen over" even took 1st place in the light lager category of a local competition. I don't recommend freezing or slush but certainly cold lagering seems to help.
R. Lorber
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Offline nateo

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2013, 12:12:05 PM »
Why is it bad if beer freezes? I know it can make a chill haze permanent, but if the beer doesn't have chill haze, what's the risk in freezing it solid?
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2013, 02:45:55 PM »
Autolysis.  Yeast cells explode or are pierced by ice crystals, releasing the yeast's guts, which can give your beer a meaty or brothy flavor -- not usually desirable characteristics!
Dave

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