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Old 04-13-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default A Few Continental/Father's Day Recipes...Critiques?

The Father's Day Trio

Quite unintentionally, these three recipes were bouncing around in my mind when I realized "Hey, father's day isn't that far off."

So I figure I'll do a beer for each of my grandfathers, and one for the main man himself. A gift they'll actually appreciate.

Very much open to, and indeed looking for any comments/critiques/suggestions. Thanks in advance.

All recipes are based upon 75% mash efficiency, and factor in 4 oz 43ppm DME.

Weiss Kölsch

Weiss kölsch is a style within a style, as far as the BJCP is concerned. With the ingredients I have on hand, and my complete lack of filtering utensils, it seems a logical choice. Here's what the BJCP says about it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJCP
Some Köln breweries (e.g., Dom, Hellers) are now producing young, unfiltered versions known as Wiess [sic], which...can contain up to 20% wheat.
Style: Weiss Kölsch
Size: 5.25 gallons
Mash Temp: 149*F (75 minutes)
Color: 4 SRM
Bitterness: ~20 IBU
OG: 1.045
FG: 1.010 (~78% attenuation)
ABV: 4.5%

Partial Mash

2.5 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb Torrified Wheat
3 lbs Pilsen (ie: extra light) DME; 3*L, 43 ppg

Hops = 7.5% Palisade; 4.2% Styrian Goldings

.5 oz Palisade @ 60
.25 " " @ 10
.25 Styrian Goldings @ 10
.25 Styrian @ 5

Yeast = WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch, with 72-78% attenuation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Labs
From a small brewpub in Cologne, Germany, this yeast works great in Kölsch and Alt style beers. Good for light beers like blond and honey. Accentuates hop flavors, similar to WLP001. The slight sulfur produced during fermentation will disappear with age and leave a super clean, lager like ale.
Altbier von Großvater

This one is geared toward the tastes of my [German] grandfather. He likes dunkles, particularly Beck's Dark (bleh). I'm trying to develop a brew that uses my ale equipment and temperatures, and will meet with his liking. Settled on the following:

Style: Düsseldorf Altbier
Size: 5.25 gallons
Mash Temp: 150*F (70 minutes)
Color: 17 SRM
Bitterness: ~45 IBU
OG: 1.054
FG: 1.013 (~76% attenuation)
ABV: 5.2%

All Grain

8.25 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb Munich
6 oz. Chocolate Wheat Malt

Hops = 7.5% Palisade; Hallertau

Palisade 1.5 oz @ 60
" " .5 oz @ 15
.75 oz Hallertau @ Flameout

Yeast = WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch, with 72-78% attenuation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Labs
From a small brewpub in Cologne, Germany, this yeast works great in Kölsch and Alt style beers. Good for light beers like blond and honey. Accentuates hop flavors, similar to WLP001. The slight sulfur produced during fermentation will disappear with age and leave a super clean, lager like ale.
Blanche de Blanche

Been looking to do a Wit/white, not only because it's a favorite of both myself and my father, but also because my surname is Blanche (hence, "Blanche de Blanche").

All Grain

Style: Wit
Size: 5.25 gallons
Mash Temp: 154*F (60 minutes) -- Considering some form of protein rest, but more research needed.
Color: 4 SRM
Bitterness: ~15 IBU
OG: 1.048
FG: 1.012 (~75% attenuation)
ABV: 5.2%

4 lbs Torrified Wheat
2 lbs Belgian Pilsner
1 lb 8 oz Maris Otter
1 lb American 6-row
8 oz Flaked Oats

1 ounce Bitter peel
.75 oz Coriander

Hops = 3.9% Hallertau; 4.2% Styrian Goldings

.25 oz @ 60 min Hallertau
.5 oz @ 60 min Styrian Goldings

Yeast = WLP 400 Belgian Wit Ale, with 74-78% attenuation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Labs
Slightly phenolic and tart, this is the original yeast used to produce Wit in Belgium.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:26 PM   #2
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A couple of comments regarding the alt and wit, as I'm unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Kolsch:

- Your alt recipe seems to be lacking sufficient maltiness that Dusseldorf alts have in spades from Munich and Vienna malts nor the melanoidins. The Maris Otter has some nice maltiness and you can home-toast a few pounds to get a deeper maltiness if you can't get Munich or Vienna. The wheat is an unusual choice for a Dusseldorf alt, though it's right at home in the Westphalian variant (can you tell I've been reading Horst Dornbusch's book on the style? )

- Don't go too nuts on the hopping schedule, as I think alts are best with a single bittering charge and then a flavor/aroma addition around 15 minutes. The bitterness is firm, but the style still emphasizes malt. I think it's best to think of an altbier as a brown lager, though obviously an ale.

- I can only guess about your grainbill for the wit, as you've not included it? But the hop schedule is a little wonky. Single bittering charge only, low IBUs around 10. Clean, neutral bittering hop. The supporting bitterness comes from the bitter orange peel and late hop additions will clash with the herbal notes from the peel and the citrus notes from the coriander.

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Old 04-14-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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With the Alt, my primary reason for using the wheat was almost for the sake of using it (as I have it on hand), which is kinda silly in retrospect. I was looking at some styles that use fairly heavy wheat additions, etc, but I agree that it's both inappropriate for the listed style, and probably wouldn't jive with what my grandfather likes. As such, I've transferred that pound over to the Blanche, and am replacing it with 1 pound of Munich (edited above). Otherwise, the grain bill remains the same.

The hops have been adjusted, although not perhaps in the manner you had in mind. I was trying to lower the IBUs somewhat, while also taking the half ounce of Vanguard over to the Wit, and bringing the Styrian Goldings over here for the flameout addition. Alts are very hoppy beers, the Sticke sub-style even being dry hoped. With my fairly restrained quantities, I don't think the beer will be off-putting or out of style. Hop aroma and flavor are both up to moderate as per BJCP. Granted, the use of Palisade would not be to a judge's liking, but it's what I have on hand.

I agree that the hop schedule for the Wit was a little off. I was just throwing it out there. Indeed, my purpose was to use all of the Styrian Goldings on hand, while not going over a very modest IBU level. To do this, I had to spread it out. I don't think the minor late additions would have overwhelmed anything, but this is neither here nor there at this point, because I've settled on one half-ounce charge of Vanguard at 60.

The grain bill for it is now up (duh). The wheat addition is high, but I've counterbalanced it with a pound of 6 row on top of the other base malts, to provide additional enzymatic power, and also a bunch of husks to help with the mash.

Well, hmm, I think I covered everything. I really appreciate the feedback on this one. I'm going to have to order a few ingredients later today (at the latest) to keep on my brewing schedule, so any suggested changes should come round-about by then.

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Old 04-14-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
The hops have been adjusted, although not perhaps in the manner you had in mind. I was trying to lower the IBUs somewhat, while also taking the half ounce of Vanguard over to the Wit, and bringing the Styrian Goldings over here for the flameout addition. Alts are very hoppy beers, the Sticke sub-style even being dry hoped. With my fairly restrained quantities, I don't think the beer will be off-putting or out of style. Hop aroma and flavor are both up to moderate as per BJCP. Granted, the use of Palisade would not be to a judge's liking, but it's what I have on hand.
I always differentiate between 'hoppy' and 'bitter', so it may have been a miscommunication. In my mind, alts aren't so much hoppy as they are firmly bitter. The hop flavor and aroma can be moderate, but they come from noble hops. The Syrian Goldings, despite the name, are almost identical in flavor and aroma to Fuggles so you may want to reconsider if that earthiness will be agreeable to your grandfather. I wasn't suggesting that the resultant beer from your original hop schedule would have been off-putting, only that it would have been out of character for a Dusseldorf alt.

Quote:
I agree that the hop schedule for the Wit was a little off. I was just throwing it out there. Indeed, my purpose was to use all of the Styrian Goldings on hand, while not going over a very modest IBU level. To do this, I had to spread it out. I don't think the minor late additions would have overwhelmed anything, but this is neither here nor there at this point, because I've settled on one half-ounce charge of Vanguard at 60.
Not overwhelming, just clashing on the palate. The bittering charge in a wit should be as clean and neutral as you can manage to allow the complex flavors of the spices, phenols from the yeast and the slight tartness from the wheat to come through.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
I always differentiate between 'hoppy' and 'bitter', so it may have been a miscommunication. In my mind, alts aren't so much hoppy as they are firmly bitter.
I hear what you're saying, but again some subtypes are dry hopped, which is quintessential hoppiness as you define it. Is this beer exactly what the BJCP considers to be a Düsseldorf? Maybe not -- or, more specifically, leaning to the Sticke subtype rather than falling into line with a "standard" Düsseldorf. The more important question: Would a German like my grandfather classify it under the broad heading "German beer?" For sure. I cite the BJCP and their styles as a point of reference, not necessarily as a be all, end all.

Quote:
The hop flavor and aroma can be moderate, but they come from noble hops. The Syrian Goldings, despite the name, are almost identical in flavor and aroma to Fuggles so you may want to reconsider if that earthiness will be agreeable to your grandfather.
I understand this. Palisade is derived from Tettanger (ie: strong noble lineage), and I love the aroma of Styrian Goldings, which is "noble enough" for government work (and indeed is considered noble in some camps, however erroneously). I wouldn't say styrian is nearly identical to Fuggles, though. Genetically perhaps, but unique as far as flavor and aroma go -- at least enough to be sold/labeled as a separate strain. It's very popular on the continent, and can probably be found in a number of commercial brews that the BJCP say should only be using noble hops.

Above all, this is a drinking beer, not a competition beer. Despite me constantly citing the BJCP, I'm only using the guidelines to keep me in the ballpark; I won't shut any doors for the sake of staying rigidly within style. Particularly with the Alts, there's so, so much local variation that a universal "This is Alt" checklist should only be looked upon as a guideline (unless there's an active need to appeal to BJCP judges).

Quote:
Not overwhelming, just clashing on the palate. The bittering charge in a wit should be as clean and neutral as you can manage to allow the complex flavors of the spices, phenols from the yeast and the slight tartness from the wheat to come through.
The BJCP permits a minor hop flavor/aroma in a wit, so long as it doesn't clash, as you suggest. I doubt quarter ounce additions at 10 and 5 are enough to do a whole lot of anything beyond nuance. The original motivation was to add a bit of complexity, experiment, etc, without doing something obviously wrong. But as mentioned, it has been adjusted.

So in summation, these are decidedly drinking beers. If someone sees anything here that would detract from a good brew, let me know. I'm not particularly interesting in remaining hard-and-fast within style, just making some nice brew for the grandparents and my dad.

EDIT: And for the record, I'm thankful for the advice that has come thus far. Please don't take this as me being defensive, etc. Just throwing my philosophy out there, however right or wrong it may be.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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For the sake of argument:

Quote:
I wouldn't say that styrian is nearly identical to Fuggles, though. Genetically perhaps, but unique as far as flavor and aroma go -- at least enough to be sold/labeled as a separate strain. It's very popular on the continent, and can probably be found in a number of commercial brews that the BJCP say should only be using noble hops.
I disagree vehemently. If you brewed two SMaSH beers and blind-tasted them, unless your palate is developed to a far greater degree than mine you'd taste no difference.

What it's labeled as hasn't got any bearing at all as to any discernible difference. US Fuggles are labeled just that, and I know I can't tell the difference between them and UK Fuggles.

Popularity on the Continent might not have anything to do with anything. It could be difficulty in sourcing Fuggles in EU, or restrictive/protective tariffs more than preference or applicability to a particular beer.

I'm not trying to be a prat; I'm simply challenging what are very possibly erroneous assumptions.



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Old 04-14-2009, 12:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
I hear what you're saying, but again some subtypes are dry hopped, which is quintessential hoppiness as you define it. Is this beer exactly what the BJCP considers to be a Düsseldorf? Maybe not -- or, more specifically, leaning to the Sticke subtype rather than falling into line with a "standard" Düsseldorf. The more important question: Would a German like my grandfather classify it under the broad heading "German beer?" For sure. I cite the BJCP and their styles as a point of reference, not necessarily as a be all, end all.
And I'm not suggesting that the BJCP is the final say on the matter; we seem to coming at the subject from opposite sides but saying largely the same thing. The BJCP guidelines aren't just for the sake of competition beers. With respect to the Altbiers, there are certainly regional variations with respect to dry-hopping, etc - but there is still very much a 'standard' with respect to hopping rates, grain bill, mash schedule that has been cataloged in Dornbusch's book. Again, I'm not trying to be snarky or argumentative, just having a discussion. The 'Sticke' Alt is enough of an odd-ball that the BJCP has put it into 23, FWIW. They are special releases from the altstadt breweries that may only be served for a day or two before the stores are depleted.


Quote:
Above all, this is a drinking beer, not a competition beer. Despite me constantly citing the BJCP, I'm only using the guidelines to keep me in the ballpark; I won't shut any doors for the sake of staying rigidly within style. Particularly with the Alts, there's so, so much local variation that a universal "This is Alt" checklist should only be looked upon as a guideline (unless there's an active need to appeal to BJCP judges).
I agree! But as drinkers, we have expectations about a beer that is set before us as being representative of a certain style when so named and I was trying to speak to that point.

Brew on, mate!

Jason
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
For the sake of argument:



I disagree vehemently. If you brewed two SMaSH beers and blind-tasted them, unless your palate is developed to a far greater degree than mine you'd taste no difference.

What it's labeled as hasn't got any bearing at all as to any discernible difference. US Fuggles are labeled just that, and I know I can't tell the difference between them and UK Fuggles.

Popularity on the Continent might not have anything to do with anything. It could be difficulty in sourcing Fuggles in EU, or restrictive/protective tariffs more than preference or applicability to a particular beer.

I'm not trying to be a prat; I'm simply challenging what are very possibly erroneous assumptions.



Bob
Bob,

I always appreciate your input. I've used Fuggles prior for a stout, and used styrian prior for a Dubble. I brewed the beers literally two days apart, and had both the Fuggles and the Styrian side by side. To my nose, there was a distinct difference, to the point where I wouldn't have necessarily known they were related unless told. In other words, I wasn't making a statement based upon assumption, but experience.

The differences noted could be due to source/age/anything, but I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who will agree with the fact that Styrian and UK Fuggles do not share the same character. I just did a quick internet search (for what an internet search is worth), and couldn't find one source that said Styrian and Fuggles are effectively identical. Similar, perhaps even really similar, but never mentioned as identical.

Either way, to be perfectly honest I don't much care. I'm just looking to brew some good beer for my relatives. If anyone has anything they might want to add about the recipes themselves, my thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18
I agree! But as drinkers, we have expectations about a beer that is set before us as being representative of a certain style when so named and I was trying to speak to that point.
Indeed, but if we both agree that the style is incredibly diverse, with beers from two adjacent houses in Düsseldorf being quite different, I don't know what it is exactly that you're speaking to (with all respect). To me, an alt is an amber to brown ale, generally clean in it's profile, has a strong malt presence, and relies heavily on hops for its character. Beyond that, it's all in the brewer. Indeed, those beers that challenge our expectations (in a good way) are often the standouts.

Please bear in mind, not trying to come off as a prima donna. These recipes could amount dog piss for all I know. I'm just looking for feedback on the recipes themselves; the styles are just there to give a very general ballpark for what the beer is supposed to be. I'm not so much interested in discussing the theory/history, nor is it my goal to make the quintessential alt, wit, etc. Just good beer for good people.

So if anyone wants to help me to that end...
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Please bear in mind, not trying to come off as a prima donna. These recipes could amount dog piss for all I know. I'm just looking for feedback on the recipes themselves; the styles are just there to give a very general ballpark for what the beer is supposed to be. I'm not so much interested in discussing the theory/history, nor is it my goal to make the quintessential alt, wit, etc. Just good beer for good people.
I think your recipes will make fine drinking beers! Don't know if you saw my reply in your earlier wit thread, but keep the boil gentle (a strong simmer, really) to keep the majority of proteins in solution rather than being carried out as hot break. And with the percentage of unmalted cereal grains in your recipe, I'd strongly suggest a protein/sacch rest at 133° - you'll be pleased with the results.

As far as the theory and history, no worries if it's of no interest to you. I just geek out on the stuff.

Jason
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:09 PM   #10
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:::sigh::: I'm very much interested in brewing history and theory, but not at 9am when I'm trying to get some recipes down pat before noon -- in an effort to order ingredients and have them here by brewday.

Regardless, I've tweaked around with the hop schedules even more. Trying to milk the most out of the hops I already have. Am picking up some Hallertau for the alt, in place of the Styrian. Styrian going into the Wit where it belongs, along with a shot in the Kölsch to bump up complexity a bit.

If there are any final tweaks/suggestions for these brews, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I'm going to put in an order for some odds and ends within the next few hours.

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