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Old 12-22-2010, 04:38 AM   #1
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Default German Bock yeast for Pilsners?

Hey, all. I discovered recently that I have a garage that keeps at 50 deg F, and a shed that keeps at 30 deg F in this season. Finally an excuse to brew some lagers! I've never tried before.

I went to the LHBS to get ingredients for a Vienna lager and a Czech pilsner. I was planning on getting WLP830 - German lager yeast - to ferment both of them, as it seemed like a pretty versatile strain. They were out of the strain, however, and so I got WLP833 - German Bock. It's from Ayinger. It had a similar attenuation to 830, and also seemed, from the description, to be pretty versatile.

Should I use this strain for the Vienna and the Pils? I'm going for a fairly light, but nicely malty, Vienna, and a Pils similar to something like Pilsner Urquell. I'm going to brew the Vienna first, though, so if I have to pick up another strain at some point for the pils that wouldn't be a disaster.

I'd love to hear from anyone with more lager experience, especially if you've used this strain before.

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Old 12-22-2010, 05:26 AM   #2
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I've used that strain for a dopplebock, maibock and a vienna before. They all turned out excellently. If you were going to use it for a pils, you might consider dropping the mash temp a touch as the attenuation on average is a bit lower 73% vs 77%.

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Old 12-22-2010, 05:50 AM   #3
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Aye, that's a good idea on the mash temp. I am just using pils malt in the mash, no caramel or anything like that, so I suspect I would have to be careful with that though.

Does the strain tend to give much diacetyl? Did you use a diacetyl rest the times you used it? I ask because Pils Urquell uses a bit of diacetyl to give the finished product richness. The malt profile is fairly distinct, really; though I'm not trying to clone it as such, it's that sort of thing I'm aiming for.

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Old 12-22-2010, 06:32 AM   #4
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If you're going for a bohemian pils like urquell the lower attenuation should give you some of that richness. I didn't pick up too much diacetyl with 833 and didn't conduct a rest, 800 is actually the urquell strain which is closer in attenuation to the 833 with an average of 74.5%. I mash at 154 for my bohemian pils but that includes ~6% carapils.

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Old 12-22-2010, 07:31 AM   #5
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Wyeast Bohemian Lager (or WLP German Lager or Saflager W34/70, it's the same W34/70 strain from Weihenstephan) is preferred by many, for this season i'm using Wyeast Munich Lager (same as WLP South German Lager) - for marzen, German-type pils, vienna lager, maibock and maybe some dunkel. This strain accentuates malt flavor, which is good for any German lager, maybe except Dortmunder.

My colleagues tried to make Bohemian-type pilsners using german bock-type strains and the beers was... not so bohemian. Too malty, not enough hoppy.

I'd definitely go for W34/70.

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Old 12-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
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Yeah, that's the strain I was looking for. The LHBS was out.

Do you happen to know, when your colleagues made pilsners with it, if they used only pils malt? A lot of people add caramel or carapils. I ask because, as rockfish42 points out, the attenuation of the bock strain and the pilsen strains is quite similar.

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Old 12-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
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Varies. Most uses only pilsner malt (specially Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner), some add ~5% of carapils/carafoam, some even mix 90% pilsner + 10% light munich. This is not as important as keeping the fermentation temperature at proper range.

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Old 12-22-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
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For just about any other Pils I'd say the 34/70 strain (WLP830 or Wyeast 2124) is better because it attenuates well but for a Pilsner Urquell I think the Bock strain would be better. Pilsner Urquell has really low attenuation (like ~69% apparent).

For a Vienna I think the Bock lager yeast is perfect. That's what I use for Viennas and they have scored well/medaled (just recently won a gold medal in the Sunshine Challenge).

Quote:
It had a similar attenuation to 830, and also seemed, from the description, to be pretty versatile.
IME, they are not that close in attenuation. 833 attenuates noticably less than 830.

Can't speak to the diacetyl because I can't detect it very well and always do a D-rest as a matter of course.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I think I'll use the strain for both beers, then. If anything notable results, I'll report back.

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Old 12-24-2010, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
Hey, all. I discovered recently that I have a garage that keeps at 50 deg F, and a shed that keeps at 30 deg F in this season. Finally an excuse to brew some lagers! I've never tried before.

I went to the LHBS to get ingredients for a Vienna lager and a Czech pilsner. I was planning on getting WLP830 - German lager yeast - to ferment both of them, as it seemed like a pretty versatile strain. They were out of the strain, however, and so I got WLP833 - German Bock. It's from Ayinger. It had a similar attenuation to 830, and also seemed, from the description, to be pretty versatile.

Should I use this strain for the Vienna and the Pils? I'm going for a fairly light, but nicely malty, Vienna, and a Pils similar to something like Pilsner Urquell. I'm going to brew the Vienna first, though, so if I have to pick up another strain at some point for the pils that wouldn't be a disaster.

I'd love to hear from anyone with more lager experience, especially if you've used this strain before.

For the Viienna, absolutely, it will be just fine. For a Czech pils use the specific yeast strain. It's one of the things that separates the Czech beer from the others.
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