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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through April 25, 2005 * What is the Magical Lagering Effect? < Previous Next >

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damon
Junior Member
Username: Nomad

Post Number: 95
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 08:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm starting to enjoy the few beers that I lagered this winter and something curious comes up...

I have beers with FG's of 1.016, 1.018, and 1.024, all made from widely varying grists, so its tough to compare, but all taste much less sweet than what their gravities say, relative to ales with those FG's.

Okay, I know that makes no sense and apples v. oranges and so on but hear me out... I know that perceived "maltiness" is not tied to a gravity - for instance, I have an APA that went from 1.060 to 1.012 but tastes incredibly malty and rich underneath its strong hopping.

But ales that I've had finish with similar gravities to my three lagers have tasted significantly sweeter despite relatively similar hopping schedules and percentages of crystal malts used. For instance, my Cali Common and one of my APA recipes are the same (malt, OG, and hopping) with only the yeast and secondary techniques differing, yet the APA tastes sweeter despite finishing at a much lower gravity than the Cali Common (because WLP810 is a poopy attenuator).

Lagering obviously "smooths" out a beer, but how does it seem to reduce the perception of sweetness with even high-ish FG's? I'm not talking about mouthfeel, I'm talking about tasting sugary sweetness - how does that cold temperature temper that sensation that can be quite prevalent in an ale even with stiff bittering?
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4519
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I'm not talking about mouthfeel, I'm talking about tasting sugary sweetness - how does that cold temperature temper that sensation that can be quite prevalent in an ale even with stiff bittering?"...but what about beers like dopplebocks, for instance. They're "sweet" lagers.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

George Schmidt
Intermediate Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 488
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 08:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's a sugar that lager yeast can digest that most ale yeast cannot. What's it called....maltirios? Maybe that has something to do with it.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4520
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 08:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Raffinose..but I don't think that's what is happening here. But, ya know, I've been wrong once or twice before...
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

damon
Junior Member
Username: Nomad

Post Number: 96
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 08:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Its all seems to be tied up in the extended cold conditioning - like how lagering can round off a rough-on-the-edges pilsener as well as condition out sulfur and the like... as part of that process that "rounds" out the flavors it somehow dampens the overtly saccharine character of higher FG's.

Kind of how, at least to crazy me, many a FG 1.020 wee heavy tastes sweeter than a 1.020 doppelbock even though they have similar IBUs.
 

Steve Fletty
Member
Username: Cheesehead

Post Number: 111
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This thread has me thinking about making an IPA with a lager yeast.
 

damon
Junior Member
Username: Nomad

Post Number: 97
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve, that is basically what I did with my Cali Common - took a 1.060, 50 IBU pale ale recipe and switched the yeast to the less attenuative SF Lager strain, and then lagered for 5 weeks. Yet, how come it taste LESS malty than the SAME recipe done as an ale.

Chemically I want to know what cold conditioning does to "round" out the flavors and reduce the perceived sweetness despite high FG's.
 

George Schmidt
Intermediate Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 489
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The problem is that it's hard to seperate the lagering process from the lagering yeast. "Lager" a beer brewed from ale yeast and compare it to a fresher beer with the same grainbill and yeast. I think you'll find the difference isn't nearly as much as you perceive between different yeasts.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Pete Mazurowski
Member
Username: Pete_maz

Post Number: 102
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know George, I've seen this same phenomenon with an American brown that I brewed several years ago. The first batch was cold conditioned at 40F & dry hopped for around 6 weeks, and came out fantastic. We killed the keg at my bachelor party. Even the redneck, backwoods, BMC-drinking, hobo-looking dude who brought the stripper really liked it.

The second brewing with same exact ingredients, dry hopping and schedule, but this time with around 60F conditioning, wasn't nearly as good. The maltiness was affected somewhat, but what really stood out to me was the "roughness" of the hops. I know the hop character is expected to change over time with aging, but the cold conditioned version seemed to really fare much better.

I've been meaning to try this again with another recipe, but haven't gotten around to it. I've got an APA up for my next batch, so maybe I'll try the whole thing again.