That German Lager taste

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SaltNeck

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I never knew the colour, texture or amount of foam was a relevant observable.

It is a general indicator of lauter quality - indicating how many solids, (proteins, teig, etc...) were transfered to the boil and how much dissolved gas is in the wort.

Seems now like everything is taking it for granted that a brown cap of foam was a telltale sign of a wort of low quality. Is that generally agreed upon? (I'm not dismissing it in any way, just genuinely asking if that's a thing.)

The amount of solids (proteins, teig, etc...) left in the mash tun generally correlates to less solids, proteins, fatty acids and other staling compounds in the boil. So, yes, in that regard it is an indicator of wort quality.

Aren't the proteins pretty much dissolved in the wort prior to the boil? How could the grainbed or mash filter filter hold them back?

There is a certain amount of smaller particulate matter dissolved in the wort. The larger particles and the grayish teig substances are certainly filtered by the grain bed. An undisturbed, underletted grain bed is a very effective filter and will hold back most unwanted substances.

The action of the boil will still coagulate what's been dissolved in the wort but you won't have the larger brownish grey particles.
 
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SaltNeck

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It would be an interesting exercise to understand the difference between the YOS method and the boiling method of deoxygentation and how they relate to the amount or type of foam in the boil.

Does the CO2 released into the mash water by the YOS method produce more foam at boil than a mash water which has been boiled and is devoid of gas?

Which method enables the most coagulation during boil?

Is there a difference in the amount and type of foam produced by each method?
 

Bassman2003

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Thanks for the discussion and this is what I hope the videos bring about - More questions. If you would like to compare YOS vs pre-boil then batch #3 vs batch #4 is a fairly close comparison with only the dough in method differing. They look pretty close from a foam perspective with #4 having a bit more crust. I might have gone a little quicker raising the bag out on #4. I do not remember the amount of foam or time being that different. Nothing like the HIDO batch where the foam stayed around much longer.

I am glad SaltNeck is bring this up because in the end, there are few indicators of weather or not you have retained malt flavor compounds or destroyed them. As you can see in the video, the color was closer then I expected, so that is not the most obvious indicator. Taste is another but that can be subjective. The other measurements we take like pH & gravity have nothing to show about flavor. This is what makes low oxygen brewing so difficult to discuss - it is a measure of flavor.
 

SaltNeck

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Thanks for the discussion and this is what I hope the videos bring about - More questions. If you would like to compare YOS vs pre-boil then batch #3 vs batch #4 is a fairly close comparison with only the dough in method differing. They look pretty close from a foam perspective with #4 having a bit more crust. I might have gone a little quicker raising the bag out on #4. I do not remember the amount of foam or time being that different. Nothing like the HIDO batch where the foam stayed around much longer.

I am glad SaltNeck is bring this up because in the end, there are few indicators of weather or not you have retained malt flavor compounds or destroyed them. As you can see in the video, the color was closer then I expected, so that is not the most obvious indicator. Taste is another but that can be subjective. The other measurements we take like pH & gravity have nothing to show about flavor. This is what makes low oxygen brewing so difficult to discuss - it is a measure of flavor.

I feel that instead of visual observations one would need actual measurements of things like pH, dissolved gas volumes, wort makeup, malt quality, etc... in order to objectively measure the cause and effects of the foam. Meh, I'm not *that* into the LODO stuff but it would certainly be interesting.
 

Bassman2003

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We are homebrewers, not professionals, so even if we did measure all of that stuff, the chances of repeating the exact parameters on the next batch are low. To bring this back to the original thread topic, I would say an easy gauge for getting that German lager taste (pinnacle flavor imho) is striving for pure white hot break that dissipates rather quickly. At least it is very easy to track. Getting there is more difficult but has been outlined.
 

Beer666

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Hello all,

I know this is an older thread but I wanted to share a video a just made regarding process comparisons over 4 batches of the same beer. I try to show things in my videos that are often only heard about or mentioned in forums etc... Hopefully it can be of benefit to some in their quest for the "It Factor".

Warning: the content involved does contain scenes and graphic representations of low oxygen practices! :) :)



Funny enough i watched your video last week as i am already subbed. Fascinating stuff. Cheers.
 

Pablo 54

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Using yeast to deoxygenate and adding sulfites is easier than capping and underletting! You may have to be a bit careful with sulfites if you don't have a good way to oxygenate your wort at pitching time, but deoxygenating the water with yeast is IMO the easiest part (and the first LODO technique I adopted).

Edit: video

Good points. I'm brewing on Monday and I'm going to do the yeast process. I'm using a pilsner grain bill but Kolsch yeast so there will be nothing to hide behind.
 

Spivey24

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LODO aside, I wouldn’t recommend following the earlier advice in this thread, because I did and I really can’t stop drinking this last batch, it’s so good! :) It’s been a while since I have been in Germany, but it’s what I remember about it being so good. A certain freshness, a nice malt flavor without being overly malty, very drinkable. If I did LODO, I would probably be drinking this for breakfast too, so not necessary for me.

Some key take-aways:
-Used Wyerman floor malted malt which I think made a huge difference.
-Did a multi step mash for a highly fermentable wort.
-Kept the ph low in the mash and added more lactic acid in the fermenter.
-Use restraint with the hops. Just some low alpha German hops at 60 or 45 and maybe a flameout addition.
-60 minute boil.
-Used White Labs southern German yeast and plenty of it.
-Lots of finings. Whirlfloc in the boil, ClarityFerm in the ferment, and gelatin before kegging.
-Ferment started at 47 and let rise to 50 where it stayed for 10 days. Let it rise to 53 for 3 days then down to 35.
-Get it off primary before 3 weeks. I did a split batch and the one I left in primary for 5 weeks was not as good as the one in for 18 days.
-It actually didn’t take more than 3 weeks of lagering once transferred to the kegs. It didn’t improve after that. Before that there was a slight sulpher, but the beer cleared quickly.
-Closed transfer to purged keg.

I am an IPA guy usually, and I can’t get enough of this stuff.
 
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csantoni

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Used Wyerman floor malted malt which I think made a huge difference.
-Did a multi step mash for a highly fermentable wort.
-Kept the ph low in the mash and added more lactic acid in the fermenter.
-Use restraint with the hops. Just some low alpha German hops at 60 or 45 and maybe a flameout addition.
...
I've been wanting to put a bit of a capstone on this thread, since I'm the OP.

After making a few more batches I determined that while LODO practices are probably good, and I do following many of them on the cold side, the "German Lager Taste" I was looking for is all about the malt.

I made a Helles about 7 weeks ago and while it could certainly use more lagering time it's amazing right now and the best beer I've ever made. I used Weyerman Pilsner & Munich II and 34/70 dry yeast. The specific flavor I taste in those German imports is a grain flavor that really shines through in this beer. I did a similar process to @Spivey24, with some differences, but the first three of his points are spot on. I also did a single decoction which I think brings out a more pronounced grain flavor in my beers so I use it in styles where I want that to be highlighted.

So, while LODO, yeast selection, process, and age all likely contribute, the flavor that I was talking about at the beginning of the thread was definitely the malt.
 
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I've been wanting to put a bit of a capstone on this thread, since I'm the OP.

After making a few more batches I determined that while LODO practices are probably good, and I do following many of them on the cold side, the "German Lager Taste" I was looking for is all about the malt.

I made a Helles about 7 weeks ago and while it could certainly use more lagering time it's amazing right now and the best beer I've ever made. I used Weyerman Pilsner & Munich II and 34/70 dry yeast. The specific flavor I taste in those German imports is a grain flavor that really shines through in this beer. I did a similar process to @Spivey24, with some differences, but the first three of his points are spot on. I also did a single decoction which I think brings out a more pronounced grain flavor in my beers so I use it in styles where I want that to be highlighted.

So, while LODO, yeast selection, process, and age all likely contribute, the flavor that I was talking about at the beginning of the thread was definitely the malt.

Have you looked at their Barke malts? See this: Weyermann Barke Pilsner - I made FIRE!
 

monkeymath

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So what you're saying is, I was right? Can i get that in writing to show the Mrs.?

Dear Mrs Sammy,

I hope this finds you well. I am writing to you on behalf of the international homebrewing community. We all depend on the insight provided by the man that you are so lucky to have by your side.
So while at times it may _seem_ as if he was merely wasting time on the internet, getting into pointless arguments with strangers, mostly overweight middle-aged men with a considerable drinking problem, he is in fact one of the most prolific members of a distinguished community of experts, many of which look up to him.
I am telling you this to further your understanding of his pivotal position. He should be freed from most, if not all, chores of the household, so he can dedicate his energy to his true calling: educating the public.
You should be proud to have scored such a fine specimen of a man.

Sincerely yours,
Some dude on the internet
 

hottpeper13

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Not necessarily a triple decoction, but a single one at mashout doesn't do anymore then a step mash or using melanoiden malt as far as flavor gose. I was emulating realtors maxim,location ,location,location. I strike at 104* for 20 min then add boiling liquor to get to 143* and a 1.5 :1 ratio. Using a large strainer i pull most of the grain out and heat to 160* rest 20 min then bring to boil(less then 10 min) boil for 20 min add back to get 158-160 rest 10 min ,pull and bring to boil for 30 min. It's pretty much "stick a fork ion me I'm done" at this point so a third only happens on my Czeck Pils with a brewing buddy, using under modified floor malt.
One more thing, if it didn't matter for flavor the new breweries in Germany wouldn't be centered around decoction.
 

Brooothru

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Dear Mrs Sammy,

I hope this finds you well. I am writing to you on behalf of the international homebrewing community. We all depend on the insight provided by the man that you are so lucky to have by your side.
So while at times it may _seem_ as if he was merely wasting time on the internet, getting into pointless arguments with strangers, mostly overweight middle-aged men with a considerable drinking problem, he is in fact one of the most prolific members of a distinguished community of experts, many of which look up to him.
I am telling you this to further your understanding of his pivotal position. He should be freed from most, if not all, chores of the household, so he can dedicate his energy to his true calling: educating the public.
You should be proud to have scored such a fine specimen of a man.

Sincerely yours,
Some dude on the internet
OK, I want YOU in my corner when I hafta' go toe to toe with SWMBO'd over my next necessary (she says, "capricious") piece of brew gear. Might be getting a PM from me soon since the Visa bill will be coming any day now. I can foresee the need for expert (not to mention, "loquacious") backup in litigating my defense.
 

monkeymath

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Just curious: for those of you that use melanoidin malt in lieu of decoction, what sort of percentage of your grain bill does the melanoidin represent?

I've only used it once or twice, but it's a rather intense flavour, so I think it's generally recommended not to exceed four or five percent. Can't say how it relates to decoctions, though.
 

Sammy86

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Dear Mrs Sammy,

I hope this finds you well. I am writing to you on behalf of the international homebrewing community. We all depend on the insight provided by the man that you are so lucky to have by your side.
So while at times it may _seem_ as if he was merely wasting time on the internet, getting into pointless arguments with strangers, mostly overweight middle-aged men with a considerable drinking problem, he is in fact one of the most prolific members of a distinguished community of experts, many of which look up to him.
I am telling you this to further your understanding of his pivotal position. He should be freed from most, if not all, chores of the household, so he can dedicate his energy to his true calling: educating the public.
You should be proud to have scored such a fine specimen of a man.

Sincerely yours,
Some dude on the internet

Thanks dude! She laughed the entire time and then told me to get off the phone!
 

Beermeister32

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I might try that one actually. Just to be able to taste it. Do you already taste the respective flavour from the resulting beer when trying the Sauergut itself, or does it change a lot during the brewing process?
Looks like Weyermann has a pre-made Sauergut / Sour Wort product available in bulk. Anyone see any of this in quart or 1 liter size for home brewers?
 

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Looks like Weyermann has a pre-made Sauergut / Sour Wort product available in bulk. Anyone see any of this in quart or 1 liter size for home brewers?
Or does anybody know how to make it? Reading the analysis, it looks like preparing a kettle sour and then pasteurizing and bottling might work?

Sauergut means soured goods or more plainly sour product; in the context of a brewery it just implies beer that has soured. Finding a use for it might have been how it was first employed to adjust flavor, added to boiling wort for its acidity.
 

Oleson M.D.

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I don’t drink anything that has soured, milk or beer. But that's just me.
It must be an "acquired" taste.
 
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dmtaylor

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I don’t drink anything that has soured, milk or beer. But that's just me.
It must be an "acquired" taste.

Sauergut is not usually consumed on its own. Rather, it is soured purposefully in small quantity for adjustment of mash pH which remains in accordance with Reinheitsgebot (for those who care about that).
 

monkeymath

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Here is how I was taught to make it.


Quick question: you seem to ferment the sauergut in a sealed container. Is there no risk of a yeast "infection" (or heterofermentative lab) producing CO2, which may endanger the structural integrity of said container?
Or, to put it more bluntly: dude, doesn't that jar explode if you get some yeast in there?
 

Oleson M.D.

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Sauergut is not usually consumed on its own. Rather, it is soured purposefully in small quantity for adjustment of mash pH which remains in accordance with Reinheitsgebot (for those who care about that).

Ok, that makes sense. Glad you got me straightened out!
 

dmtaylor

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Quick question: you seem to ferment the sauergut in a sealed container. Is there no risk of a yeast "infection" (or heterofermentative lab) producing CO2, which may endanger the structural integrity of said container?
Or, to put it more bluntly: dude, doesn't that jar explode if you get some yeast in there?

That is my thought as well. I have actually used a handful of raw grain as my primary yeast source in a beer, and it worked -- it made a krausen and fermented out and actually made decent beer. I'd be concerned about potential bombs. Perhaps the low pH via addition of lactic acid is what prevents this?? But then this particular method is not Reinheitsgebot either. I'd be curious to see how the Reinh. process works.
 

Bilsch

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Quick question: you seem to ferment the sauergut in a sealed container. Is there no risk of a yeast "infection" (or heterofermentative lab) producing CO2, which may endanger the structural integrity of said container?
Or, to put it more bluntly: dude, doesn't that jar explode if you get some yeast in there?

There is a risk of yeast fermentation if you deviate to much from the process outlined. The two biggest factors are not lower the starting pH to the proper level and getting too much oxygen into the wort post boil.

On the bright side mason jars are actually designed to vent pressure (weak ring band) and so you don't have to worry about bottle bombs.
 

Bassman2003

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Quick question: you seem to ferment the sauergut in a sealed container. Is there no risk of a yeast "infection" (or heterofermentative lab) producing CO2, which may endanger the structural integrity of said container?
Or, to put it more bluntly: dude, doesn't that jar explode if you get some yeast in there?
Hello,

You raise a good point. The problem is needing to exclude oxygen from the process which is helped by vacuum sealing the jars. My weak point is actually filling the jars in open air. While short in duration, is still a risk. The wort being boiled does not have any yeast so process would be the only entrance point. As Bilsch pointed out, the environment is not as hospitable for the yeast as the pH drops into the 3's. So if there were to be a few yeast cells, hopefully the pH drop would beat out the speed of the yeast replication.
 

Bilsch

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There is a myriad of different microorganisms on that grain you use to inoculate including the particular strains lactobacillus we are after. Your job making the sauergut is to provide the conditions that favor just the ones that you want to succeed. Exclusion of oxygen, pH and temperature control are all important toward that goal.
 

camonick

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Here is how I was taught to make it.

If a person was just aiming for the finished product without worrying about purity laws and traditions, could the wort be made with LME or DME then proceed with the rest of the process as described in the video? I was just thinking about a way to speed it up and simplify it a little bit.
 

monkeymath

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If a person was just aiming for the finished product without worrying about purity laws and traditions...

... then yes, you can just use lactic acid instead.

(Just playing devil's advocate here :D sorry if I hurt anyone's oxygen-scavenged feelings.)
 

Bassman2003

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I do not think you can use DME as the wort is soured from the lacto on the grains. I would think DME would be pretty much sterilized. But I am not sure.

Monkey, most people I know that make sauergut do so for the flavor addition as well as the acidity. No need for cheeky remarks. It only looks poorly on you. We are all homebrewers trying to make good beer.
 

cyberbackpacker

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@Bassman2003 I believe what @camonick is proposing would work... he is proposing making his wort with extract and then adding the grain to that wort. It appears he wants to save some time/effort in wort prep.

But once he has the wort, the 15-18g of malt that he adds will have the organisms on them to acidify his (extract made) wort.

So camonick, go for it, but do so knowing you will be adding sauergut that is not low ox.
 

Bilsch

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So camonick, go for it, but do so knowing you will be adding sauergut that is not low ox.

I would be interested in those extract results as well however you might want to make a batch the all grain way in addition to compare.

As for the SG wort being low oxygen, as time goes by I'm less and less concerned with keeping the sauergut wort strictly LoDO on the hotside. As Denny would say, I haven't noticed a big difference. After the boil though it is paramount to exclude O2 or the souring won't happen correctly.
 
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