Author Topic: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness  (Read 2807 times)

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Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« on: September 08, 2014, 05:08:13 PM »
I usually think Cherrios when I smell or taste Pils or Vienna malt.   However, I judged a lighter-colored Octoberfest over the weekend that tasted like graham crackers and nuts.  I described the flavor as "medium rich graham cracker-like maltiness with a nutty note," but I still believe that I could have improved upon that description.  This beer was clearly made with Vienna malt, but there was something else in the grist or the process that left a touch of non-caramel malt-based malty sweetness. The sweetness was different than Pils malt sweetness. Does anyone here brew Vienna-style beer?  When it comes to lagers, I have basically stuck with Pre-Pro Pils, Bo Pils, and Dortmunder Export.


Offline erockrph

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 05:20:56 PM »
I don't know if I'd call it graham crackery on its own, but a lot of 'fests call for a bit of CaraMunich. In low amounts I get more of a biscuity malt flavor rather than the typical crystal malt flavors. I use about 1/4 lb in a 3-gallon batch of Märzen and I find it just accentuates the malt a bit at that low level.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 06:01:33 PM »
I think it's a fine description if that is what you tasted that is what it was. I battled with wanting to have beer geeky sounding descriptions but have settled on just writing what it is. Its about the beer not my vocabulary. One minor tweak might be a comma between medium and rich. Medium rich isn't really a level, but... medium, rich graham cracker is
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 06:04:57 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 06:14:33 PM »
could have been some munich. that has a sweetness to it that is very different than crystal malt but still gives a bready/graham like character.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 06:22:03 PM »
I get a hefty amount of bread crust and graham cracker aroma/flavor from the Best Munich 10L. Really nice malt.

The BCS recipe calls for Pils base with smaller amounts of Munich 10L and Vienna (maybe a touch of Caramunich?), which (IMO) strikes a good balance of mid-range (nutty, graham) and light (saltine, cheerios) malt flavors.

I'd rather use more Munich and no CaraMunich. So many domestic versions are overly rich/sweet (ala Sam Adams). Did you find that during judging?
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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 06:25:11 PM »
could have been some munich. that has a sweetness to it that is very different than crystal malt but still gives a bready/graham like character.

+1


EDIT  -  +1 also to too many versions being too crystally/caramelly sweet.
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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 06:38:34 PM »
Also, Good on'ya for judging more. I think your knowledge and skill will be an asset to the BJCP.
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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 07:48:17 PM »
I don't know if I'd call it graham crackery on its own, but a lot of 'fests call for a bit of CaraMunich.

A true to style Octoberfest is not supposed to have caramel malt in its grist.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 08:04:11 PM »
Edited.

Graham crackeriness sounds a lot like Vienna and Pilsner malt.  Pilsner malt, to me, tastes like honey grahams.  Vienna helps take it to another level.

I get nuttiness from English Maris Otter malt, especially if you toast it for a little while in a 350 F oven.  It might sound crazy, but I see no reason why if you wanted nuttiness that you couldn't use some percentage (maybe 10%?) Maris Otter, toasted or not, in an Oktoberfest style beer.  Or you could try toasting your own German malts to see if it does the same thing.

I'd recommend a good percentage (20-30%) pilsner malt in any Oktoberfest, to make it taste more "German" and preserve some honey-like sweetness.  The remainder should be Vienna and Munich, except perhaps as discussed above.  My humble opinions.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 10:24:48 PM by dmtaylor »
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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 08:17:14 PM »


I don't know if I'd call it graham crackery on its own, but a lot of 'fests call for a bit of CaraMunich.

A true to style Octoberfest is not supposed to have caramel malt in its grist.

If you define "true to style" as "historically accurate recipe" then sure. For me, it's all about the finished product. My recipe is based on Brewing Classic Styles, and I'm pretty happy with it. Thankfully we're not all required to brew the exact same recipes :)
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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2014, 10:31:01 PM »


I don't know if I'd call it graham crackery on its own, but a lot of 'fests call for a bit of CaraMunich.

A true to style Octoberfest is not supposed to have caramel malt in its grist.

If you define "true to style" as "historically accurate recipe" then sure. For me, it's all about the finished product. My recipe is based on Brewing Classic Styles, and I'm pretty happy with it. Thankfully we're not all required to brew the exact same recipes :)

I made the BCS recipe recently and spaced on using the caramunich it calls for.  IMO, it doesn't need it anyway.  It's great and very authentic without it.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2014, 10:32:41 PM »


I don't know if I'd call it graham crackery on its own, but a lot of 'fests call for a bit of CaraMunich.

A true to style Octoberfest is not supposed to have caramel malt in its grist.

If you define "true to style" as "historically accurate recipe" then sure. For me, it's all about the finished product. My recipe is based on Brewing Classic Styles, and I'm pretty happy with it. Thankfully we're not all required to brew the exact same recipes :)

Oh you didn't get the memo? Uh, yaaaa, we're gonna need you to, kinda, stop brewing your own recipes and, ya... stick to what the book says. Mmm kay? Thanks

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 10:59:36 PM »


Oh you didn't get the memo? Uh, yaaaa, we're gonna need you to, kinda, stop brewing your own recipes and, ya... stick to what the book says. Mmm kay? Thanks

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 11:06:03 PM »


Oh you didn't get the memo? Uh, yaaaa, we're gonna need you to, kinda, stop brewing your own recipes and, ya... stick to what the book says. Mmm kay? Thanks
Crap, I better write to Gordon before they finalize the new guidelines... ;)

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Re: Vienna/Octoberfest Maltiness
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2014, 01:04:26 AM »
I made the BCS recipe recently and spaced on using the caramunich it calls for.  IMO, it doesn't need it anyway.  It's great and very authentic without it.

Exactly!  I rarely use caramel malt darker than CaraPils these days, and when I do, I do so sparingly.  I have taken to using 1/2 to 1% pale chocolate malt to color my bitters.  At that proportion, pale chocolate malt adds complexity and color without adding roastiness.