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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through January 31, 2008 * Pilsner: diacetyl rest and dry hop < Previous Next >

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Tex Brewer
Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 231
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 09:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have seen various opinions on when to do a diacetyl rest for a pilsner. Dave Miller says, "rack the beer - or in a unitank fermentation, draw off the yeast - before you allow the temperature to rise. This will help prevent the yeast dregs from autolyzing and giving a yeasty taint to the finished beer." Other people say do the D-rest in the primary so that you have plenty of yeast to metabolize the diacetyl, then rack for lagering. What opinions do you have?

As for dry hopping, I am adding an ounce of Saaz. Is it best to add to the primary 5-7 days before racking? Or wait until secondary? If the latter, it could go through the entire lagering, which may be undesirable, although I don't know.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8307
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 09:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm a proponent of the latter: not racking to secondary until after the diacetyl rest. As you mention, there is much more yeast to metabolize the diacetyl (into 2,3-pentanedione, which has a *much* lower taste threshold). Furthermore, I don't believe that keeping the beer on the primary yeast a day or two longer has any detrimental effect when it has been only a couple of weeks since it was pitched.
 

Tex Brewer
Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 232
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Bill. I'll keep it in the primary.

How about the dry hopping? I know you are not a fan of dry hopping lagers. But there are some. Who recommends a short DH in the primary vs. several weeks while lagering in the secondary? For clarity's sake at least, I figured the primary was the better route.
 

Jack Horzempa
Junior Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 27
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 38.243.104.19
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 05:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex,

Short answer: dry hop in the secondary for the lagering duration.

Long answer: see my 'recycled' post below.

Below is a long winded posting I placed on the Homebrew Digest in 3/12/03

Russ Kruska enquired about dry hopping a lager and there were several posts
from folks recommending that he not dry hop his lager.

In private e-mails to Jeff Renner (one of the posters not recommending dry
hopping) I discussed my experiences with dry hopping Pilsners and CAPs
(which were all favorable by my taste buds). Jeff encouraged me to post
those experiences so below are extracts from the e-mails that I sent Jeff.

I have brewed numerous batches (maybe 20 batches?) of Bohemian Pilsners
based upon a recipe that Ray Daniels posted on the All About Beer website.
He called his recipe Perfect Pilsner. In my humble opinion it is truly a
perfect Pilsner and he calls for dry hopping with Saaz hops within his
recipe. I will freely admit that I am not a certified (or non-certified)
beer judge but the resulting beers from this recipe are by my taste buds
very good to excellent. They do not taste in any way grassy or vegetative
(or weedy as Steve Alexander describes it).

I have also brewed numerous (about 15?) batches of CAP based upon Jeff
Renner's recipe. Since I am so fond of dry hopping my Bohemian Pilsners, I
also dry hop my CAPs as well (with Hallertauer Mittelfruh) to good effect.
Again, I do not perceive grassy/vegetative/weedy tastes or aromas.

One of my favorite commercial Pilsners is Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils brewed by
the Old Dominion Brewing Co. in Ashburn, VA. This beer was 'voted' by
Michael Jackson as the best beer in America. It turns out that this beer is
dry hopped, see description copied below:

Commercial Description:
Tuppers' Hop Pocket Pils is made via a complex hopping schedule which
includes dry hopping for weeks over whole-flower Saaz and Mt. Hood hops.
Also used are Saaz, Mittelfruh, Spalt and Mt. Hood in the kettle. The beer
is bottled and keg conditioned which provides very fine carbonation and a
fine head.

Jeff enquired as to my dry hop 'technique' to which I replied: I pretty much
'mimic' Ray Daniels' procedure: I dry hop within the secondary (a carboy)
for a period typically of 5-6 weeks. I also typically use about 1 oz. of
pellet hops within a muslin sack which I 'weigh down' with marbles; 1 oz. of
Saaz hops for the Bohemian Pilsner and about 1 oz. of Hallertauer Mittelfruh
for the CAP. As to the quality of the hops I am uncertain how to qualify
that. I typically purchase these hops from Williams Brewing (mail-order; no
affiliation) and from physical and aroma perspectives they 'appear' to be
fresh (i.e., nice and green with a pleasant aroma).

I then made some comparisons of my resulting homebrewed Bohemian Pilsner to
commercial products: It is my guess that the presence of dry hop aroma may
be 'disturbing' to some folks since it is not a generally accepted practice
by the European brewers. At the risk of sounding immodest, I have not tasted
a commercially brewed Bohemian Pilsner that I like better than the one I
brew. I have tried Pilsner Urquell on numerous occasions (both in bottle and
on draft) and I 'say', what's the big deal? I recently purchased a six pack
of Czechvar and I also was under whelmed by this beer. Another good local
microbrewery is Victory and they make a German Pilsner called Prima Pils. I
drink one of these and that is enough for me. I do like the Tuppers Hop
Pocket Pils but for me, my homebrewed Bohemian Pilsner is even superior to
that product (no offense to Michael Jackson since he thinks it is the best
beer in America).

Perhaps dry hopped Bohemian Pilsners is an 'acquired' taste, but I must
confess that it was not an acquired taste for me. I still remember the first
batch of Perfect Pilsner that I brewed (boy, probably 5 years ago) and on my
first sip I said "Wow!". Needless to say, I have been pretty much brewing it
the same ever since; no sense messing with Perfection :-)

I apologize for the length of this posting but I thought that Russ should
see (in detail) that there are other opinions on the matter of dry hopping
lagers. I also want to give credit to Ray Daniels for his excellent recipe
of the Perfect Pilsner.

Jack Horzempa
King of Prussia, PA
 

Tex Brewer
Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 233
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good post, Jack. 5-6 weeks of dry hopping with pelletized hops. Wow. Any problems with clarity? This style should be sparkling clear. I plan on using whole flower for that reason.

There are those who would have problems with Ray's Perfect Pilsner recipe. http://www.allaboutbeer.com/homebrew/recipes/ray/perfpils.html A perfect pilsner should be 100% pilsner malt to them. He's using crystal, carapils, wheat, and Munich, and he's using 2-row instead of pilsner. Heresy!
 

Jack Horzempa
Junior Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 28
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 38.243.104.19
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 10:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex,

The resulting beers are clear enough for me but I must confess that I am not too fussy about clarity. For me, it is all about the taste/smell! I bottle my beers and over a period of time the vast majority of particulate matter settles to the bottom of the bottle.

The beauty of homebrewing is that you can make the beer exactly the way you want. If you want to utilize 100% pilsner malt, go for it! I personnaly am an extract brewer so I currently use Briess Pilsner malt as my base malt for Bohemian Pilsners. I also use a small amount of crystal malt (1/2 lb. of caravienne) to add a little bit of body; a Bohemian Pilsner should have some body.

The aspect of Ray's recipe which I really like is his hopping schedule. I solely use Saaz hops. Typically 3 ounces in the beginning of boil. 1 ounce at 30 minutes and two 1/2 ounce additions towards the end of boil: 10 minutes remaining and knockout. And of course 1 ounce for dry hopping. From my perspective it is this hopping schedule which really 'makes' this beer. I would suggest that the malt selection has a secondary role, very secondary.
 

Jack Horzempa
Junior Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 29
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 38.243.104.19
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex,

I thought you might be interested in reading George de Piro’s recommendations with respect to malt for a Bohemian Pilsner:

"Still, the enterprising homebrewer can use a single decoction to get very similar results (some might even say they are identical). The malt bill is simple: 100% pilsner malt if you are going to decoction mash. If you plan on using an infusion mash, you should add 10-20% Vienna malt to increase the color and make the malt profile more decoction-like, and about 5% Weyermann CaraFoam™ to increase mouthfeel and foam stability."

It is also interesting that he mentions dry hopping:

"Use about 10 AAU (HBU) of hops for bittering 5 gallons of beer, and about 2 ounces of Saaz for flavor, and another 2 ounces to dry-hop the young beer."

The complete article (which is a very interesting read) can be found at: http://www.evansale.com/czech_pils_article.html

I hope you find this information useful.

Jack
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8323
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 216.145.100.105
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I shouldn't fly in the face of Ray Daniels and George de Piro, who both know more than a few things about brewing. However, I will say that the one time I dry hopped a Czech pils (with Saaz) there was a grassy flavor that I thought detracted from the beer. Clearly it's a matter of taste.
 

Tex Brewer
Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 234
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 06:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That is an excellent and entertaining article, Jack. Thanks for the link. I note one other thing he says:
"The hops are also simple: use imported Czech Saaz for aroma, in pellet form if you can find them. I recommend pellets because they keep far better than whole flowers or plugs, and freshness is key to getting a pleasant hop aroma. Hops that are yellowed and smell in the least bit cheesy should not be used."

Whole hops are often used for dry hopping (as I am doing). Freshness seems to be critical. Could this be the source of Bill's grassy flavor?
 

Jack Horzempa
Junior Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 30
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 38.243.104.19
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tex,

As I seem to recall (boy, 2003 feels like a long time ago) the topic of hops freshness was addressed by somebody. My recollection is this prompted me to include the statement of: “I typically purchase these hops from Williams Brewing (mail-order; no affiliation) and from a physical and aroma perspectives they 'appear' to be fresh (i.e., nice and green with a pleasant aroma)”. At that time there was mention from several people that dry hopping with Saaz creates ‘off flavors’ which I have never perceived in my homebrewed Bohemian Pilsner. I have never tasted ‘off flavors’ in Tupper’s Hop Pocket Pilsner either. I covered this topic with: “They do not taste in any way grassy or vegetative (or weedy as Steve Alexander describes it).”

One explanation could be that I have a taste/smell deficiency that does not permit me to taste/smell “grassy”. I have difficult time believing this explanation since a large number of my friends have tasted my Bohemian Pilsners and CAPs in the past and I have never heard: “Boy, this beer is grassy!” As a matter of ‘disclosure’ I should mention that very few people in my circle of friends who are shy; if they perceived “grassy” I would hear it in spades!! I should also mention that I made a ‘mistake’ many years ago of bringing homebrew to a party and now I am expected to bring beer to every social event that I attend. So, there have been many people on multiple occasions that I have tasted my Bohemian Pilsners and CAPs and have always come back for more. I would strongly encourage others not to make my ‘mistake’ of bringing homebrew to a party or otherwise you will be in the same predicament as me! ;-)

Whether Bill Pierce just suffered from a case of non-fresh Saaz hops, and that caused his “grassy flavor” I have no way of knowing.

I would appreciate it if you could post the results of your dry hopping experience and let us know how your beer turned out.

As a ‘by the way’ I have a batch of Bohemian Pilsner and batch of CAP in carboys right now lagering away and I have ingredients coming early next week to make two more batches (one Bohemian Pilsner and one CAP). Needless to say but I really like these beer styles and I think dry hopping makes both of them great!
 

pilznbeenthere
Junior Member
Username: Pilznbeenthere

Post Number: 36
Registered: 12-2002
Posted From: 66.189.182.131
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 04:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great topic! I might have to try the dry hop route. I've had such good luck with additions at boil, 20 minutes into boil, and 20 minutes before end of boil, never did "venture out", so to speak. Have had one "grassy" taste, early on. I used noble Saaz, but whole leaf. They didn't smell the greatest, from my recollection. Thereafter, I always went pellets, and no further problem.

It would be interesting to see if the clarity problems some mention with dry hopping would improve with cool, extended lagering.
 

pilznbeenthere
Junior Member
Username: Pilznbeenthere

Post Number: 37
Registered: 12-2002
Posted From: 66.189.182.131
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 07:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My 2007 Bohemian Pils. Diacetyl? I don't see any diacetyl? :-)

Bohem pils
 

Jack Horzempa
Junior Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 31
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 63.28.8.226
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 05:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The posts by pilznbeenthere got me thinking (I do that every once in a while). Is the "grassy" taste/smell a function of using whole hops vs. pellet hops? I have never used whole hops in my Bohemian Pilsners. Maybe whole hops cause the "grassy' taste/smell?
 

John Baer
Intermediate Member
Username: Beerman

Post Number: 256
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 141.158.20.2
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 06:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have only run into a grassy flavor once. It was when I made a Bo-Pils with all Saaz. The hops that I used where whole hops and very old. They had also been through a move and a couple instances of sitting at too warm a temperature.

For my Bo-Pils I usually use all saaz at 90-60-30 and my other batches have turned out great. I've made about 10 batches over the last 18 months, I'm inclined to think it was a freshness issue.

JB