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Old 09-11-2013, 03:04 PM   #1
Bassman2003
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Default Brewing for Aroma

Hello,

I have been brewing for over ten years and am always trying to improve my process. Last year I had the good fortune of travelling to Belgium with my cousin and we sampled about as much beer as possible. One thing that really stood out to me was the aroma or "nose" most all of the Belgian beers had. Every style seemed to have this, not just the "funky" styles.

Which makes me wonder, is there a process to increase the nose of your beer?
Can you "brew for aroma"?

I had a couple different bottle of German Dunkleweizen recently and was blown away by the Weihenstephaner dunkelweizen. It had so much aroma coming out of the glass. This really added a lot to the enjoyment of the beer.

So any ideas or practices for increasing the aroma in beer? My first thought is towards yeast, but there is not much I can do about that. I make starters and earate my wort with O2.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 09-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #2
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Late hops and yeast are the largest contributors to aroma. I dry-hop in the keg now, and have even cut out traditional "late hops" from the boil as they seem to disappear quickly anyway.

Some yeasts (including most belgians) are very aromatic, too.

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Old 09-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply.

Just be clear, I am only speaking about malt or phenolic aroma, not hops. Hops are a completely different topic.

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Old 09-11-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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When you add aroma hops, instead of adding them during the last 2-5 minutes, add them when you turn off the flame and let them sit in 180F wort for 20-30 minutes.

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Old 09-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #5
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Malty beers should certainly have a malty aroma!

Is it possible that you're not pouring into a glass and quickly taking stock of the aroma in your homebrew? Otherwise, using "malty" malts like Munich malt and/or aromatic malt will give a more intense malt aroma (and flavor).

Edit- I just noticed that you were specifically talking about a dunkelweizen in the original post. Since the flavor of weizens (and many many Belgians) is derived from the yeast characteristics, perhaps that is what you are looking for? Weizens especially are noted for phenols (clove like flavors and aromas) and fruity esters. Some other flavors in a dunkelweizen will come from Vienna malt or Munich malt- the "malty" aroma, maybe even "toasty" or "breadcrust", while the wheat will provide the "bready" part of the aroma.

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Old 09-11-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcLight View Post
When you add aroma hops, instead of adding them during the last 2-5 minutes, add them when you turn off the flame and let them sit in 180F wort for 20-30 minutes.
Thanks, but I would rather not have this be a hop conversation. More about how to get a great overall aroma.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Malty beers should certainly have a malty aroma!

Is it possible that you're not pouring into a glass and quickly taking stock of the aroma in your homebrew? Otherwise, using "malty" malts like Munich malt and/or aromatic malt will give a more intense malt aroma (and flavor).

Edit- I just noticed that you were specifically talking about a dunkelweizen in the original post. Since the flavor of weizens (and many many Belgians) is derived from the yeast characteristics, perhaps that is what you are looking for? Weizens especially are noted for phenols (clove like flavors and aromas) and fruity esters. Some other flavors in a dunkelweizen will come from Vienna malt or Munich malt- the "malty" aroma, maybe even "toasty" or "breadcrust", while the wheat will provide the "bready" part of the aroma.
Thanks for your reply. I guess I am going deeper than just having aroma.

For example: When I purchased a few German dunkleweizens last week, there were three different brands. All of the beers tasted great. All have proprietary yeast strains. But somehow, the Weihenstephan had all of this nose when you got close to it. Way more than the other two.

So I wonder, what did Weihenstephan do to get this much aroma?

When I make a weizen I use WLP 300, mash with steps and ferment in the mid to low 60s. The beer is fine but it has nowhere near the nose that the German examples have.

I wonder if the process has anything to do with it and not just the yeast?
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I wonder if the process has anything to do with it and not just the yeast?
Well, by "process", if you mean recipe (malt bill especially), pitch rate, yeast strain, and fermentation temperature- sure!

I don't know if a decoction mash would have more malt aroma than a single infusion mash, as an example- but using malty malts like Munich malt and aromatic malt would give much more intense malt aroma and flavor than not using it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:09 PM   #9
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High carbonation in an appropriate style can help a lot with aroma. Many Belgians are stored cold/lagered post-fermentation before bottling and the reduced sediment in the beer reduces nucleation sites for carbonation and helps with getting fine bubble/lasting carbonation to continuously bring out aroma.

The Weihenstephan most likely had carbonation in-line with many Belgians.

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Old 09-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for your input. I agree high carbonation levels help bring out the aroma, but in the example of Weihenstephan, all three German weizens had similar carbonation levels and I would assume pretty similar grain bills. Something made the Weihenstephan stand out.

I want this in my beers but have never been able to get there.

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