Re-creating Authentic German beers at home

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Vale71

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See post previous to yours. Or just dismiss out of hand information published by a slate of so-called experts from TUM-Weihenstephan.
I fail to see how a "guesstimate", however educated, constitutes the equivalent of an analytical value such as one you might actually find on a COA, which is the claim I was responding to.
 
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Jeff...

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Ask ten homebrewers one question and get eleven different answers o_O
 
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Big Monk

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I fail to see how a "guesstimate", however educated, constitutes the equivalent of an analytical value such as one you might actually find on a COA, which is the claim I was responding to.

The point is that the Hartong Index shows a rough, inverse correlation to gelatinization temp.
 

Pappers_

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Great thread. Agree on a ton of the info here. Pitch massive amounts of yeast, cold. One thing I've started doing that makes a difference is to raise the temp towards the end, not just for a d. rest but to eek out the last bit of attenuation from the yeast.

I think you can get excellent German-style beers in the US. The aforementioned Urban Chestnut, Chicago's Dovetail, a small brewery called Hailstorm (who won a GABF gold for their IPA) makes an excellent Bock. And I've had some truly excellent homebrewed examples of the German styles.
 

couchsending

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New England actually has a wealth of great traditional lager breweries. Places that take the time and have the equipment to make produce unbelievably good lager.

Notch
Jack’s Abbey
Von Trapp
Shilling
Fox Farm
Hill Farmstead
Suarez

Just to name a few

Bierstadt in Denver

Dovetail in Chicago

Wayfinder, Heater Allen in OR

Chuckanut in WA

Live Oak in Austin, TX

And many more.
 

Nate R

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This may be a bit off topic, but i seem to recall some (countries, regions, companies) pasturize their beer?
Maybe this is old school, or a rumor, or brewery-specific.
But i would think, like with milk and juice, anything pasturized will have a different taste then non.
This would account for the "better taste in person" maybe. Oh, and a months long boat ride in a shippig container. Then months long storage in an uncooled warehouse.
 

Pappers_

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This may be a bit off topic, but i seem to recall some (countries, regions, companies) pasturize their beer?
Maybe this is old school, or a rumor, or brewery-specific.
But i would think, like with milk and juice, anything pasturized will have a different taste then non.
This would account for the "better taste in person" maybe. Oh, and a months long boat ride in a shippig container. Then months long storage in an uncooled warehouse.

I was vacationing in Ribe Denmark and there was a tiny little brewery - the owners had other day jobs, and I volunteered one day with a handful of others to help with a packaging run. They bottled everything, in bombers, and distributed them via bicycle to the restaurants and bars in this village LOL.

They used a pasteurizer - basically a big stainless steel container that we would put the capped bottles in, close the lid, a big hiss of hot steam would do its work, then we'd empty it. When I expressed some surprised, they said that it was pretty standard (for their area).
 

doug293cz

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This may be a bit off topic, but i seem to recall some (countries, regions, companies) pasturize their beer?
Maybe this is old school, or a rumor, or brewery-specific.
But i would think, like with milk and juice, anything pasturized will have a different taste then non.
This would account for the "better taste in person" maybe. Oh, and a months long boat ride in a shippig container. Then months long storage in an uncooled warehouse.
Many beers used to be pasteurized, but I doubt many are any more. A while back (1970's?) micro-filters were developed that could remove yeast and other micro-organisms from the beer, eliminating the need for pasteurization, and the damage caused by the extra heating of the finished beer.

The story, as I understand it, is that Coors used to ship unpasteurized beer. They had limited distribution, so that they could insure that the beer was kept cold from brewery to store cooler. They then developed micro-porous ceramic filters that could remove the microbes. This change allowed them to extend their range of distribution, and expand nationally.

As a side hustle, since they had built their own factory to produce the filters, they also got into the business of selling ceramic substrates for electronic packaging. They were a major supplier to my first full time employer, and I had several visits to their operation in Golden, CO. Never got the opportunity to tour the brewery tho. :confused:

Brew on :mug:
 
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Jeff...

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I've read in a few differnt articles on the internet that pasteurization used to be a thing for export beers. But it's hard to know if true or not - it is the internet after all.
 

Nate R

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Well, i want to say i recall it as being a sort of law for some- maybe most Eurpoean countries even?
Not sure, but i know any type of pasturezation, even flash, drastically alters taste.
Orange juice and milk come to mind.
I wonder what a NE/hazy would taste like?
 

Nate R

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Many beers used to be pasteurized, but I doubt many are any more. A while back (1970's?) micro-filters were developed that could remove yeast and other micro-organisms from the beer, eliminating the need for pasteurization, and the damage caused by the extra heating of the finished beer.

The story, as I understand it, is that Coors used to ship unpasteurized beer. They had limited distribution, so that they could insure that the beer was kept cold from brewery to store cooler. They then developed micro-porous ceramic filters that could remove the microbes. This change allowed them to extend their range of distribution, and expand nationally.

As a side hustle, since they had built their own factory to produce the filters, they also got into the business of selling ceramic substrates for electronic packaging. They were a major supplier to my first full time employer, and I had several visits to their operation in Golden, CO. Never got the opportunity to tour the brewery tho. :confused:

Brew on :mug:

This of coyrse gave rise to the greatest TransAm movie of all time!!
 

Nate R

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Yeah that depends on what strain you’re using and how much yeast your pitching. If using enough yeast and something like the liquid forms of 34/70 or 2206 or any of the good cold fermenting yeasts you can pitch at 43 and ferment at 46, max at 48. If you’re using dry yeast or maybe other warm fermenting strains like Augustiner might mean pitch at 50 and ferment at 52.

I’ve been using the Andechs strain a lot lately and have had great luck pitching at 46, setting to 48, setting to 50 on day 2 and raising to 52 for the final 1* plato. Zero diacetyl, drops incredibly clear, very clean at the end of fermentation.

A few more questions if it you dont mind... this is kind-of off topic, but i am trying my first Vienna lager, so... maybe on topic?
Anyways- new to lagering.
Q's are numbered.
Dumb noob questoon- #1: do you use a blow off hose for a lager? I have a spike cf5, so no airlock. I have a spunding valve, #2: but is it too soon at first fermenting to spund?

#3: i pitched white labs mexican wlp940. White labs says 50-55. I am pitching at 50. I will keepit there for 2 days, then move to 53 (inkbird, so any temp set swings +/- 1 degree).
3 weeks enough in primary? 4? Should i want close to fg before i move to keg? I plan to lager in keg in my keezer for a few weeks, to.

Thanks all!
 

Vale71

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Well, i want to say i recall it as being a sort of law for some- maybe most Eurpoean countries even?
No, not mandated anywhere in Europe. The reason being that spoiled beer is not hazardous to your health, it simply won't taste so great, so the choice is left to the brewery.

Milk pasteurization on the other hand is mandatory because of milk being the main vector of tubercolosis infection. That's probably what you were thinking of.
 

couchsending

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A few more questions if it you dont mind... this is kind-of off topic, but i am trying my first Vienna lager, so... maybe on topic?
Anyways- new to lagering.
Q's are numbered.
Dumb noob questoon- #1: do you use a blow off hose for a lager? I have a spike cf5, so no airlock. I have a spunding valve, #2: but is it too soon at first fermenting to spund?

#3: i pitched white labs mexican wlp940. White labs says 50-55. I am pitching at 50. I will keepit there for 2 days, then move to 53 (inkbird, so any temp set swings +/- 1 degree).
3 weeks enough in primary? 4? Should i want close to fg before i move to keg? I plan to lager in keg in my keezer for a few weeks, to.

Thanks all!

If you pitch enough yeast and oxygenate well you don’t really need more than 10 days max. Beer should be done fermenting in 5-7 days. Do a force ferment test. When you’re .5-1* plato from terminal attach the spunding device.

Leave for 2 more days after terminal if you wish then slowly cool to 40 (2-3*) per day. Leave for a few days at 39/40 then transfer to a keg (you know how to transfer carbed beer right?) then slowing continue cooling to 30* (if you can) and lager for as long as you want.
 

Nate R

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If you pitch enough yeast and oxygenate well you don’t really need more than 10 days max. Beer should be done fermenting in 5-7 days. Do a force ferment test. When you’re .5-1* plato from terminal attach the spunding device.

Leave for 2 more days after terminal if you wish then slowly cool to 40 (2-3*) per day. Leave for a few days at 39/40 then transfer to a keg (you know how to transfer carbed beer right?) then slowing continue cooling to 30* (if you can) and lager for as long as you want.
Thanks.
Transfer carb beer- have the spunding valve on the "gas in" post of the keg, right? Basically same way of low oxygen transfers (closed transfers) right? I think i need to pressurize the keg first.

Yes my keezer is set to about 28, with a 10 degree variance to save the compressor. So i can keg and let it rest.

Another question- when lagering, does adding CO2 affect it in any way? In other words- say i was force carbing- should i wait a few weeks then hook up c02, or can i hook it up to begin with?
Thanks

Edit- you say 7-10 days... even for a cold lager? I thought fermentation went slolwer due to temp?
 
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couchsending

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Thanks.
Transfer carb beer- have the spunding valve on the "gas in" post of the keg, right? Basically same way of low oxygen transfers (closed transfers) right? I think i need to pressurize the keg first.

Yes my keezer is set to about 28, with a 10 degree variance to save the compressor. So i can keg and let it rest.

Another question- when lagering, does adding CO2 affect it in any way? In other words- say i was force carbing- should i wait a few weeks then hook up c02, or can i hook it up to begin with?
Thanks

Yeah if it’s carbed you need to pressurize the keg to the same pressure as the fermenter. Then very slowly release gas from the keg. If you have the keg spunding valve then yeah set it so you hear a very faint hiss.

If you do everything well you should have pretty close to fully carbed beer. No need to put it on pressure it won’t necessarily hurt anything. Maybe just a few days at first then you don’t really need it.
 

Jeff...

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A few more questions if it you dont mind... this is kind-of off topic, but i am trying my first Vienna lager, so... maybe on topic?
Anyways- new to lagering.
Q's are numbered.
Dumb noob questoon- #1: do you use a blow off hose for a lager? I have a spike cf5, so no airlock. I have a spunding valve, #2: but is it too soon at first fermenting to spund?

#3: i pitched white labs mexican wlp940. White labs says 50-55. I am pitching at 50. I will keepit there for 2 days, then move to 53 (inkbird, so any temp set swings +/- 1 degree).
3 weeks enough in primary? 4? Should i want close to fg before i move to keg? I plan to lager in keg in my keezer for a few weeks, to.

Thanks all!

I'm a newbie also but do have several dozen lagers under my belt. I pitch a quart liquid started about 48 hours after I got the yeast rolling. It's very active after around 48 hours.

I also ferment at the lower end of the manufacturer's recommended (ideal) range and I pitch the starter into my fermenter from 2 to 5 degrees lower then the lowest ideal temperature and allow it to come up to the lower end of the ideal range.

Depending on the OG, I primary for anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks holding the lower end of the ideal range. Then I take the fementor out of my temperature controled area and allow it to come up to room temperature over the course of 1 week. If I still see bubbles coming out of the air lock, I allow it to continue at room temperature until I don't see a bubble for once ever 90 seconds or longer. I've never needed a blowoff tube with a lager, I leave plenty of headroom and like I said ferment on the lower end of the ideal temperature range.

I then rack, pressurize my keg to 30 PSI and lager @ 34 degrees for many weeks (a minimum of 6 weeks for lower gravity lagers). After I can't stand it anymore... I pull the keg and tap it. I usually get a pint or two of trub from the bottom of the keg, then after that it's clear beer.

Right now I have a Monks Bread more than a Double Bock 1.096 OG that I brewed the beginning of October 2019. it's been in lager since Since Jan 10 2020. It was absolutely delicious when I racked it and it's gravity was 1.016. this is what it looked like coming out of the primary - intense ethenol warming going down and yum.
IMG_20200110_224221151_HDR.jpg


I probably won't pull the keg from lager until it cools off most likely October or November. So that will be a lager that's at least 1 year old since I brewed it. But with such a high OG and @ 10.76 ABV when I kegged it for lagering, it might be very good by then :)
 
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Jeff...

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I'm working on switching over to primarily and secondary (Ales) in sanke kegs or sanke to corny (Lagers), so I can easily do closed transfers via CO2. Instead of the traditional plactic buckets, glass carboys & racking cane. I'll still keep my ball lock cornys for severing kegs though because both of my keezers are the perfect sizes for 3 and 6 taps and they are so handy...

I've even taken my 3 tap keezer to wedding receptions, since it's so easy to move around with a hand dolly. Free Ice cold Homebrew on tap, makes everyone happy happy happy :)
 
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wstumper

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I have yet to go to Germany, but stateside the Urban Chestnut Brewery in St Louis is, in my opion, the closest i have found. Their brewer trained and studied for some time in Germany. As have man others of course.

I highly reccomend a visit here if you can. My in-laws (whom i was visiting) had to drag me out here kicking and screaming. Food was good, too.


Heading to STL later this month! Are you talking about the Forest Park location?

And just to keep on topic... I see they have a brewery in Wolnzach, Germany
 

Nate R

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Heading to STL later this month! Are you talking about the Forest Park location?

And just to keep on topic... I see they have a brewery in Wolnzach, Germany
SO, they have an "original" location- my in-laws took me there the first time. I suggest their "new" location- I think they call it a beer hall. Self-guided walking tour of the production line & packaging line. Food, too. Sorry I wish I knew the street names- but look for the big community tables and beer hall in the titles on the google.
 

Spartan1979

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Heading to STL later this month! Are you talking about the Forest Park location?

And just to keep on topic... I see they have a brewery in Wolnzach, Germany

The original location, Midtown, is on Washington Avenue. That location has a nice Biergarten. The other location, The Grove, is on Manchester and is a large Bierhall. Across street from that is the URB which gives you the opportunity to take a poll on experimental beers. They also have pizza. The Grove Bierhall has a better food selection than the Midtown Biergarten. Also, usually more beer options. Of course, both locations have limited seating currently due to the pandemic.
 

jdauria

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New England actually has a wealth of great traditional lager breweries. Places that take the time and have the equipment to make produce unbelievably good lager.

Notch
Jack’s Abbey
Von Trapp
Shilling
Fox Farm
Hill Farmstead
Suarez

I know the IPA/Treehouse lovers with hate this...but in my opinion, Notch is the best brewery in Massachusetts hands down. They make perfect world class German and Czech lagers using old school techniques. Also, a new addition to the lager breweries of New England is East Rock in New Haven CT...the head brewer used to brew at Jack's Abby. Their stuff is pretty good,
 

couchsending

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Edit- you say 7-10 days... even for a cold lager? I thought fermentation went slolwer due to temp?

Not if you pitch the right amount of healthy yeast into properly oxygenated wort. I’ve been spunding on day 5 or 6 recently fermenting at 50*. I shoot for pitch rates close to 2mil/ml/*plato. That’s based on yeast calc numbers not on actual cell counts on a scope so I’m not 100% sure it’s right.

It depends on the yeast you’re using. Some strains are slower.
 

jdauria

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I don't think this was mentioned yet, but another step to make fantastic German lagers is using quality malts. Regular Weyermann Pils or any base Pilsner malt will make good beers, but upgrading to Weyermann Barke line of malts (Pils, Vienna, Munich) or Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner malt, just take the beers to another level .
 

Brewbuzzard

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Thanks.
Transfer carb beer- have the spunding valve on the "gas in" post of the keg, right? Basically same way of low oxygen transfers (closed transfers) right? I think i need to pressurize the keg first.

Yes my keezer is set to about 28, with a 10 degree variance to save the compressor. So i can keg and let it rest.

Another question- when lagering, does adding CO2 affect it in any way? In other words- say i was force carbing- should i wait a few weeks then hook up c02, or can i hook it up to begin with?
Thanks

Edit- you say 7-10 days... even for a cold lager? I thought fermentation went slolwer due to temp?
I would also do a diacetyl rest before chilling. Let the fermenter temperature rise to 60-65degrees for a couple days. This will allow the yeast to clean up and absorb their byproducts.
 

Jeff...

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I would also do a diacetyl rest before chilling. Let the fermenter temperature rise to 60-65degrees for a couple days. This will allow the yeast to clean up and absorb their byproducts.

I tend to let the yeast tell me how long to diacetyl rest at room temperature (60 to 65F). I wait for a bubble through the airlock for once every 90 seconds or longer. My minimum time is a week. On higher gravity brews I've had it take up to 3 weeks and that's after 6 weeks of primary fermention at the lower end of the recommended ideal fermention range.

No two beers are the same... so there's no perfect fermention schedule. I just let the yeast do the talking, when it's ready, it's ready and it'll let you know.
 

Jeff...

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I don't think this was mentioned yet, but another step to make fantastic German lagers is using quality malts. Regular Weyermann Pils or any base Pilsner malt will make good beers, but upgrading to Weyermann Barke line of malts (Pils, Vienna, Munich) or Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner malt, just take the beers to another level .

No your right... Considering all things are the same, quality malts make premium beer. Assuming I don't screw the pooch in one way or another...

I personally prefer Crisp malts over Weyermann. But that's just me talking to myself.
 
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couchsending

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You shouldn’t really need to do a diacetyl rest if you pitch enough yeast. I will raise to 54 on some beers to get FG to drop a smidge more but not with all yeast. Lager yeast has the ability to consume diacetyl and continue to work down to incredibly low temperatures as long as it’s not shocked. If you have a less than ideal fermentation, Krausening is a great traditional method to implore in order to clean up small issues and carbonate the beer naturally if you’re not spunding.
 

cyberbackpacker

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No your right... Considering all things are the same, quality malts make premium beer. Assuming I don't screw the pooch in one way or another...

I personally prefer Crisp malts over Weyermann. But that's just me talking to myself.

I love Crisp malts, but for my UK beers, and some American. Use some continental stuff, ideally German (although I use Belgian Pils now and again) for continental Lagers though!
 

Jeff...

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I love Crisp malts, but for my UK beers, and some American. Use some continental stuff, ideally German (although I use Belgian Pils now and again) for continental Lagers though!

Speaking for myself here... For me, premium malts are Crisp, then Weyermann, then Bestmalz. Less expensive American malts Briess and Great Western Malting (GWM)

When I'm developing an experimental recipe. If it's a good recipe, I'll switch the the above premium malts and tweak from there. If my experimental recipe is a bust, i don't feel so bad wasting less expensive malts.

If it's an American style and good then i'll.l just stick to Briess or GWM and tweak. You can make some really good brews with Briess or GWM. But using premium malts, just makes it all that much better, at least for me it does.
 
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Jeff...

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You shouldn’t really need to do a diacetyl rest if you pitch enough yeast. I will raise to 54 on some beers to get FG to drop a smidge more but not with all yeast. Lager yeast has the ability to consume diacetyl and continue to work down to incredibly low temperatures as long as it’s not shocked. If you have a less than ideal fermentation, Krausening is a great traditional method to implore in order to clean up small issues and carbonate the beer naturally if you’re not spunding.

I would really like to try packaging (kegging) via Krausening. Right now I'm a gas man. Do you have a good resource (how to) that you can point me to?

I'm guessing you set aside (refrigerate) some amount of wort and pitch yeast in a few days before you plan to package then when it's Krausening, pitch it into the beer and package. But not knowing what it entails, this is only my guess and I have lots of questions... I still remember the "Old Style" commercials from when I was a kid about "Cold Filtered and Krausening"
 

Bilsch

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I would really like to try packaging (kegging) via Krausening. Right now I'm a gas man. Do you have a good resource (how to) that you can point me to?

I'm guessing you set aside (refrigerate) some amount of wort and pitch yeast in a few days before you plan to package then when it's Krausening, pitch it into the beer and package. But not knowing what it entails, this is only my guess and I have lots of questions... I still remember the "Old Style" commercials from when I was a kid about "Cold Filtered and Krausening"

Why not try spunding? It's the gateway drug to kreusening.
 

couchsending

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I would really like to try packaging (kegging) via Krausening. Right now I'm a gas man. Do you have a good resource (how to) that you can point me to?

I'm guessing you set aside (refrigerate) some amount of wort and pitch yeast in a few days before you plan to package then when it's Krausening, pitch it into the beer and package. But not knowing what it entails, this is only my guess and I have lots of questions... I still remember the "Old Style" commercials from when I was a kid about "Cold Filtered and Krausening"

There’s a krausening and gyle calculator on Brewer’s friend. I don’t save wort, it would be super oxidized by the time you used it. I just plan everything out and use the next batch to krausen the first usually. I’m not too concerned with it being the exact same beer. I’m usually making some sort of 11-12 plato pale lager. Some are hopped more than others but that’s it.

I’ll slowly cool the finished beer to around 39/40 with a couple psi of head pressure to drop as much yeast as possible before transfer. Leave for 36-48 then transfer to a keg and let warm to 45/50 depending on yeast. As soon as that fermenter is clean it gets another batch of beer. On day 2 I’ll take a gravity reading and transfer by weight the amount I need for proper carbonation into the keg. I’ll leave at that temp until that second batch is done fermenting then slowly cool to 39/40 and leave for a week then continue down to 30 and lager.

I’ll spund some and krausen others. Just depends on the timing of things and which fermenters I’m using. I haven’t gotten krausening down perfecting but usually it’s close and then I’ll just add some additional Co2 through force carbing.
 

couchsending

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Speaking for myself here... For me, premium malts are Crisp, then Weyermann, then Bestmalz. Less expensive American malts Briess and Great Western Malting (GWM)

When I'm developing an experimental recipe. If it's a good recipe, I'll switch the the above premium malts and tweak from there. If my experimental recipe is a bust, i don't feel so bad wasting less expensive malts.

If it's an American style and good then i'll.l just stick to Briess or GWM and tweak. You can make some really good brews with Briess or GWM. But using premium malts, just makes it all that much better, at least for me it does.

Hmm never heard anyone talk glowingly about Crisp Pils malt. Supposedly it is a blend of German and Danish grown barley. Never cared for the Avangard pils malt I’ve used. Same with Best. I’ve had the best luck with the floor malted Weyermann Pils. I had DMS issues with Barke but I boil at 201* so I need to boil for much longer. I seem to be able to boil for less time with the Floor Malted stuff.

Barke isn’t necessarily any more “premium” it’s just a different variety of barley. Same with Ereclea. They are however single variety malts instead of blends.

US Pils malt for the most part doesn’t have the same depth and complexity of flavor. I do think the Admiral Maltings Pils malt has more of a “continental” profile to it. I’m trying out the Synergy Pils malt from Briess now. Seems interesting. Results TBD.
 

RePete

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We have a Hafbrauhaus in Cincinnati. Actually, just across the Ohio River in Newport, KY. When it opened, I recall that it was the only one outside of Germany. There may be others now, I don’t know. I haven’t been there in years, but this thread is reminding me to go.

 

Vale71

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"The Bier"? Good heavens... 🤕 :p

There isn't a single item on the menu (OK, except for Pretzels...) that you'll find in the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich but at least the beer should be okay.
 

Bilsch

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We have a Hafbrauhaus in Cincinnati. Actually, just across the Ohio River in Newport, KY. When it opened, I recall that it was the only one outside of Germany. There may be others now, I don’t know. I haven’t been there in years, but this thread is reminding me to go.


Sadly the ones that brew onsite don’t have such good beer compared to the others, like Vegas, that sell only the German made product.
 

Nate R

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Sadly the ones that brew onsite don’t have such good beer compared to the others, like Vegas, that sell only the German made product.
I always uber past the Vegas one, and always say we should go... then vegas happens... sigh.
Wish it was on the strip!
 

Bilsch

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I always uber past the Vegas one, and always say we should go... then vegas happens... sigh.
Wish it was on the strip!

I always Uber to the one in Vegas as my first stop in town. I find it helps immensely to have a solid German beer buzz going before you play the waiting game at check in.
 

RePete

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"The Bier"? Good heavens... 🤕 :p

There isn't a single item on the menu (OK, except for Pretzels...) that you'll find in the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich but at least the beer should be okay.

I have never been to Munich. Will have to take your word for it. Was more interested in the beer aspect. It's been years since I've been to Hofbrauhaus, but remember the beer being good. It went in before the explosion of local breweries. I'm more of an IPA guy, and there are so many good local microbreweries around now that I haven't felt the need to go back. Just thought someone might be interested.
 
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