Unfiltered German Lager

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A number of traditional, regional German lager styles, including Kellerbier, Zwickelbier, Krausenbier and Zoiglbier, are still traditionally served unfiltered, as opposed to the bright, clear Pilsner and other modern lagers. Many of these styles of Unfiltered German Lager, all bottle or cask conditioned, survive as regional specialties in Germany. Long lagering gives these unpasteurized, unfiltered beers a distinctive flavor and mouthfeel.


[edit] Types of Unfiltered German Lager

[edit] Kellerbier

A Franconian specialty, Kellerbier is a moderately strong, very hoppy lager that is traditionally served almost completely uncarbonated, as the bung was traditionally left out of the cask during aging. It is often served as an aperitif.

[edit] Zwickelbier

A Zwickelbier is a similar beer to Kellerbier, but is carbonated in the cask, resulting in a light, effervescent flavor. Zwickelbier is usually less hoppy than Kellerbier as well.

[edit] Zoiglbier

Like Zwickelbier, Zoiglbier is an effervescent unfiltered lager; however, the use of Munich malt and other high-kilned malts in Zoiglbier result in a distinctive malty, bready flavor profile.

[edit] Krausenbier

Krausenbier is a German term for any beer (usually a lager) carbonated through krausening. This can be done with any beer style, and in fact all German beer was once carbonated in this way. Because the krausen is added to the cask, keg or bottle, the resulting beer is necessarily bottle-conditioned.

[edit] Brewing Unfiltered German Lager

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[edit] Competition Styles

The GABF defines a single style encompassing any unfiltered German lager.

[edit] GABF Style Listings

[edit] Kellerbier (Cellar Beer) or Zwickelbier/Unfiltered Lager

18A. Kellerbier (Cellar Beer) or Zwickelbier/Unfiltered Lager
GABF Style Listing (2007)
Traditional kellerbier examples are typically unfiltered and often young, not fully lagered versions of Germanic lager styles of beer such as Münchner-Style Helles and Dunkel, Dortmunder/European-Style Export, Bohemian-style Pilsener and German-style Pilsener. Kellerbier is noticeably less carbonated. Subtle or low levels of esters may be apparent. They may or may not be clear. Natural, unfiltered clarity may be apparent and is acceptable. Exhibiting a small amount of yeast haze in the appearance is also acceptable. Low to moderately low levels of yeast-generated sulfur compounds in aroma and flavor may or may not be apparent. Dry hopping is acceptable. Head retention may not be optimal. Contemporary Version of Kellerbier are typically beers that are packaged or on draft which are simply unfiltered versions of a style of lager - fully carbonated, fully lagered, full head retention, absent of acetaldehyde. For the purposes of this competition, pale American lager styles as well as darker lager styles such as Märzen, Dunkel or Schwarzbier that contain yeast could also be appropriately entered into this subcategory. The brewer must provide the classic style on which the entry is based to allow for accurate judging. Beer entries not accompanied by this information will be at a disadvantage during judging.
Original Gravity (ºPlato): Varies with style
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): Varies with style
Alcohol by Weight (Volume): Varies with style
Bitterness (IBU): Varies with style
Color SRM (EBC): Varies with style