That German Lager taste

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Miraculix

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Miraculix, I have enjoyed your posts over the years as you do seem to have a lot of brewing knowledge. But I think you just need to calm down here. This is a thread about getting German lager flavor. The OP has not been offended by the suggestions. This is more about you than anything else. Nobody has pushed anything that says nothing else matters etc...

Low oxygen practice represents the last 10% of "getting there" imho. So there is a lot of process and technique still needed for the other 90%. Can you make nice beer with the 90% alone? Sure, we ALL HAVE. We are trying to share these cool techniques that DO improve the end result. Trying to help here. If YOU or anybody else does not want to do them then disregard and don't.

Trying to discredit and call things a cult or religious is just rude. I can tell you that what we as a group of homebrewers talk about is mainly sound brewing practice to replicate the world's great beers. Tell me what is wrong with that?

German ingredients, German style yeast and sound brewing practice will make a nice German style beer. To make a lager like the famous brand names, we have found one needs to eliminate oxygen exposure all the way up to pitching then all the way to consumption. Why and how do we know this? - because that is what the famous band name breweries do.
Yes.
Some people can talk about process and ingredients in a normal way and some make a cult out of it and call it lodo.

The point is:
It's probably same as with veganism. Not as much about the matter as about the manner. Of preaching.
It's always a temptation: to find the enlightening and empowering Truth and not to shove it down the throats of heathens :)

And that's basically it.
 

Bilsch

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Yes.
Some people can talk about process and ingredients in a normal way and some make a cult out of it and call it lodo.
Did someone from the Lodo group hurt you?
If so then on behalf of the many members of the low oxygen group I sincerely apologize.
 

Miraculix

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Did someone from the Lodo group hurt you?
If so then on behalf of the many members of the low oxygen group I sincerely apologize.
It is not about being offended or being hurt or whatever. It is about the truth! Somebody asks what is necessary to get this "German taste", lots of folks did it without lodo, breweries and home brewers alike, a guy says "you need lodo!" I say, no you don´t because it is empericaly shown that this is not necessary and sudenly the lodo guys are offended.

You see that, right?
 

z-bob

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I think I might use some when I do my next German style just to see what it’s like.

edit: I confused Sauergut with sauermalz, no chance I’m going to mess with Sauergut.
Sauergut is easy to make. I made it once just to inoculate a sour beer I was brewing. If I brewed once a month instead of just 3 or 4 times a year, I would keep a gallon Sauergut* reactor going all the time -- however much I used in a batch would get replaced with that much wort; second runnings if it's a high gravity beer. It will be fully sour by the time I need it again. But since I don't brew all that often, I just add phosphoric acid and/or Sauermalz. (most of the brewers here don't even try to use the local tapwater, I take it as a challenge)

I think low-oxygen might be really important in German beers, but I don't know. I can't really do LODO with the equipment I have so I buy my German beers and brew American and English-ish beers. My best beers are American beers with German yeast and hops. Some of those are actually halfway to a decent German ale.

*I'm capitalizing Sauergut and Sauermalz because they are German nouns.

Edit: I should have read the whole thread before mentioning LODO :D
 
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Bilsch

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It is not about being offended or being hurt or whatever. It is about the truth! Somebody asks what is necessary to get this "German taste", lots of folks did it without lodo, breweries and home brewers alike, a guy says "you need lodo!" I say, no you don´t because it is empericaly shown that this is not necessary and sudenly the lodo guys are offended.
You see that, right?
The problem with your data and conclusion is that it's gathered from empirical testers who have never tried the low oxygen method or not enough of it to see a result. Unfortunately for this forum most of the brewers who have, have long since departed, save for us few that aren’t bothered by the constant 'lodo is a cult' attitude around here. If they were still here, you would see quite a different data set.

You know it really is sad that this kind of thing could exist at a forum which should be a place of inclusion to all ideas and practices, not dominated by a few bullies who deem certain methods useless even though they have no experience with them. I want to thank those few who did come back, even though they knew full well the flak they would receive, and try once again to help a brewer toward reaching his German like flavor goal.
 
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Miraculix

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The problem with your data and conclusion is that it's gathered from empirical testers who have never tried the low oxygen method or not enough of it to see a result. Unfortunately for this forum most of the brewers who have, have long since departed, save for us few that aren’t bothered by the constant 'lodo is a cult' attitude around here. If they were still here, you would see quite a different data set.

You know it really is sad that this kind of thing could exist at a forum which should be a place of inclusion to all ideas and practices, not dominated by a few bullies who deem certain methods useless even though they have no experience with them. I want to thank those few who did come back, even though they knew full well the flak they would receive, and try once again to help a brewer toward reaching his German like flavor goal.
The problem is that you do not seem to understand what I am saying or that I am talking in a way that makes it impossible for you to understand.

I now say it intentionally in a very stupid way, just to make sure that we are on the same page:

You can make a decent "german" beer, without any of the lodo stuff.

This is a fact.

Question was, what you NEED to do to get there, lots of good advice being given here and some additional things that you do not NEED to do. Maybe you can do it and maybe it even improves things, but bottom line, you do not have to do this. You can still make great "German" beer without it.

That is all I am saying.

Yet you are still here lecturing me about lodo, how great it is, and that basically everybody else is evil and the poor lodo guys left because of the evil non-lodoers.

Have you ever considdered, that maybe, just maybe, this whole cultish behaviour (unfortunately, by still lecturing me here, you kind of underline my point), was the reason why so many die hard lodo people left?

I do not want an answer and I do not want to derail this thread any further. Just food for thought.

I am all ears for process discussions, oxygen avoidance and so on. Just not for selling things for something that it is not. It is not necessary.
 
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Bilsch

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You can make a decent "german" beer, without any of the lodo stuff.

Have you ever considdered, that maybe, just maybe, this whole cultish behaviour (unfortunately, by still lecturing me here, you kind of underline my point), was the reason why so many die hard lodo people left?
May I remind you that the Op asked specifically about these beers:
Weihenstephaner Original, Paulaner Münchner Lager,
Spaten Oktoberfestbier, Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen
These are all made in state of the art low oxygen brewhouses. To produce a beer like these you will have to emulate their high tech processes including avoiding oxygen on the hot side. There is no way around that, period, end of story.

No I have not considered that a possibility since all the Lodo departees ended up together on a different forum leaving the likes of you behind, still tilting at your windmills.
 
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No I have not considered that a possibility since all the Lodo departees ended up together on a different forum leaving the likes of you behind.
forum.Jonestown.com? (I kid I kid... jeez, tough crowd)

I think most people avoid the LODO because it's anti-RDWHAHB. The lazy methods will produce beer, and decent beer, but certain flavors require turning the dial to 11. I started going LODO, but then decided that I was content with what I was making and the simplicity of my process and equipment.

If I had a basement and a permanent brewing setup, I'd definitely be all-in on LODO. I'm a believer.

Anyway, I was thinking it'd be fun to do a beer swap, with LODO and non-LODO brewers sharing beers. I'd join that. I've done it a lot with the christmas beer exchange (12 beers of christmas). I think it'd be educational to have 5 pilsners from non-LODO and 5 from LODO and taste the diff for myself.
 

Miraculix

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May I remind you that the Op asked specifically about these beers:
Weihenstephaner Original, Paulaner Münchner Lager,
Spaten Oktoberfestbier, Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen
These are all made in state of the art low oxygen brewhouses. To produce a beer like these you will have to emulate their high tech processes including avoiding oxygen on the hot side. There is no way around that, period, end of story.

No I have not considered that a possibility since all the Lodo departees ended up together on a different forum leaving the likes of you behind, still tilting at your windmills.
"The likes of you"

Seriously?
 

javlin624

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Y'all should stop being so mean to this Piefke German guy with all these explanations. He is angry and he Is ThE pIlLaR oF bReWiNg KnOwLeDgE, his persistent off flavors not-withstanding.

The "LODO" stuff helped popularize more careful practices on the cold side (closed loop transfer, spunding, whatnot) and I think to a lot of people that've tried it, it makes a tremendous difference. Doesn't really require crazy equipment either.

Hot side's not much different, getting a mash cap/ some metabisulfate / lessening the vigor of your boil are not really expensive or extremely time consuming things. People choose metabisulfate as a scape-goat because it's not used by any German brewer and constantly ignore that anyone brewing low oxygen would agree with that and admit it's a hack since we as home brewers have a natural disadvantage compared to professional brewers because of volume. It provides us some protection as an antioxidant and the side effect is that it provides some extra sodium/potassium and sulfate.

I'm originally from Austria but now live in Texas, started brewing 10ish years ago because I couldn't get the quality of beer here that I wanted and would have sadly given up about 3-4 years ago if not for the lodo ideas.
 

javlin624

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I told you we should have ended this before it began. But no one listens.

is anything I said off topic? Minimizing Oxydation on the cold side ( closed transfer) and retaining volitile aroma compounds (sounding) are hugely important for the taste of proper lager beer. Stop being a turd arguing at people instead of helping understand the solutions.
 

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Well, I've never been able to keep my mouth shut so here goes.
As we advance in this great hobby(obsession) we strive to make beer that rivels or exceeds the big guys. We take tours absorb as much from them as possible. I believe hot side aeration exists and have SOP's to mitigate it (a pump helps). Again we learn and upgrade our systems from that knowledge. I don't wet mill or have a CO2 blanket on my mill and I don't preboil my brewing liquor,so not a true LODO brewer,but I try my best to follow the other practices an I make pretty tasty beer.

I can't believe this post has gone this far and know one mentioned Brewtan B. Can't do side by sides but I think my malt flavors are more distinguishable. I add 1/4 tps to the mash.
 

dmtaylor

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I can't believe this post has gone this far and know one mentioned Brewtan B. Can't do side by sides but I think my malt flavors are more distinguishable. I add 1/4 tps to the mash.
I have been curious about that stuff. Nice thing about it is it still complies with KISS principle, for those of us interested in maintaining our laziness. :)
 

Miraculix

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Y'all should stop being so mean to this Piefke German guy with all these explanations. He is angry and he Is ThE pIlLaR oF bReWiNg KnOwLeDgE, his persistent off flavors not-withstanding.

The "LODO" stuff helped popularize more careful practices on the cold side (closed loop transfer, spunding, whatnot) and I think to a lot of people that've tried it, it makes a tremendous difference. Doesn't really require crazy equipment either.

Hot side's not much different, getting a mash cap/ some metabisulfate / lessening the vigor of your boil are not really expensive or extremely time consuming things. People choose metabisulfate as a scape-goat because it's not used by any German brewer and constantly ignore that anyone brewing low oxygen would agree with that and admit it's a hack since we as home brewers have a natural disadvantage compared to professional brewers because of volume. It provides us some protection as an antioxidant and the side effect is that it provides some extra sodium/potassium and sulfate.

I'm originally from Austria but now live in Texas, started brewing 10ish years ago because I couldn't get the quality of beer here that I wanted and would have sadly given up about 3-4 years ago if not for the lodo ideas.
Honestly, what is wrong with you guys :D

How are you guys able to interpret "you do not necessarily need to follow lodo practices to get this german lager taste" as "He is dissing lodo, he hurt my mum, my family, he is aftermy whole live!!! HE ATE MY CAT!!!! GET HIIIIM!!!"

Of course there are problems with oxygen and so on... but.. I feel like I am repeating myself over and over again... it is not necessary to follow this whole riligious cult thing.

There are probably many sound advices, many bad ones and many debatable ones within the lodo bible, but seriously, do not try to convert everybody. Why so freaking defensive in first place? Can't you guys just discuss process without putting parts of it into the lodo frame and trying to push the whole thing on people? Or maybe stay on topic? Just doing the oposite of what I am doing here? :D
 

Oleson M.D.

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I don't even know what LODO is! But the Brulosophy website has posted multiple articles with experiments regarding O2 uptake in the brew.

If standard operating practices are adhered to, O2 should not be a problem.

Most of the beers we brew are German / Czech style lagers.
 

hottpeper13

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I think most of those LODO guys and gals are just puffen hot air (see what i did there) because LODO starts at the mill and I don't think homebrewers use wet milling or blanket their mills in CO2,hence not true LODO brewers.
 

Lupulus

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This is a link to a presentation by Prof Dr Narziss in the 2016 EBC about Modern Brewing and air- free mashing.

This is from Weihenstephan, the most influential brewing school in the world, and the foremost brewing authority.

It would be presumptuous to say that what Narziss presents here IS German Lager Beer Flavor, but this the standard that ALL large German breweries brew to.
Many small breweries still brew with traditional, energy-intensive methods and YES, they are part of German Brewing too. They are not worse or better, just different, and you the taster is to decide which one you like best (or that you like and appreciate both).

WRINKLES
One wrinkle is storage. As those who have lived in Germany know, Germans gave not been very good about cold storage for the most part, neither bottles nor kegs.You need to taste the beer At The Brewery or as close as possible to truly compare. This is NOT too say every keg or bottle is bad, only that you never know.
Another wrinkle is Pale vs Dark. Narziss also says that decoction adds another dimension to dark lagers, so the traditional decoction method is still used in many cases for these beers.
A wrinkle never mentioned because it doesn't impact pro brewers is the square-cube principle. Everything being the same, the exposure of a pro brewing mash system to air is orders of magnitude less.
A final wrinkle is pseudo-decoction. Augustiner, Schönram and probably others perform, for light lagers, a near-to-but-not-boiling step for attenuation (not for melanoidin development). This is compatible and part of current modern brewing.

There's ZERO OPINION above, only FACTS.

Happy brewing guys!
 

javlin624

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Honestly, what is wrong with you guys :D

How are you guys able to interpret "you do not necessarily need to follow lodo practices to get this german lager taste" as "He is dissing lodo, he hurt my mum, my family, he is aftermy whole live!!! HE ATE MY CAT!!!! GET HIIIIM!!!"

Of course there are problems with oxygen and so on... but.. I feel like I am repeating myself over and over again... it is not necessary to follow this whole riligious cult thing.

There are probably many sound advices, many bad ones and many debatable ones within the lodo bible, but seriously, do not try to convert everybody. Why so freaking defensive in first place? Can't you guys just discuss process without putting parts of it into the lodo frame and trying to push the whole thing on people? Or maybe stay on topic? Just doing the oposite of what I am doing here? :D
I don't attend ritual sacrifices or even have any robes, no idea how you got this take from my post besides not reading it at all. I only posted because a couple of you regulars here seem so butt-hurt anytime something lodo is mentioned. Looking forward to your future smooth brained posts attacking people instead of talking about any brewing specifics.
 

Oleson M.D.

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Regarding a full decoction mash, we now do triple step infusion mashes. Why? The decision was made based on some experiments where a blind taste test was held, and those that participated had no preference for the decoction mashed beer, but did think the step infusion mashed beer was significantly better.

A step infusion does add a lot of time to your brew day. It takes us nearly 3 hours to complete the mash procedure.
But this is far less labor intensive and less messy.
 
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I can't believe this post has gone this far and know one mentioned Brewtan B. Can't do side by sides but I think my malt flavors are more distinguishable. I add 1/4 tps to the mash.
I got some from @mongoose33 about 4 years ago. Didn't notice any difference in my beer. But, I might re-visit it next time I make a multi-batch pilsner. I brew big batches in the spring, and those kegs sit around for the whole summer. That'll let me assess improvement over time.

Brewtan in one, none in the other. I would like to hear from mongoose on that.
 
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Lupulus

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I got some from @mongoose33 about 4 years ago. Didn't notice any difference in my beer. But, I might re-visit it next time I make a multi-batch pilsner. I brew big batches in the spring, and those kegs sit around for the whole summer. That'll let me assess improvement over time.

Brewtan in one, none in the other. I would like to hear from mongoose on that.
As much as one would like to RDWHAHB, many things don't work in all conditions. BTB precipitates tannins, no doubt, BUT mash pH affects tannins as does air free mashing, grain conditioning, endosperm mashing, clean vs dirty lautering, boil intensity and duration, timing of BTB w or wo other finings. In other words, it's complicated.
 

mongoose33

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I got some from @mongoose33 about 4 years ago. Didn't notice any difference in my beer. But, I might re-visit it next time I make a multi-batch pilsner. I brew big batches in the spring, and those kegs sit around for the whole summer. That'll let me assess improvement over time.

Brewtan in one, none in the other. I would like to hear from mongoose on that.
I noticed no difference in the taste, dosing two side-by-side otherwise identical batches. I did triangle tests with my homebrew group, imploring them to not eat or drink prior to tasting, and using a random assignment of the cups. Just no difference noted at all between the batches.

But that's not necessarily where it's going to shine. It should help with long-term storage.

As I understand it, the point of BtB is to prevent oxidation and Fenton reactions by combining with oxygen.

I'm doing mostly a variant of low-oxygen brewing as a norm these days. Part of that is an addition of 1 gram of BtB to the strike water. I'm trying to avoid oxidation on the hot side by doing things like preboiling the strike water to drive off oxygen prior to dough-in, crushing the grain as close to dough-in as possible, underletting the grain rather than mixing the grain into the strike water, things like that.
So it's hard to identify the effect of BtB since I'm also doing a lot of other stuff designed to limit oxidation.

FWIW: I'm also sealing up the fermenter with about 8 gravity points of fermentation remaining to allow it to self-carbonate. Even though CO2 is almost completely pure from the bottle, it's not perfectly pure and I use the self carbonation as a way to avoid introducing oxygen during carbonation. Then I pressure transfer to a purged keg, bleeding the lines and such so I have virtually no oxygen in the keg after transfer.

It seems to work a lot. I'll get months out of a keg this way with no discernable change in flavor. Eventually there's enough CO2 that has filled the void space in the keg as it empties that more O2 gets in there, and eventually the beer fades.
 

duncan.brown

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I try and avoid threads where people argue about LODO, but I have 30 mins left on my boil timer and nothing left to clean or sanitize, so here goes...

On the contention: I think this arises when people in the LODO and non-LODO camps make the following assertions:
  • You can get the "German taste" if and only if you follow LODO practices.
  • LODO is bunk and does nothing to enhance the taste of German-style lagers.
Personally, I disagree with both of these statements. But as @dmtaylor correctly points out, I am an idiot, so read the rest of this post in that context.

I don't think anyone disputes that oxygen is the enemy of beer. You can't go four episodes of the MBAA podcast or the Craft Beer and Brewing podcast without someone bringing up dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, or total packaged oxygen (TPO) levels. Oxygen causes stalling compounds that deteriorate the flavor of beers from Hofbräu Original to Pliny the Elder. Good commercial brewers obsess over their TPO and try and get it as low as possible. I hope that everyone agrees that keeping oxygen out of beer is good for the taste and flavor stability (two different things!), although I'm sure there are some people who like the notes that oxidations brings to their beer. That's fine too.

As some have pointed out, if you want to really try and replicate the taste of the beers from the big Munich breweries, as you drink in Munich, then keeping oxygen levels as low as possible from grain milling to packaging really is important. But the taste of Augustiner or Hofbräu Hell as drunk in Munich is not the same as the taste as the bottle that I get in Wegmans in New York. Why? Degradation of the beer on the boat due to time, temperature, and oxygen. Even Hofbräu can't make a beer with low enough TPO to save that super-fresh brewery flavor. Personally, I think that my home-brewed helles is better than the commercial German beer that I get in the supermarket, not because I'm a better brewer than the people at Spaten who've been to the VLB or TUM, but because my beer is fresher and on draft (from a side-pull tap into proper German glassware from Spiegel, but that's another story). Is their beer as served in Munich better than mine? You bet it is! (See avatar.)

I think what the LODO people are after is the lowest TPO that they can get, to try and replicate what the big commercial German breweries do. Do I think that it makes their beer better (as judged by approaching Hofbrau in Munich), I think it very likely does. But what all the LODO folks I've seen have is attention to process and detail. (As a home-brew gear head, I envy Bryan Rabe's kit) I claim that's the 95% of getting to that "German flavor" is attention to detail and process, and that LODO might be the last 5% that gets you (almost, but not quite) to helles in Munich. However, there are people who swear that you can't get that "German flavor" without a decoction mash and decoction seems to be contrary to the home-brew LODO principles that I've seen, so there's clearly some disagreement there as well.

Here's my tips for trying to make a helles beer that has that bready, German flavor. Maybe not the one of Augustiner, but certainly the one of some of the smaller breweries in Franconia or Bavaria that, to me, often have a more interesting taste than some of the bigger breweries.



Ingredients

As many have said, the process starts with the right ingredients. Get the finest German Pilsner malt that you can find. Weyermann Barke Pils is a favorite of mine. I also made a fantastic beer from Cargill German Pilsner from Northern Brewer a few years back. Check your malt bill! Make sure you have a low-protein malt. Think about Weyermann acidulated malt for pH and maybe a dose of Weyermann Vienna for color and flavor. Make sure you have the freshest noble hops you can get: I like German Perle for bittering at 60 mins and Hallertauer Mittelfrueh for aroma at 15 mins. Check the lot code on the bags when you buy from your LHBS and make sure you get the freshest ones they have. Water is really important. I'm lucky that Skaneateles Lake water is fantastic year round and just needs some MgSO4 and CaCl to get the sulphate to chloride ration around 0.8, but you may need RO if your water is not as good. Read and learn about water profiles.

Yeast

I like 34/70 for my some of my lagers, but for a proper German-style helles I think you have to use a good liquid yeast. My LHBS is a Wyeast shop, so I use 2308 Munich and 2206 Bavarian. Make a big starter. I prop up the pack in 1600 ml of 1.036 wort, decant, and then step up with 3 l of 1.036 wort in a 4000 ml conical.

Mash and Sparge

Flavor is more important than efficiency, so I deliberately dial-down my brew-house efficient in Beersmith to give me head room at all stages of the process. I'd rather have to dilute wort that's too high a gravity with water from my HLT than have tannins in my runoff. Get your pH right (ignore the home-brew stuff that says 5.2 and aim lower at 5 or even 4.8). Monitor your mash temperatures precisely. I use a three-vessel eHERMS system which gives me great control for step mashes. I also have a separate digital temperature probe in a thermowell right in the middle of the mash bed. Do a proper multi-step mash (or a decoction). Acidify your sparge water. I fly sparge as it's the best way for me to get control over the runoff pH (and hence reduce tannin extraction). Towards the end of sparge, regularly taste your runoff to watch for polyphenols and check it's gravity. Don't let it go below 3.2 Plato.

Boil and Chill

Keep your boil gentle and don't splash your wort! Get a HopStopper 2.0 or hop spider to keep hop and break material in your kettle. I never use more than 2 oz of T90 pellets for my Helles, usually 1.75 oz (0.75 Perle and 1oz Mitt). Get a plate chiller so you can chill quickly to below 60F, ideally to 43F in one shot. If you can't get there with your ground water at least get to 65F then, chill to 43F in your fermenter before pitching. Get the break material out of your wort so your yeast has crystal-clear wort to work on.

Fermentation and Lagering

Do a forced fermentation test so you know what your FG will be. Temperature control is essential. Get a glycol-cooled unitank with a spunding valve. Ferment cool (let the beer rise from 43F to 48F after pitching and keep it there for 14 days). I'm in two minds about a diacetyl rest. With a good healthy pitch, you shouldn't need it, but I sometimes do one. Once you're a few gravity points away from SG spund to 15 psi. I very slowly cool in the fermenter to 38F and then filter into a keg for lagering at 30F.
 

TheMadKing

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You need to taste the beer At The Brewery or as close as possible to truly compare.
This is the logical fallacy I struggle with. Low oxygen beers are so sensitive they can't really be bottled or transported without harm, yet 99% of these types of threads describing a "German flavor" are discussing bottled, pasteurized, and imported beers which still seem to have the flavor most are looking for. Some of them even exhibit classic oxidation flavors such as cardboard and yet still retain the "it flavor". That implies you can still attain that flavor with someone amount of oxygen in the mix

Another logical issue I have is that American macrobreweries also perportedly employ these same low oxygen techniques and yet budweiser original doesn't have remotely the same qualities as Weihenstephan Original. So is it the oxygen or is it something else?

I said wouldn't comment.. I was wrong
 

duncan.brown

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99% of these types of threads describing a "German flavor" are discussing bottled, pasteurized, and imported beers which still seem to have the flavor most are looking for.
Yup. If your idea of "German flavor" is the bottled beer that you can get in US supermarkets, then you can definitely do (better) on the home-brew scale without LODO. Or buy U.S. brands like Jack's Abby or Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which taste better than their German counterparts locally. If you're trying to recreate the "German flavor" of Tegernsee Hell as drunk in the courtyard of the Bavarian Monastery where it is brewed while looking out over Lake Tegernsee, forget it.

But then there's an interesting discussion about the way that presentation affects perception of taste. Does Hofbrau really taste better in the Hofbrau beer hall than it does in a pub in Hannover, or does it taste better there because I expect it to and I want it to?
 

Lupulus

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This is the logical fallacy I struggle with. Low oxygen beers are so sensitive they can't really be bottled or transported without harm...
Another logical issue I have is that American macrobreweries also perportedly employ these same low oxygen techniques and yet budweiser original doesn't have remotely the same qualities as Weihenstephan Original. So is it the oxygen or is it something else?
You misread the first comment. Actually, modern German brewing's main purpose is flavor stability.
The point is to isolate variables.

Budweiser original is an excellent beer.
Budweiser makes exactly the beer they want to make. It's not the they can't make Weihenstephan, but that they choose not to.
 

TheMadKing

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You misread the first comment. Actually, modern German brewing's main purpose is flavor stability.
The point is to isolate variables.

Budweiser original is an excellent beer.
Budweiser makes exactly the beer they want to make. It's not the they can't make Weihenstephan, but that they choose not to.
I apologize, I didn't misread it, I pulled that chunk out of context intentionally because it was a ready made quote and because I've seen it used elsewhere many times. I agree that flavor stability is their prime goal.


I think you misinterpreted my second point though too. I agree that budweiser is an excellently made beer, but my point was that if the German "it" flavor is a direct result of lodo brewing, yet beers brewed using the same techniques do not have that character, then clearly that character is a result of something else such as ingredients and recipe
 

Lupulus

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But then there's an interesting discussion about the way that presentation affects perception of taste. Does Hofbrau really taste better in the Hofbrau beer hall than it does in a pub in Hannover, or does it taste better there because I expect it to and I want it to?
Although blinded tasting experiments cannot be ignored, the likelihood is that the pub in Hannover left the keg outside for a month or more and line cleaning may or may not be great.
BTW, at the Hobräuhaus the beer was most likely also in Holzfaß, which affects carbonation.
 

Lupulus

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I apologize, I didn't misread it, I pulled that chunk out of context intentionally because it was a ready made quote and because I've seen it used elsewhere many times. I agree that flavor stability is their prime goal.


I think you misinterpreted my second point though too. I agree that budweiser is an excellently made beer, but my point was that if the German "it" flavor is a direct result of lodo brewing, yet beers brewed using the same techniques do not have that character, then clearly that character is a result of something else such as ingredients and recipe
Apologies then.
Indeed, modern brewing techniques are just one element of the process.
As they say with many rules in math it's necessary but not sufficient.
You should see in my posts that I try to avoid the taste trap. I don't like Lõwenbräu or Spaten but I don't know why... It's because they pasteurize even the beer they serve in Munich? Is there something else? I don't know but I do know that it's exactly what they intend to serve.
Cheers!
 

Taket_al_Tauro

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as drunk in the courtyard of the Bavarian Monastery where it is brewed while looking out over Lake Tegernsee, forget it.

But then there's an interesting discussion about the way that presentation affects perception of taste. Does Hofbrau really taste better in the Hofbrau beer hall than it does in a pub in Hannover, or does it taste better there because I expect it to and I want it to?
That's a crucial point imho.
I was leaving near Munich 4 years, and while I enjoyed a good Helles from time to time, I was never blown away... but I'll also admit not to be the biggest Helles fan.
And Weihenstephaner Original, believe it or not, was avoided like the pest on Weihenstephan Campus, it had a reputation of giving terrible headaches if you drank too much of it...maybe it was only some kind of urban legend, but locals were dead serious about it. So there probably was something to it. Maybe they exxagerated somehow with LOB, and did not let the beer breathe enough, I dunno...

Anyway I find it interesting and funny at the same time that you guys are raving over these beers, while I'd go out of my way for a chance to taste a fresh example of some of your hyped IPAs across the pond, like Pliny or Hill Farmstead or what not.

It's really true that the grass of the neighbor's lawn is always greener 😉
 

Brooothru

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I have been curious about that stuff. Nice thing about it is it still complies with KISS principle, for those of us interested in maintaining our laziness. :)
BrewTan B blended with NaMeta and ascorbic acid at a ratio of ~0.8 gr : 0.5 gr : 0.5 gr (note: 1.8 gr tot. blend) per 5 gallon batch in the mash (my mash water is about 7 gallons at dough-in) is a highly effective antioxidant. It also results in some of the clearest wort you'll ever see coming out of the mash. I also add a lesser amount of the blend [~1.4 gr total blend] to the late boil to provide further antioxidizing protection and to aid in settling trub before transferring to the fermenter.

Then pitch yeast before oxygenating. I know it sounds crazy but sequencing things this way really does reduce staling. There is less aggregate O2 pickup during the chill, hop stand, whirlpool and transfer. Since the yeast will quickly consume all the oxygen added to the fermentation, you 'feed' it all the O2 it needs when it needs it after the yeast is already present in the wort, thus reducing any staling that might occur. The yeast get what they need with little or none left around to stale your beer.

Ferment sealed in a primary-only single stage, transfer under pressure to a purged keg ~ 5 points before final gravity, attach a spunding valve and finish fermentation at room temperature. After a week, put the keg in the fridge/kegerator and be drinking carbonated finished beer the next day, or transfer to a serving keg with a floating dip tube and have clear beer after a few days of settling.

I'd tell you that's 75% of what LoDO is, but the guardians of tradition would then scoff in derision and label me an infidel for even mentioning such heresy. I dunno, it looks pretty non-threatening to me. Seems like "traditional" home brewing with a few minor tweaks that are neither sorcery or "fake science". Neither do these steps take much time or effort over what I would otherwise do. Quite to the contrary, the time interval grain to glass is at least one week quicker. It also results in some mighty fine "German flavor" in my stein.

So I'll tell ya' what. In order not to frighten or upset the folks who seem to prefer oxidized or otherwise short-lived beers, let's just call it "my processes and techniques" rather than "low-oxygen brewing" to prevent hurt feelings. I'm sure the mods are tiring of walking a tightrope worrying about when they're gonna' have to shut this thread down. And frankly I growing a little tired of seeing my online friends and family feuding over something so trivial. But if you want to talk about some equally simple steps I use to limit O2 pickup in other ways, shoot me a PM

Peace, out.
 

duncan.brown

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Anyway I find it interesting and funny at the same time that you guys are raving over these beers, while I'd go out of my way for a chance to taste a fresh example of some of your hyped IPAs across the pond, like Pliny or Hill Farmstead or what not.

It's really true that the grass of the neighbor's lawn is always greener
Absolutely! What do I brew? The British cask ales of my youth that I drink when I go back home. The fine German lagers that I drink when I travel there on business. The Pliny that I drank when I lived in California.

What can I get in Wegmans? An awesome selection of craft beers from New York, Massachusetts, and beyond that rival any of these beers as delicious beverages in their own right. Jack's Abby House Lager is as good as many a helles that I have had in Bavaria. I'd still rather be drinking my helles in Bavaria, served from a Holzfaß.
 

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Duncan.Brown - thanks for your earlier post. Very thoughtful and nice list of processes. The main point I would disagree with is the mash pH. I have come to learn that 5.4-5.6 measured at room temps is the ideal for mash pH. An end of the boil knockout pH of 5.1 brings it down to the levels you mentioned. This addition is where I add all of my sauergut to lower the end boil pH and to retain as much sauergut flavor.

Yes, details, details and details. As is often said it is all of the little things that add up.
 

Bassman2003

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Broo, you are spittin' the troof! Seriously, that is a lot of the low oxygen practice right there. Preboil or yeast scavenge your strike water, add sulfites and BTB (or other) and try to limit exposure going forward. Run your pumps at slow speeds, lower your boil intensity, cap your mash or other open surfaces. If one wants to keep it really simple just pre-boil or YOS treat your strike water and add 1-2 grams of sodium metabisulfite to your strike water.

This is for the hot side. I think at this point in time, cold side practice of liquid keg purging is pretty standard. Spunding is on its own but very much an improvement over force carbing as the tank CO2 has oxygen in it which takes your beer away from you day by day.
 
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