Author Topic: Citrusy Oktoberfest  (Read 752 times)

Offline dak0415

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Citrusy Oktoberfest
« on: August 24, 2010, 12:37:00 PM »
I just kegged my annual Oktoberfest, tweaked this year by comments that my marzen this year was "too caramelly".  So I lightened up on the Caramumich II and doubled the melanoidin.  16.5 IBUs of Magnum for bittering for 90 minutes.  I also added 1 gram of CaCl and 1 gram of CaS04 (also different) and used WLP833 Bock Lager.  The beer has a subtle citrus note that I have not experienced before in this style.  It's not unpleasant, just unexpected.  Could it be the gypsum?  I used the yeast slurry for a light lager and it does not have the citrus notes.

Perplexed in NC
Dave Koenig
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 01:01:21 PM »
Gypsum is calcium sulfate. If it has an aroma, it's sulfury not citrusy. I use that bock yeast and it's pretty clean; I don't like sulfury beers, so I've never gotten that aroma with that yeast.

How long did you lager it? Can you characterize the citrus quality? (type of fruit, intensity)
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 01:12:22 PM »
What temp did you pitch and ferment ?
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 01:39:59 PM »
Pitched and fermented @50deg for two weeks
4 day diacetyl rest
6 week lager @30-32deg
If I had to describe it, I would say a slight grapefruit tang in the aftertaste.  It smells great, malty, no citrus aroma.
It also seems a little more bitter than previous batches even with backing off 5 IBUs on the bittering hops.
Dave Koenig
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 01:42:49 PM »
If I had to describe it, I would say a slight grapefruit tang in the aftertaste.  It smells great, malty, no citrus aroma.
It also seems a little more bitter than previous batches even with backing off 5 IBUs on the bittering hops.
I'm leaning toward carbonic bite on this one.  What do you think Gordon?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dak0415

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 01:57:22 PM »
Maybe it will smooth out over the next couple of weeks.  I carbonated the light lager at the same time same temp same pressure).  No gypsum in that and it does not have the "tang".

Preplexed
Dave Koenig
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 02:25:27 PM »
Did you take a pH reading of the finished beer?

It could be an aspect of the bitterness, I suppose. If so, it could age out. Maybe try dropping some tannins with polyclar (could try this in a small sample).

I'm not so sure about carbonic bite; how carbonated is it? How long has it been since it's been carbonated?

Did you rinse the yeast between use? It could be something carried over, or be the start of something more sinister <crosses fingers>.

I would let it age some more regardless and see how it changes.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline dak0415

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 06:05:12 PM »
Nah, don't do pH.
I've already hit it with polyclar, always do with lagers, then filter.
Yeast was harvested from a light lager 5 gallon "starter", then yeast from the O'fest was used for another 10 gallon light lager.  Neither of the light lagers have the "tang".
It's only about 2 volumes, 1 day post carbonation.

Remember the funny story about the freeze-up?  The last slurry died a cold hard death.

I've not had very good luck with brewing salts.  Chalk in a NE brown ale - beer never cleared.  Now this.
Dave Koenig
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 07:05:32 PM »
Ok, so probably not carbonic bite.

What is your water like initially?  1 gram each of CaSO4 and CaCl seem like really small amounts to me, but I start with really soft water so it's possible it's putting you over some flavor threshold.  Though I've had a lot of over-mineralized beers in local competitions from people trying to bump our soft water up to match famous brewing waters, and none of them seem especially grapefruity or citrusy to me.

For my last batch of pale I added to the mash 1.5 grams of MgSO4, 2.25 grams of CaSO4, and 3 grams each of CaCl and CaCO3, nothing to the sparge or boil.  It turned out really nice, but like I said, we have really soft water.

I'd lean towards something else - how often have you used magnums?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 07:10:05 PM »
You mention grapefruit which leads me to the hops.  I think it should age out.  Let it lager for another few weeks and taste it.
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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 10:59:52 PM »
Sounds like the hops to me as well. You changed things in many areas but maybe the extra sulfate brought them forward some. From a style standpoint do you feel it is a detriment?

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Offline marty

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 07:29:37 AM »
German Magnum, or US Magnum?

Offline dak0415

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 08:22:21 AM »
German, Oktoberfest/Marzen is the only style I use them for!
Dave Koenig
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Citrusy Oktoberfest
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2010, 10:16:08 AM »
Give it some time and hopefully it will fade.  Are you the only one that notices it?  You said it's faint, but maybe you are just a bit more sensitive to it than other people.  Do you notice it by the second pint?  Third?  Sixth? :)
Tom Schmidlin