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Vienna Lager

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Vienna Lager, sometimes called Vienna Red, is a malty amber lager developed in Austria in the 1830s, but now brewed primarily in Mexico.

Contents

[edit] History of Vienna Lager

Vienna Lager is one of the most historically important lager styles. The template for modern Vienna Lagers is the beer brewed by Anton Dreher at the Schwechater brewery in Austria in the 1830s. Dreher combined English malting techniques with the bottom-fermenting yeasts used in Munich to create a beer similar to the Märzen then brewed in Munich. This beer became widely popular and influenced the development of modern light and amber lagers throughout Europe.

Late in the nineteenth century, Austrian immigrant brewers brought the Vienna Lager with them to Mexico. While the style has all but died out in Austria itself, there is still a living tradition of Vienna lagers brewed in Mexico.

[edit] Brewing Vienna Lager

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Vienna lager should contain mostly Vienna malt as a base.

Noble hops or minty-type hops may be used in a Vienna lager. A heavy herbal flavor is very much out of place.

[edit] Competition Styles

Both the BJCP and the GABF style guidelines recognize at least one style of Mild for competition purposes.

[edit] BJCP Style Guidelines

The BJCP now recognizes Vienna lager as a "German amber lager." Vienna lager is BJCP 9B.

[edit] Vienna Lager

3A. Vienna Lager Vital Statistics
BJCP Style Guideline Definition (2004)
IBUs: 18-30 SRM: 10-16 OG: - FG: 1.010-1.014 ABV: 4.5-5.7%
Aroma: 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.
Appearance: Light reddish amber to copper color. Bright clarity. Large, off-white, persistent head.
Flavor: 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.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a gentle creaminess. Moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderately crisp finish. May have a bit of alcohol warming.
Overall Impression: 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.
History: The original amber lager developed by Anton Dreher shortly after the isolation of lager yeast. Nearly extinct in its area of origin, the style continues in Mexico where it was brought by Santiago Graf and other Austrian immigrant brewers in the late 1800s. Regrettably, most modern examples use adjuncts which lessen the rich malt complexity characteristic of the best examples of this style. The style owes much of its character to the method of malting (Vienna malt). Lighter overall than Oktoberfest, yet still decidedly balanced toward malt.
Comments: American versions can be a bit stronger, drier and more bitter, while European versions tend to be sweeter. Many Mexican amber and dark lagers used to be more authentic, but unfortunately are now more like sweet, adjunct-laden American Dark Lagers.
Ingredients: Vienna malt provides a lightly toasty and complex, melanoidin-rich malt profile. As with Oktoberfests, only the finest quality malt should be used, along with Continental hops (preferably noble varieties). Moderately hard, carbonate-rich water. Can use some caramel malts and/or darker malts to add color and sweetness, but caramel malts shouldn't add significant aroma and flavor and dark malts shouldn't provide any roasted character.
Commercial Examples: Great Lakes Eliot Ness (unusual in its 6.2% strength and 35 IBUs), G̦sser Dark, Noche Buena, Negra Modelo, Samuel Adams Vienna Style Lager, Old Dominion Aviator Amber Lager, Gordon Biersch Vienna Lager, Capital Wisconsin Amber

[edit] GABF Style Listings

[edit] Vienna Style Lager

28. Vienna Style Lager
GABF Style Listing (2007)
Beers in this category are reddish brown or copper colored. They are medium in body. The beer is characterized by malty aroma and slight malt sweetness. The malt aroma and flavor should have a notable degree of toasted and/or slightly roasted malt character. Hop bitterness is clean and crisp. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low or mild. Fruity esters, diacetyl, and chill haze should not be perceived.
Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.046-1.056 (11.5-14 ºPlato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.012-1.018 (3-4.5 ºPlato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.8-4.3% (4.8-5.4%)
Bitterness (IBU): 22-28
Color SRM (EBC): 10-14 (12-28 EBC)