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Old 03-05-2008, 06:03 PM   #21
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I'm actually talking more about non-hop aroma in the first place, basically the base-line aroma that you get when there is only one bittering hop addition at 60 or 90min. I feel that there is a significant difference between my beers and the commercial examples and I want to figure it out. It might be DMS which commercial brewers may drive to the perception threshold to minimize boil time and evaporation. As a home brewer I generally chill to 100 *F within 10 min after flame-out. German brewers don't do that.

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Old 03-05-2008, 06:20 PM   #22
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Just so I'm clear, you're thinking about maybe letting a bit of DMS back into your beers, because you think that's what's "missing" in the aroma of your beers versus the commercial examples?

It would almost make sense; they're using lots of Pilsner malt, and you've got to figure that some of the old-school breweries aren't exactly utilizing the latest and greatest in chilling technology. How did/do the German breweries chill their wort?

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Old 03-05-2008, 07:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Just so I'm clear, you're thinking about maybe letting a bit of DMS back into your beers, because you think that's what's "missing" in the aroma of your beers versus the commercial examples?
Exactly. Once I determined that this is it, I can decide how much I actually want.

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It would almost make sense; they're using lots of Pilsner malt, and you've got to figure that some of the old-school breweries aren't exactly utilizing the latest and greatest in chilling technology. How did/do the German breweries chill their wort?
When you don't have an infected beer, DMS is a function of the boil-whirlpool-chill process and this process generally lets the wort sit hot for a while when it is in the whirlpool. The boil needs to be designed such (length and evaporation) that the DMS formed during the hot phase after the boil is going to be below the spec for the particular product. Energy costs (evaporation) and time costs (boil time) go against that and I expect breweries to be right at the limit of what they deem ok for a DMS level. And this level may not yet have a smell like corn to it which would give it away as DMS.

These days breweries may actually chill the wort to 80 *C before the whirlpool to slow down the DMS formation and even use an evaporator after the whirlpool to evaporate DMS formed after or during the boil. The latter lets them work with evaporation rates as little as 1%/hr. The wort is then chilled with a plate chiller to close to 0*C (to maximize cold break) and then brought back up to a pitching temp of 6*C.

In the olden days a cool ship was used. That's basically a large shallow pan in which the worts slowly flows while being cooled by ambient air. Obviously a sanitation nightmare.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kaiser
Interesting to hear that you are seeing a similar thing. I doubt that it is the modified sparge and I'm more inclined to blame the cold break removal though the literature I read suggests 12 hr setting. But that is for a much lager vessel, in a small brew pot that clearing should be much faster.

My Kraeusen is also fairly clean which I contribute to the increased cold break removal and the fact that it was hopped before the boil. The hot break must have bound up lots of the alpha acids.

Kai
One more data point. I've got another slowish fermentation going. I really do now suspect too much cold break removal. I did back to back 7.5 gal. batches of Oktoberfest and split it between 3 carboys. I split 3 ways the yeast cake from the Vienna lager I started two weeks ago that I had just an hour before racked to secondary. I was seeing activity within 24 hrs, but it hasn't been as vigorous as the other lagers this winter where I wasn't so efficient at break removal. I know the yeast were active as just before adding I shook the container the yeast had been temporaily transfered to and it started to foam over. I think I'll modify my kettle filter a little.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:23 PM   #25
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One more data point. I've got another slowish fermentation going. I really do now suspect too much cold break removal. I did back to back 7.5 gal. batches of Oktoberfest and split it between 3 carboys. I split 3 ways the yeast cake from the Vienna lager I started two weeks ago that I had just an hour before racked to secondary. I was seeing activity within 24 hrs, but it hasn't been as vigorous as the other lagers this winter where I wasn't so efficient at break removal. I know the yeast were active as just before adding I shook the container the yeast had been temporaily transfered to and it started to foam over. I think I'll modify my kettle filter a little.

Thanks for reminding me. I have another data point to share as well.

For my Maerzen, which I brewed last week-end, I used the regular 1-2 hr whirlpool rest that I have used many times before. Note that the last batch, the Helles, had a whirlpool rest of about 10 hrs. So I assume that I didn't get as much cold break removal. I pitched about 150 ml thick slurry from the Helles (racked the same day) which is about twice as much yeast as I pitched for the Helles, though I would expect the net count of viable cells to be more of a 50% increase. It was again pitched at 5.5 C, which is not common for me. I again got a 48 hr lag with a less than optimal fermentation performance (Kraeusen formation, no blow-off) after the temp finally peaked at 9 C (48 F). So for me the cold break removal seems to be out out. This is what is left:

- unusually cold pitching. (5.5 C wort and ~8-9 C yeast)
- poorly performing yeast in general (the first time I cultured this yeast from single colonies, it worked with propagation from slant before though)

My last beer with that yeast will be a Vienna Lager in 2 weeks. I plan to pitch it at 8 C, which I ended up pitching most of my lagers in the past, to see if the cold pitch/shock may have been the problem. This will be the last beer with this pitch of yeast.

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Old 05-22-2008, 02:38 PM   #26
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The beer is now almost gone and I want to post an update on this:



Here is the result:

The first surprise was, that there is great hop flavor and aroma even though all the hops were added before the start of the boil. First wort hopping does work! But the hop utilization was better than expected, so it became more of a Pilsner than a Helles.

I can't detect any DMS in the beer. The DMS rest didn't work, but I found that aged beer may develop a sweet aroma. It's likely that I'm getting this when having a German beer here in the US. Besides this, I had a Spaten Maibock on tap a few days back and its aroma was very similar to my lagers. I seem to be on the right track.

The step mash didn't make a dramatic difference since I cannot taste a difference that I would contribute to that. It may take a side-by side to verify this. But the head retention is good. Difficult to tell if his is a result of the long rest at 70 C.

I used the Bavarian lager (WY2206) for this, since this was the only yeast I had on hand at the time and had to push it hard (i.e. warm maturation rest) to get close to the limit of attenuation. But it didn't want to and stalled 0.5 Plato shy of it:

original extract: 12.0 Plato

limit of attenuation: 82% (fast ferment test AE=2.2 Plato)

beer attenuation: 77% (beer AE=2.7 Plato)

The target for the aparent extract of the beer was 2.5 Plato, and as a result of actually being higher than that the beer is a little sweeter than I'd like it to be. But I know to fix this with a different yeast next time.

I didn't see any benefit of the more complete trub removal. According to some studies and other home brewer's experiments, its importance seems overstated anyway.

The pesky "dusty" taste still exists. But since it only happens when I drink the beer that stood in the beer line for a day, I suspect it is staling in the beer line.

Kai

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:37 PM   #27
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Thanks for the update!

how are you running your fast fermentation test?

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Thanks for the update!

how are you running your fast fermentation test?
There is some info here: Fast Ferment Test.

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Last edited by Kaiser; 05-22-2008 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:25 PM   #29
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Thanks for the info!

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Old 05-22-2008, 05:12 PM   #30
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I haven't read the rest of the responses so I may be overlapping, but you may want to try increasing the amount of hops you use and add them at 30min or so. Adding hops at 30min as opposed to 60 min, you're obviously going to have less utilization, thus more hops will be required, but you will also retain more of the oils that contribute to the flavor and aroma.

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