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Old 10-08-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
chrisedjohn
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Default Going for a "grainy" taste, any suggestions?

I love what comes across to me as if I was tasting the barley itself in some beers like Bitburger and Stella - what I'd call a very "grainy" taste. Not sure how much of what I like in there is a hops or other characteristic - but I'd like to experiment towards those flavors I like in a session beer.

In my first all-grain attempt at this, I'm going to do some extreme measures to pull alot of grain flavor (which I really like - I think) from the mash. I plan to do this by using all 2-row, milling it fine (22-24 mil), loose mash (2 qts water: 1 lb grain), low mash at 145F for 60-90, then slowly step up to 170F mash out before slowly (30 min) fly sparging with 170F water. I'm just going to do one bittering hop addition at 60 min and am trying to hit 1.048-ish OG and using a German Ale yeast at basement temps (62) for a few weeks.

If anyone knows what I'm talking about in these beers and has crafted something that comes close, would you please post some tips for me. I would LOVE to arrive at a session beer recipe that has this characteristic that could be my staple brew. BTW - ale yeast temps is a must for me (being in Milwaukee, WI and not wanting to take the time or money for lagering) and I plan to bottle ferment for quite some time.



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Old 10-08-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
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Try 6-row. It has that character grain flavor.



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Old 10-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #3
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There was a question about this in an old zymurgy mag a couple of months ago. same question but as it related to the grainyness in Gordon Biersch beers. Have to look it up, but papazan said to add a bit ___________ grain. I'll look it up and replace the ___ with the grain.

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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There is a definite difference between 'grainy' and 'malty'. 'Malty' comes from well-modified two-row malts, like Maris Otter and Golden Promise, as well as specialty malts like Vienna and Munich. 'Grainy' can usually be assigned to adjunct beers using 6-row malt and a proportion of adjunct.

Both beers listed are most probably adjunct & 6-row beers. I can't imagine Stella isn't and I can't see anything about Reinheitsgebot on the Bitburger website. So you're looking at a grist of mainly 6-row and the rest probably corn or rice.

Not hard to do a quality beer like this at home! See the RheinSchmiPielswhatever in my recipe drop-down. Give it a try; I don't think you'll be disappointed. You can brew it with a clean-fermenting ale yeast, though lagering is the only way you're going to truly replicate those flavors. After all, what is that but Cream Ale?

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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I thought you used bisquit malt for grainy/bready flavor?

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Old 10-08-2009, 07:32 PM   #6
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For what it's worth, I don't think that grinding the grain extra fine is a very good idea. You'll probably wind up with a super-astringent beer instead of the "grainy" flavor you are looking for.

I know the flavor in Bitburger you're talking about, but i'm not really sure where it comes from. Would definately like to know though.

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Old 10-08-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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from Zymurgy jan/feb 09 Dear Professor article
"add 4 to 8 oz of aromatic and/or honey malt to your lagers. Also adding 2 to 4 oz of belgian special B to light lagers will give complexity that can bring out graininess." He also says use german grown hops, and use a munich type yesast.

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Old 10-09-2009, 04:50 AM   #8
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I know what you're talking about. I think this grainy flavor comes from base malt. It's subtle, but it really comes out if you cut out the strong flavors from contamination, esters, loud/citrus hops, and specialty grains like crystal. This means you have to totally cut out off-flavors, because they'll take over. Be extra anal in your cleaning and sanitation and you'll do fine.

I would take Jamil Zainasheff's blonde ale recipe as a starting point (should be available via google). It's almost entirely base malt, with a touch of crystal 15, and a small amount of quiet Willamette hops. I fermented a batch of this at 62 degrees with safale 05, and it was very similar to a lager, especially after some aging.

After nailing the blonde recipe, you can experiment with other ingredients to continentalize it. Pilsener malt probably has the kind of grainy you're looking for, but there's also interesting flavors in Marris Otter. Just be sure to do a 90 minute boil if you go with some pilsener malt.

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Old 10-09-2009, 02:03 PM   #9
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More great info - thanks for sharing your insight with me. I'm looking fwd to brew day.



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