New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermeneter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Failed attempt at Augustiner Info




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
Boerderij_Kabouter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,461
Liked 109 Times on 97 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default My Quest to Clone Augustiner Helles begins

I am not a shy person. I want to brew an Augustiner Helles because I think it is the best in the world and you can't get it outside Munich. (I know they have an export but it just isn't the same somehow).

So I sent them this email:

Quote:
Hallo,

I am an American homebrewer who lived in Germany for a summer. While there I visited a good friend of mine in Munich and spent a good deal of time in your bier-garden. I have longed for a taste of Augustiner Helles ever since! I have been homebrewing for about 3 years now and want to produce a good copy of the Augustiner Helles so I can drink it here in America with my friends and family. I have searched for a good recipe and the techniques to produce the best Helles (in my opinion) but have been unable to find such information. I really hope you would be willing to help me out. From what I can gather, a traditional Helles bier is 100% Pilsner malt mashed with a triple decoction mash schedule and uses Hallertauer hops. I also know that many current Helles biers are not 100% Pilsner malt based. I have several questions I am hoping you can help me with...

1) What does your grain bill look like? What percentage of what malts do you use?
2) What mash schedule do you use? What temperature rests? Do you use decoctions? Do you raise to a mash-out temperature? Do you batch or fly-sparge?
3) What hops do you use? How much bittering? What time do you make your additions?
4) How long do you boil for? Do you use any other ingredients or clarifiers?
5) What is the original gravity of your Helles?
6) What yeast do you use? If it is a house yeast, is there any way to get it? I have a good friend who lives in Munich, could he stop by the brewery and pick up a small container of yeast slurry?
7) What temperature do you use for primary fermentation? How long does your primary fermentation normally last?
8) Do you generally need a diacetyl rest? What temperature do you lager at and for how long?
9) How do you carbonate? Kraüsen? Force carbonation? How many volumes of CO2 do you target for carbonation?
10) Do you age with oak barrels for any period of time?

I hope you can help me on my quest to have this beer at my home. Perhaps if I am successful, I can send you some of my beers for sampling.

If you have any other information that may help me produce a good copy of your beer, I would appreciate any advice you can give.

Thank you very much. Hopfen und Maltz, Gott erhalts!
Not much to my surprise, this is the reply I received:

Quote:
Hallo Mr. Talbot,

sorry, but if I would answer only one of your questions I would have to look for a new job and would have to pay a lot of money.

Before somebody starts to work for Augustiner he has to sign a contract and there it is fixed, that it is forbidden to say anything about the process of beer brewing at the Augustiner Brewery.

Thank you for regarding our Helles as the best. We are proud to hear this!

With kind regards

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Augustiner-Bräu Wagner KG
Rainer Englmeier
Hauptabteilungsleiter
Produktion und Qualitätssicherung
I both love and hate the secrecy the Germans still have with their beer!!



Last edited by Boerderij_Kabouter; 09-11-2008 at 02:12 PM.
Boerderij_Kabouter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 02:02 PM   #2
jpsloan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Market, MD
Posts: 757
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Well, at least he was pretty nice about it!



__________________
"An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold on to a blade of grass, and keep from slipping off the face of the Earth."
jpsloan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #3
Boerderij_Kabouter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,461
Liked 109 Times on 97 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Very nice. I think I am going to embark on a quest to clone Augustiner. If any one else has tried, how did it turn out, are you getting close?

Boerderij_Kabouter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 113 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsloan View Post
Well, at least he was pretty nice about it!


You either get this or the usual marketing spiel of “only the purest water, finest malts and hops. Slow fermented and lagered for a long time”

And even if they would have told you how they brew it. It would have been of little help to you b/c you don’t have their brewhouse and cellar at your disposal. I bet that if you manage to clone Augustiner, your recipe and procedure would not work in their brewery.

The only thing you are left with is getting an understanding how to affect the various beer flavors and come up with a process/recipe that creates exactly the beer you are looking for.

Let me take a stab at answering some of your questions based on my cyurrent understanding of the German brewing process:

1) What does your grain bill look like? What percentage of what malts do you use?

Mostly Pilsner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they also add some specialty malts to compensate for changes that they made in the brewhouse. (e.g. less or no decoctions but added some crystal/munich malt to keep some of the original character.) Just a guess though. Modern brewhouses have become much more gentle and keep the wort really light but many Helles beers are a tad darker than a all Pilsner malt beer should be. In addition to that they may use malt made to their spec.

2) What mash schedule do you use? What temperature rests? Do you use decoctions? Do you raise to a mash-out temperature? Do you batch or fly-sparge?


Most likely dough-in above 155F. With rests at 145F and 160F and mash-out at 170F. If decoction then a single or double. But it is also very likely that no decoction is used. Fly sparge.

3) What hops do you use? How much bittering? What time do you make your additions?


Magnum and Hop extract are popular these days. But they may also use the higher quality aroma hops.

4) How long do you boil for? Do you use any other ingredients or clarifiers?


50-60 min boil is common. No clarifier in the kettle

5) What is the original gravity of your Helles?


I can’t find it, but with 5.5% abv, it is most likely between 12.5 and 13 Plato

6) What yeast do you use? If it is a house yeast, is there any way to get it? I have a good friend who lives in Munich, could he stop by the brewery and pick up a small container of yeast slurry?


For most German breweries I’d say W34/70, but the Munich breweries may use some other strain. The characteristics will be different anyway since Augustiner ferments in much larger vessels that you would.

7) What temperature do you use for primary fermentation? How long does your primary fermentation normally last?


Primary fermentation is likely to peak at 8-9C and lasts for about 7 days. After that time the beer is already cooled to lagering temps.

8) Do you generally need a diacetyl rest? What temperature do you lager at and for how long?


If they do a diacetyl rest it will be around 4-6C. Largering close to 0C, but I don’t know for how long. Maybe 4 – 6 weeks.

9) How do you carbonate? Kraüsen? Force carbonation? How many volumes of CO2 do you target for carbonation?


Carbonation is built during lagering. I doubt that Kraeusen is added though.

10) Do you age with oak barrels for any period of time?


I can’t believe you asked this. It’s a Helles and not an IPA.



Again, all the statements are just a good guess.

Kai
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 02:49 PM   #5
Boerderij_Kabouter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,461
Liked 109 Times on 97 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
10) Do you age with oak barrels for any period of time?[/FONT][/COLOR]

I can’t believe you asked this. It’s a Helles and not an IPA.
I know it is but I had heard a rumor that they used Oak barrels lined with pitch for a portion of their aging process. I wanted to know if it was true....

Thanks, for the help Kai. Have you brewed a Helles lately? Any general tips for the style?
__________________
2P-Twent-E Simple Brew DITCHES 1 DITCHES 2 Fermentolagertaporator side-by-side ferm Twelve Hopostles Labels
Boerderij_Kabouter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 02:51 PM   #6
Ryan_PA
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: South Philly, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,913
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
1) What does your grain bill look like? What percentage of what malts do you use?

Mostly Pilsner...
4) How long do you boil for? Do you use any other ingredients or clarifiers?


50-60 min boil is common. No clarifier in the kettle
I would not think to disagree with you Kai, but should't you do a 90+ minute boil if you have that much pils in your bill? I always thought this was one of the best approaches to minimize DMS.
__________________
Ryan_PA is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 02:58 PM   #7
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 113 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

[quote=Boerderij Kabouter;845336]I know it is but I had heard a rumor that they used Oak barrels lined with pitch for a portion of their aging process. I wanted to know if it was true....
[quote]

50 years ago maybe. But no brewery is bothering with pich lined barrels anymore. Even the ones you see at the Okoberfest when the draw from “Fass” are actually stainless steel inside. Pitch is a hassle and unsanitary and you may actually end up with some pitch in the glass. I believe the German expression “Pech gehabt” (tough luck) started there meaning that the one with pitch in the glass had tough luck.

Quote:
Have you brewed a Helles lately? Any general tips for the style?


If I were to tell you that I would have to pay a lot of money and look for a new job



I think he could have given you the info that I gave you. Maybe more detailed but instead of being specific to Augustiner give the info that is common brewer knowledge in Germany. Stuff you read in books, papers and other publications. But that would have taken a long time which he doesn’t have. I’d love to sit down a brewer like this and chat wit him about this.

I don’t have any new info about brewing a Helles. I’m still trying to see the differences that the process makes in getting close to the German character.

Kai
__________________
BrauKaiser.com - brewing science blog - Twitter - water and mash chemistry calculator
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 04:39 PM   #8
phissionkorps
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 394
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I had a couple of these last year at that restaurant by Marienplatz right across from the bronze catfish statue and church (someone here has to know what I mean). I hope someone is able to figure this out.

__________________

Primary: star thistle traditional mead
Secondary: mango melomel, Biere de Garde, dark strong braggot, oud bruin, Paulaner clone, coffee RIS
Bottled: rye wit, sticke alt, Graetzer, Apfelwein, zeus SMaSH, APA

phissionkorps is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 05:10 PM   #9
menschmaschine
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,278
Liked 31 Times on 26 Posts

Default

You asked for WAY too much, BK. But thanks for trying! I'm very interested in this myself. I think Helles recipes are relatively simple in concept and the only thing I think I'm missing from creating something fairly close to Augustiner is the hops... type(s) and schedule (although it may just be bittering). I think there is a certain delicate pleasantness to Augustiner that makes it so unique and I think getting the right hops is key. I'm confident I can get the grains and brewing technique to produce something similar/worthy, but it's just those dang hops!... and there's only a few from which to choose (German Noble). If I could just get the hop info, I think I could get close.

__________________

END TRANSMISSION

menschmaschine is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 05:18 PM   #10
Saccharomyces
Be good to your yeast...
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Saccharomyces's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pflugerville, Texas
Posts: 5,432
Liked 73 Times on 49 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_PA View Post
I would not think to disagree with you Kai, but should't you do a 90+ minute boil if you have that much pils in your bill? I always thought this was one of the best approaches to minimize DMS.
The breweries may be able to get malt that has fewer DMS precursors? Maybe they do a low pressure boil? The breweries I have been to boil the holy crap out of their wort so I would think 60 minutes would be sufficient. It makes BierMuncher's boil pics look like a wimpy boil. Must be nice to have a kettle which is the size of a basement.


__________________
[How to Calculate Mash Efficiency | Do I Need a Yeast Starter? | My Ghetto Fermentation Chamber | Twitter | 6 Gal. HDPE Fermenters | Slanting Yeast | No Sparge Brewing]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soperbrew
big brother only monitors facebook and untappd
Saccharomyces is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Augustiner in VEGAS? redneckbeagle General Beer Discussion 0 08-27-2009 04:27 PM
Failed All Grain Attempt 1984CJ All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 02-15-2008 06:21 AM
More Yeast After A Failed Attempt in the same Wort? tflo101 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 12-16-2007 08:39 PM
My failed attempt at temp. control, wah, waaahhh uuurang All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 19 09-01-2007 05:26 PM
Failed attempt at brew day D*Bo General Beer Discussion 10 07-17-2006 06:10 PM