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Old 01-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default Vienna Lager and color

I'm planning a Vienna Lager in the near future and noticed that many/most of the recipes I see do not have enough color for the BJCP Style guidelines which is 10-16 SRM (I've also seen 8-12 SRM on Tastybrew). I'm trying to make beers that could be entered in competitions so I'd like to stay within those guidelines.

But looking at the BJCP Style Guideline for Vienna Lager...some color malts don't seem appropriate. For example, for 'Flavor' it says:
Quote:
Soft, elegant malt complexity is in the forefront, with a firm enough hop bitterness to provide a balanced finish. Some toasted character from the use of Vienna malt. No roasted or caramel flavor. Fairly dry finish, with both malt and hop bitterness present in the aftertaste. Noble hop flavor may be low to none.
For 'Aroma' it says:
Quote:
Moderately rich German malt aroma (of Vienna and/or Munich malt). A light toasted malt aroma may be present. Similar, though less intense than Oktoberfest. Clean lager character, with no fruity esters or diacetyl. Noble hop aroma may be low to none. Caramel aroma is inappropriate.
So it appears that Caramel/Crystal malts as well as any Roasted malts should be avoided.

Do I just use Lager, Vienna, and Munich and get most of my color from the Munich? That's gonna be a lot of Munich...is the beer gonna have the right malt flavor/aroma using a lot of Munich?

Any other tips for Vienna appreciated. Decoction mash? Seems like such a nicely balanced style...why is it not more popular?


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Old 01-14-2009, 06:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
Seems like such a nicely balanced style...why is it not more popular?
I don't know, but at the suggestion of Ray Daniels on the Jamil Show, I made a VL with 100% light Munich and organic Tettnang. If it didn't have so much diacetyl, it would have been a truly great Vienna. Oh yeah, single decoction 140-154 no mashout on that one, but single infusion at 150 would probably work just as well.


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Old 01-14-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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I made a 100% vienna malt Vienna Lager with a double decoction (about 60 minutes total boil time) and it was well under the style guidelines as well. I think they're just out to lunch for Vienna Lager stats in that regard personally. If you're going for competition I think your best bet to darken but keep the same basic flavour profile would be some dark munich, but as little as possible to get the colour.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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Thanks. It appears that if I used 3# each of Lager/Vienna/Munich that I'd get right at about 8 SRM which is the bottom of the range (I'd prefer at least a little fudge factor in there).

But I'm getting wierd numbers from Tastybrew. If I sub 1/2# of Dark Munich for 1/2# Lager I'd expect it to be darker but I'm getting 7 instead of 8. WTF?
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
Thanks. It appears that if I used 3# each of Lager/Vienna/Munich that I'd get right at about 8 SRM which is the bottom of the range (I'd prefer at least a little fudge factor in there).

But I'm getting wierd numbers from Tastybrew. If I sub 1/2# of Dark Munich for 1/2# Lager I'd expect it to be darker but I'm getting 7 instead of 8. WTF?
I'm with bradsul on this one. The style guidelines are probably skewed towards beers like Negro Modelo and Dos Eqis Amber. Plus don't assume those programs are totally accurate on color, they're not. While those beers are about the closest thing to a Vienna available to the mass market and are direct descendants of the original style they are adjunct beers and almost certainly contain some coloring malts. The best Vienna, IMO, will be made with Vienna malt. 100% is fine, I use 97% and 3% CaraFoam and give it a double decoction mash. Both the color and flavor are exquisite. If you want to tweak color for a comp try an ounce or two of Carafa Special de-husked malt to deepen the color.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:43 PM   #6
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2 ounces of Carafa II (de-husked) shredded and sprinkled in your mash will solve your problem with extremely little to no flavor contribution.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:52 AM   #7
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Thanks. It looks like 9# of Vienna and 1/8# Carafa (I didn't see Carafa II) would be right in the ballpark. This would also be a great way for me to really see exactly what Vienna malt tastes like.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:17 AM   #8
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For what it's worth, here my Vienna Lager made from 100% Vienna taken from the hydrometer sample before going to lager phase.

I put it at 8 SRM tops.

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Old 11-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #9
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for me thats a germanl.bohemian lager here in Mexico viennas are darker i have tried vienna lager from the Brewery BeerFactory its name is Luna Llena or Coyote i dont remember well but it has been the best taste i have tried for example Negra Modelo,Victoria and Bohemia Obscura are all vienna but you can notice the ryce and corn taste for me the color is very similar to the irish red ale but a little bit less red


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