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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2012 * Archive through April 03, 2012 * Help with some ingredient selection < Previous Next >

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Brad On Bass
Member
Username: August_west

Post Number: 137
Registered: 11-2010
Posted From: 74.77.23.81
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 05:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For a variety of reasons, I'm going to be delving into several German/lager styles in the upcoming months. I just ordered a pound of Hallertau Mittelfruh cones (and then immediately after saw the thread questioning the quality of such from Hopsdirect, fingers crossed), and now I am going to order a sack or two of malt from fiftypoundsack.com. Obviously, one of the sacks will be pilsner malt, but the website carries quite a few options so I thought I would see what some opinions are on those available to me.

They list: Best Malz, Weyermann Bo-Pils, Castle Pils, Gambrinus, and Rahr.

I know that from a technical standpoint, Weyermann, being of German origin, would be the most appropriate, but was just looking for some commentary or experience on the other options.

I also planned on picking up a sack of munich, of which they carry only Weyermann's light or dark. Any thoughts here? Recently used their light munich in Denny's Milo's Alt, and I really like its profile, but was wondering if there might be better options out there.

I know this is somewhat vague as I haven't really formulated or researched any specific recipes yet, but if you have any other secret weapons for styles such as Bo-Pils, Oktoberfest, Helles, or Bock, I would really appreciate it! Thanks in advance, guys!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 13635
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.9.127
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My supplier carries Weyermann Pilsner (at a rather attractive price, by the way), so that is what I use for my base malt in continental styles. I'm quite happy with it. But I have used Best Pils in the past, and others here have been very positive about it.

I'd be more than willing to share my Munich helles recipe, which is one of the best homebrew examples of the style I've had. However, just as with the bottled and canned German helles, it didn't keep well and began to show signs of oxidation and staling after a few months. When fresh, though, it was very, very good.
 

Jack Horzempa
Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 168
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 68.82.57.55
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 06:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

You mention: “ …just as with the bottled and canned German helles, it didn't keep well and began to show signs of oxidation and staling after a few months.” Do you have a theory on why the Helles style is only ‘good’ for a few months?

As regards your homebrewed version, how do you package your beer? Do you keg? The primary reason I ask is because I bottle my beers and my homebrew beers for the most part stay ‘good’ for many months (usually still ‘good’ up to a year). For the beers that I make which are hoppy, the hop aromas/flavors do diminish after a few months but other than that they are still very drinkable. Does the bottle conditioning process yield beers that are more stable over time?

Cheers!
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 2232
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 76.252.0.156
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 06:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brad,

I've used Castls Pils for Belgian beers like tripels. It works for me like Durst Turbo Pils does in a single temp mash.

My LHBS is now carrying several Weyermann malts again, so I may have to try them again.

The shop has Pils, Bohemian Pils, floor malted Bohemian Pils, and Munich I along with the wheat malt from Weyermann
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 13636
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.9.127
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 06:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jack, I've asked the same question (why did my homebrew helles exhibit the same relatively short shelf life as the commercial versions?) and never received a satisfactory answer. All I have are my own vague notions about this light style, German pilsner malt (the other malts in the recipe are German melanoidin and Carafoam) and possibly something about continental hops.

The same hints of staling and oxidation began to appear in both bottled and kegged versions (from the same batch) of my recipe after about three months. I primed and naturally carbonated the keg. This is my usual practice with kegged beers because I believe the sugar helps the yeast to scavenge introduced oxygen.

(Message edited by BillPierce on February 15, 2012)
 

Jack Horzempa
Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 169
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 68.82.57.55
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you steep the Carafoam!?! ;-) Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I sent another query to Weyermann using a contact form on their web site. Perhaps they will respond to this second query concerning their light crystal malts?

Cheers!
 

Brad On Bass
Member
Username: August_west

Post Number: 138
Registered: 11-2010
Posted From: 74.77.23.81
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 08:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, while I wasn't necessarily going to make this a, "What's your favorite recipe," thread, I certainly won't turn yours down. As a matter of fact, I'm completely open to suggestion not only on recipes but on styles.

Your post brought me to my second question. Though I usually try to make a classic example of each new style I brew, I'm certainly not a style nazi. I've read much debate about the freshness and overall quality of imported German hops, and while I would like to use them for authenticity's sake, I am not opposed to substituting them with their American-grown counterparts if it will make better beer. Any thoughts on which varieties are the worst offenders in this department, and some possible American alternatives?

While on the subject of authenticity, I'll admit I've been considering the dreaded decoction mash. I know that I'm not yet capable or patient enough to do the classic triple-decoction schedules I've read, so does anyone have any recommendations on a reasonable fascimile that I could perform in my cooler MT? I know there are a lot of varying opinions on the matter, but it's something that I'd like to try a few times so I can develop an informed opinion of my own.

I know I have a lot of questions, but I value everyone's opinion and I thank you in advance!
 

Jack Horzempa
Member
Username: Jack_horzempa

Post Number: 171
Registered: 02-2007
Posted From: 68.82.57.55
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 10:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Permit me to opine on the topic of European (including German hops). I utilize European hops a lot in my homebrewing:

- English East Kent Goldings for bittering, flavor and aroma in my English Bitter Ales, Belgian Trappist style Ales and Saisons
- Czech Saaz for flavor/aroma in my Bohemian Pilsners and Wits
- German Hallertau and Hersbrucker hops for my Alts and Classic American Pilsners

I solely utilize pellet hops and I have never experienced any problems with these European hops. I have seen where others have experienced freshness issues with European whole hops. Because of these reports I have always purposefully used pellet hops in my homebrewing.

On the topic of German Hallertau hops I have a strong preference in using Hallertau Mittelfruh hops. I have brewed good beers using German Hallertau hops (which I assume are Hallertau Gold hops) and Hersbrucker hops. I am of the opinion that Hallertau Mittelfruh is a more flavorful and aromatic hop. I have had extremely good experiences purchasing Hallertau Mittelfruh hops from William’s Brewing.

I have no personal experience using American grown varieties of the above discussed hops. I have always been happy with the European grown hops. Needless to say but the American grown varieties (i.e., US Hallertau) will taste differently due to the terroir aspect of growing hops.

I personally would recommend that European grown hops be utilized; just make sure that you purchase pellets.

Cheers!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 13637
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.150.9.127
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 10:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK, Brad, let's see what I can do to muck up this thread.

I'll save the recipe for last.

As for hops, I have no direct evidence that European hops contribute to the early staling of German beers. I don't know that I've ever had a stale Celebrator doppelbock, for example. But there was a recent article in Zymurgy by Ted Hausotter (who has posted here in the past) about domestic substitutions for noble European hops. He spoke favorably of using Sterling in place of Saaz, and Mt. Hood for Hallertauer, also mentioning that Mt. Hood and Liberty work well in tandem.

I think everyone should try a decoction at least once. It can be done with a cooler if you have a large enough mash tun and begin thick for the first step. This allows you to identify with what Germen brewers did for more than a century, even if it's largely a lost art there today. Perhaps the best reference for the details is Kai Troester's website: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Decoction_Mashing. Kai also has three videos on YouTube (linked from his site).

That said, I haven't done a decoction in over five years. It's too easy for me to include a little melanoidin malt in the grist and do a George Fix-inspired 50-60-70 C step mash (I can use my HERMS to recirculate the mash liquid as well as directly heat the mash tun). I spend very little time at 50 C (basically just long enough to check the pH and adjust if necessary), and I vary the length of the 60 C and 70 C rests depending on the desired degree of fermentability.

And now for my Helles recipe:

Give 'em Helles (MH)
A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------
01-D Light Lager, Munich Helles
Min OG: 1.045 Max OG: 1.051
Min IBU: 16 Max IBU: 22
Min Clr: 3 Max Clr: 5 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------
Batch Size (Gal): 10.50 Wort Size (Gal): 10.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 16.75
Anticipated OG: 1.0480 Plato: 11.92
Anticipated SRM: 4.3
Anticipated IBU: 17.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 70 Minutes

Formulas Used
-------------
Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Tinseth
Tinseth Concentration Factor: 1.19
Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 5 %


Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
92.5 15.50 lbs. Pilsener Germany 1.0380 2
4.5 0.75 lbs. Melanoidin Malt Germany 1.0330 30
3.0 0.50 lbs. Carafoam Malt Germany 1.0330 2
Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.50 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh Pellet 4.50 12.7 60 min.
0.75 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh Pellet 4.50 4.4 25 min.

Extras
Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)

Yeast
-----
Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager