Author Topic: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers  (Read 859 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:49:41 PM »
Hmmm...

I captured this from a 2012 presentation by Kai in Australia






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Offline majorvices

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2018, 05:01:07 PM »
I remember him talking about oxidized flavors being good for dark beers. I remember him saying dark beers benefitted from warm storage for short periods. I never practiced it though lol

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 06:13:44 PM »
He was pouring a Doppelbock at NHC 2010 Minneapolis that was full of dark fruit flavors. It had been bottled, don’t remember for how long.
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 06:34:12 PM »
Dark fruit flavors is one thing. Kibbles and soy sauce is another. It comes down to the difference between beer that is just slightly oxidized and beer that is mishandled and oxidized.

I've had a quite a bit of the latter in commercial examples. I do get pretty fresh bottles of Korbinian from time to time that are marvelous, and Spaten Optimator, while kind of bland, is usually very fresh as well.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 06:36:12 PM by Big Monk »
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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2018, 09:05:42 PM »
If you search the forum, you'll see a VERY lengthy thread on the topic.  IIRC, Kai finally concluded that maybe it wasn't oxidation.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2018, 09:09:15 PM »
Given enough time, all beer will become oxidized in most packaging. I agree that aging is important for developing that character. I agree with Kai that low oxygen brewing is not ideal for all styles. But I'd rather produce beer that is initially on the low side of the oxidation equation and have it age into it, rather than being over the hill and never realizing a good beer.
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Offline BrewBama

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Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2018, 09:51:34 PM »
Given enough time, all beer will become oxidized in most packaging. I agree that aging is important for developing that character. I agree with Kai that low oxygen brewing is not ideal for all styles. But I'd rather produce beer that is initially on the low side of the oxidation equation and have it age into it, rather than being over the hill and never realizing a good beer.

In the sound bite he said there was a point of diminishing returns. It just floored me when he started talking about oxidation as the secret ingredient.


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Online The Beerery

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 01:12:05 AM »
Yea.  He was wrong, and that’s ok.  We are all wrong sometimes.


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 03:20:12 AM »
Thanks for sharing this.  It's been tossed around for decades whether aging on the shelf is what gives lagers "that German flavor", or "it".  I'm sure many will say "no way in hell, that's totally wrong".  But, why not experiment and find out.  I don't have the answers on this.  I'll just say what I always say: more experiments are needed.
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 09:21:28 AM »
Thanks for sharing this.  It's been tossed around for decades whether aging on the shelf is what gives lagers "that German flavor", or "it".  I'm sure many will say "no way in hell, that's totally wrong".  But, why not experiment and find out.  I don't have the answers on this.  I'll just say what I always say: more experiments are needed.

No way in hell, that’s totally wrong.  :)

Let’s do an experiment. I’ll drink all the fresh German lager and you try the aged ones and we’ll compare notes.  ;)

In all seriousness though, if you have ever tasted the Kibbles'N'Bits/Soy Sauce Doppelbock that is naturally or artificially made past its prime through age or poor handling, you know that is is not "that German flavor". In fact, there isn't anything elusive about it at all. You can get poorly handled continental beers everywhere you go.

Kai was talking very controlled oxidation as well, with a very clean, well brewed beer as the base. You can mimic some of the hallmark flavors of Doppelbock through caramalt selection as well, which is probably a better idea as you don't need to introduce oxygen to get there.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 10:39:33 AM by Big Monk »
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 11:31:41 AM »
if you have ever tasted the Kibbles'N'Bits/Soy Sauce Doppelbock that is naturally or artificially made past its prime through age or poor handling

I have never tasted dog food or soy sauce in a German beer.  Never.  But maybe I just have a sh**ty palate.
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 11:43:30 AM »
if you have ever tasted the Kibbles'N'Bits/Soy Sauce Doppelbock that is naturally or artificially made past its prime through age or poor handling

I have never tasted dog food or soy sauce in a German beer.  Never.  But maybe I just have a sh**ty palate.

Maybe, but that's not the point: Kai's example assumes a well made, well cared for beer. The oxidation was introduced in a controlled environment. That doesn't translate to the average distributed commercial beer in our country.

Let's be clear here: I love Belgian beer of all kinds, the Trappists in particular. Oxidation is something that we deal with even in our favorite beers. Even if they are well made, you get cap/cork ingress no matter what. It's kind of part of the game.

As long as we make that distinction between controlled oxidation and poor handling/distribution practices, we are good.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 12:03:34 PM by Big Monk »
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2018, 12:10:35 PM »
I'm finding it difficult to get on your page.  Oxidation is a chemical reaction.  The oxidation doesn't know if it was controlled or poorly handled.

But I'll probably just politely duck out of the conversation now.  Maybe.
Dave

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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 12:33:06 PM »
I'm finding it difficult to get on your page.  Oxidation is a chemical reaction.  The oxidation doesn't know if it was controlled or poorly handled.

But I'll probably just politely duck out of the conversation now.  Maybe.

It's accelerated by it's environment. If I take a beer in a controlled experiment like Kai's where temperature, etc. are held constant, then that is totally different than beer being distributed with variable temperatures in transport, on the shelf, light exposure, etc. You have control over one and not the other.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Secret ingredient for Dark German Lagers
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2018, 12:36:21 PM »
I'm finding it difficult to get on your page.  Oxidation is a chemical reaction.  The oxidation doesn't know if it was controlled or poorly handled.

But I'll probably just politely duck out of the conversation now.  Maybe.

It's accelerated by it's environment. If I take a beer in a controlled experiment like Kai's where temperature, etc. are held constant, then that is totally different than beer being distributed with variable temperatures in transport, on the shelf, light exposure, etc. You have control over one and not the other.

I'm not sure it matters.  As I basically said previously, if it tastes good, I'll drink it, either way.  And it does, so I do.
Dave

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