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Author Topic: Vienna and Munich more astringent?  (Read 581 times)

Offline kramerog

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Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« on: October 26, 2022, 02:24:18 pm »
Last year, BJCP judges said my Oktoberfest/Marzen was a little astringent. I thought it had a pleasant dryness at the end. To each their own I guess.

This year, I made a similar Oktoberfest/Marzen and by mistake set my mill wrong and ended up turning my malt into flour. Now this is definitely not pleasantly dry!  Anyway, I use Bru'n water and acidify my sparge so high pH isn't the problem. Also pretty much the only beers that I get astringency in are beers with lots of Vienna or Munich malts.

So, are Vienna or Munich malts more astringent than others? Does anyone treat Vienna and Munich malts differently than other base malts in the mash?

Offline denny

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2022, 02:38:17 pm »
Last year, BJCP judges said my Oktoberfest/Marzen was a little astringent. I thought it had a pleasant dryness at the end. To each their own I guess.

This year, I made a similar Oktoberfest/Marzen and by mistake set my mill wrong and ended up turning my malt into flour. Now this is definitely not pleasantly dry!  Anyway, I use Bru'n water and acidify my sparge so high pH isn't the problem. Also pretty much the only beers that I get astringency in are beers with lots of Vienna or Munich malts.

So, are Vienna or Munich malts more astringent than others? Does anyone treat Vienna and Munich malts differently than other base malts in the mash?

Not that I've ever noticed. Being darker malts, it does kinda point to pH.
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2022, 03:41:15 am »
I view Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich like I do for coffee.

Pilsner = Light Roast
Vienna = Medium Roast
Munich = Dark Roast

Offline BrewBama

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Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2022, 06:05:36 am »
Don’t discount your preference over the judge’s. If you find the beer to be pleasantly dry, why change it for a comment that you disagree with? That judge may be misdiagnosing dryness for astringency. It could be a less experienced judge or one who simply prefers a less dry example of the style.

However, if you do agree, I do believe pH could be your culprit. In addition to looking at the malts and milling, have you considered taking a second look at your sparging processes or considered a different sparging method to see if it yields better results?

I’ve not noticed any astringency from Vienna or Munich.  I don’t believe they are dark enough to cross over into an astringency caution for using them. I reserve that caution for roasted malts. In fact, I have substituted Vienna for Pils in many a recipe to give the beer a less grainy, sweeter, softer feel I prefer. Far from astringent.

Likewise, many brewers mill very fine without astringency issues. I’ve heard some say they tightened the mill as far as it will go and never adjust it otherwise. BIAB brewers especially mill very fine.  If there were astringency issues from these tight mill settings I believe we would have heard about it in spades. I could probably stand to tighten my mill a bit but I like the results I get with it set as is.

I’ve incorporated No Sparge into my brewery and find the pros far outweigh the cons for me. I might spend a dollar or three more to hit my OG but that’s a small price to pay for what I consider better quality wort.

Just some thoughts to consider. Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2022, 06:55:25 am by BrewBama »

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2022, 09:18:18 am »
I view Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich like I do for coffee.

Pilsner = Light Roast
Vienna = Medium Roast
Munich = Dark Roast

lol, i know what you mean, but i think its important to note the differences in time/temp and type of kilning.

just from a quick search (at least theoretically) vienna is low-kilned sort of like british pale ale at ~145F, while munich is kilned at low temps (unspecified), then raised up to the low 200s F later. this would result in different reactions within these malts, and heh as a point: they arent "roasted".

i think at least for me vienna has a unique taste different from pale ale malt, but it is much more like pale ale/2row malts than munich, which is something you want to be slightly more careful with about adding unless you really want its distinct flavours.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2022, 09:26:35 am »
Don’t discount your preference over the judge’s. If you find the beer to be pleasantly dry, why change it for a comment that you disagree with? That judge may be misdiagnosing dryness for astringency. It could be a less experienced judge or one who simply prefers a less dry example of the style.

However, if you do agree, I do believe pH could be your culprit. In addition to looking at the malts and milling, have you considered taking a second look at your sparging processes or considered a different sparging method to see if it yields better results?

I’ve not noticed any astringency from Vienna or Munich.  I don’t believe they are dark enough to cross over into an astringency caution for using them. I reserve that caution for roasted malts. In fact, I have substituted Vienna for Pils in many a recipe to give the beer a less grainy, sweeter, softer feel I prefer. Far from astringent.

Likewise, many brewers mill very fine without astringency issues. I’ve heard some say they tightened the mill as far as it will go and never adjust it otherwise. BIAB brewers especially mill very fine.  If there were astringency issues from these tight mill settings I believe we would have heard about it in spades. I could probably stand to tighten my mill a bit but I like the results I get with it set as is.

I’ve incorporated No Sparge into my brewery and find the pros far outweigh the cons for me. I might spend a dollar or three more to hit my OG but that’s a small price to pay for what I consider better quality wort.

I will say that I have noticed an improvement in my beers (lagers in particular) since changing from my old system to my new one. Previously I was using a cooler lined with a BIAB bag to no-sparge brew, and I had a 2-roller Barley Crusher set really fine to mill my grain. Currently, I have an Anvil Foundry, and brew BIAB-style without a sparge. Around the same time I got a new mill (a Monster 3-roller). I still feel like my crush is on the fine side, although not as fine as my old mill,  but there are a lot less shredded husks than with my new mill and gap.

I'm not saying that I saw a drastic improvement in my lagers all of a sudden, but I had gotten a bit of a husk/astringency character on some lagers in the past, and I can't really say I've gotten any of this in recent years. I can't point to any one factor as a smoking gun. It could be other things, too. I don't use Aromatic malt much now, but I used to use it fairly often in the past, for example. But I would say that quality of crush leading to astringency could certainly fall in line with my own experience.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2022, 09:41:32 am »
I view Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich like I do for coffee.

Pilsner = Light Roast
Vienna = Medium Roast
Munich = Dark Roast

lol, i know what you mean, but i think its important to note the differences in time/temp and type of kilning.

just from a quick search (at least theoretically) vienna is low-kilned sort of like british pale ale at ~145F, while munich is kilned at low temps (unspecified), then raised up to the low 200s F later. this would result in different reactions within these malts, and heh as a point: they arent "roasted".

i think at least for me vienna has a unique taste different from pale ale malt, but it is much more like pale ale/2row malts than munich, which is something you want to be slightly more careful with about adding unless you really want its distinct flavours.

As a generalization, I certainly think that most Vienna and Pale Ale malts fall in a similar part of the kilned malt flavor spectrum. I've interchanged them in the past when I've needed to. They are passably close, but there is a definite difference when tasting them side by side.

Rather than roast level on coffee, I like to think of various kilned malts as different toast levels on bread. Vienna is like lightly toasted wheat bread with a bit of the lighter crust, different Munichs are like darker toast levels with more of that dark crust flavor, up to Aromatic/Melanoiden which is like a very dark crust on dark wheat toast.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2022, 10:18:20 am »

lol, i know what you mean, but i think its important to note the differences in time/temp and type of kilning.

just from a quick search (at least theoretically) vienna is low-kilned sort of like british pale ale at ~145F, while munich is kilned at low temps (unspecified), then raised up to the low 200s F later. this would result in different reactions within these malts, and heh as a point: they arent "roasted".

i think at least for me vienna has a unique taste different from pale ale malt, but it is much more like pale ale/2row malts than munich, which is something you want to be slightly more careful with about adding unless you really want its distinct flavours.
[/quote]

As a generalization, I certainly think that most Vienna and Pale Ale malts fall in a similar part of the kilned malt flavor spectrum. I've interchanged them in the past when I've needed to. They are passably close, but there is a definite difference when tasting them side by side.

Rather than roast level on coffee, I like to think of various kilned malts as different toast levels on bread. Vienna is like lightly toasted wheat bread with a bit of the lighter crust, different Munichs are like darker toast levels with more of that dark crust flavor, up to Aromatic/Melanoiden which is like a very dark crust on dark wheat toast.
[/quote]

thats a good way to describe it, where re: darkened crust/toast you definitely NOTICE it and consciously think of it when you taste it. i always think of munich as sweet-malty as well.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2022, 12:26:01 pm »
Thanks for the input. In the short term, I am going to reset my mill gap and keep my (batch) sparge water to less than 170 F and see what happens.

Offline denny

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2022, 12:29:10 pm »
Thanks for the input. In the short term, I am going to reset my mill gap and keep my (batch) sparge water to less than 170 F and see what happens.

FWIW, I have found that neither of those matters if your pH is OK.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2022, 08:15:33 am »
Denny, BrewBama and possibly others have pointed to pH. Is there any reason to believe that Bru'n Water is inaccurate with respect to mashes that consist only of Vienna and Munich malts?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2022, 08:40:16 am »
Denny, BrewBama and possibly others have pointed to pH. Is there any reason to believe that Bru'n Water is inaccurate with respect to mashes that consist only of Vienna and Munich malts?

There can be variation in the Lovibond of Vienna and Munich malts, especially Munich. Weyermann light Munich is at ~6L, others are darker. Some dark Munich's are much darker than others.
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Offline denny

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Re: Vienna and Munich more astringent?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2022, 09:10:20 am »
Denny, BrewBama and possibly others have pointed to pH. Is there any reason to believe that Bru'n Water is inaccurate with respect to mashes that consist only of Vienna and Munich malts?

Nope.  Always right on for me.
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