Vienna Lager + German Pils

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thehaze

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Hello,

So after I brewed my Norwegian Pils with french Mistral hops, I decided to brew more lagers. This time different. I understand now that late additions and whirlpooling hops just add too much aroma and flavour. And although pleasent, they need to be more subtle. So this will be a challenge, which I hope you can assist with. I don't want a sweet/malty Pils, but a more bitter one. It can be hoppy, but I don't want tropical fruit, citrus, etc. Hopefully I am closer this time to a better version of something easy drinking.

PILS / VIENNA LAGER

96% BESTMALZ Pilsner / 96% BEZTMALZ Vienna
4% BESTMALZ Chit / 4% Dingemans Biscuit
W-34/70
0.9 oz Hallertau Magnum ---> 60'
0.9 oz each of Spalt Select, Mittelfruh and Hersbrucker ---> 40'
0.9 oz each of Spalt Select, Mittelfruh and Hersbrucker ---> 20'

OG: 1.049-1.051
FG: 1.008-1.010
IBU: 45
ABV: 5.3-5.5%

Any thoughts are welcome.
 
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Hello,

So after I brewed my Norwegian Pils with french Mistral hops, I decided to brew more lagers. This time different. I understand now that late additions and whirlpooling hops just add too much aroma and flavour. And although pleasent, they need to be more subtle. So this will be a challenge, which I hope you can assis with. I don't want a sweet/malty Pils, but a more bitter one. It can be hoppy, but I don't want tropical fruit, citrus, etc. Hopefully I am closer this time to a better version of something easy drinking.

PILS / VIENNA LAGER

96% BESTMALZ Pilsner / 96% BEZTMALZ Vienna
4% BESTMALZ Chit / 4% Dingemans Biscuit
W-34/70
0.9 oz Magnum ---> 60'
0.9 oz each of Spalt Select, Mittelfruh and Hersbrucker ---> 40'
0.9 oz each of Spalt Select, Mittelfruh and Hersbrucker ---> 20'

OG: 1.049-1.051
FG: 1.008-1.010
IBU: 45
ABV: 5.3-5.5%

Any thoughts are welcome.
Sounds good to me, although typical abv for a pils in Germany is 4.9%.

I don't know what chit malt is, but I would maybe go for either all pilsener or 70 to 80% Pilsener and the rest Vienna, for the Pilsener beer.
 
Chit malt: https://bestmalz.de/en/malts/best-chit-malt/

About the ABV, I'm thinking of adjusting the grainbill. I want anything between 4.7 and 5.3-5.4%, but definitely closer to 5%.
Interesting! Sounds all right to me then! You could obviously still add a bit of Vienna or a little Munich to your Pilsener, but it's certainly not a must. It would make it a bit more malty, that's all.

If you want it dry, try a hochkurz mash, works for me every time. 30 minutes @63, 30 minutes @72 and 20 minutes @77c.
 
I just did a mash up of those 2. I did a 50/50 Pils/Vienna with EKG bitter and Saaz aroma, fermented with Kolsch yeast. It has some body from the Vienna, but has a clean ferment from the Kolsch yeast. It is about as much of a Marzen as I can handle in the Florida heat. It came in at around 1.050. I think yours is right in that same ballpark. In fact, I was going to do my recipe again with 34/70 to see if it made any difference.
 
More than 25% Vienna gets to be a little much for my taste too, 80% pilsner malt/20% vienna not bad though.
 
Are you trying to make a pilsener or a Vienna. If you are making a pils and want a more bitter one try a north German pils. A straight 100% pilsener malt, with a long and low mash, with high sulphate water, with a small addition of noble hop varities will get you a dry and bitter lager. Ferment with one of the dryer strains, you want a 1.007 ish FG

As for a Vienna, 100% Vienna malt works great or a touch of melanoidin malt maybe 2-4% if you want a bit more fullness. You want couple of oz of saaz as a late addition. Use a malty Bavarian strain, ideally one that also finishes dry, but you want an FG around 1.011.
 
I will make two different beers: One pale Pils and one Vienna Lager. I realise now that the way I layed things in my original thread made things confusing. Besides the grainbill, everything else will be the same for both. I know Vienna Lagers are maltier and have less IBUs, but I am going for something drier and more bitter, but that still shows some of that toasty/biscuitty qwuality.
 
So is the hopping schedule OK? Am I OK in terms of hops and amount? As previously stated, I want a little less hop presence, although I want bitterness.
 
So is the hopping schedule OK? Am I OK in terms of hops and amount? As previously stated, I want a little less hop presence, although I want bitterness.
I did not calculate the ibus but only regarding the timing, I would say that you could possibly tidy it up a bit and combine everything into 2 additions. One 10 minute addition and the bittering addition. That makes it easier to nail the ibus you're after and also makes it easier to determine the hop presence.

Those 20 and 40 additions would give you something but it is hard to figure out how much hop presence they will actually contribute. A ten minute addition is easier to dose imo. Something like half a gram or one gram per litre should do the job!
 
IBUs are 45. I thought that when adding hops in the last 15 minutes, you get too much aroma and flavout. As such, the latest Pils I brewed ( or whatever it was ) with a clean Kveik and Mistral hops ( had hops at 60 and in the last 20 minutes, with 3 oz at flameout ), had too much hop character, at least in the first 2 weeks.
 
IBUs are 45. I thought that when adding hops in the last 15 minutes, you get too much aroma and flavout. As such, the latest Pils I brewed ( or whatever it was ) with a clean Kveik and Mistral hops ( had hops at 60 and in the last 20 minutes, with 3 oz at flameout ), had too much hop character, at least in the first 2 weeks.
45 ibus is too much. I would go for 30 to 35 max. A typical German pils doesn't have 45ibus. Although, if you like it that way, obviously brew it that way!

The amount of flavor and aroma you get depends on the amount of hops used. Therefore I recommended 0.5 to 1g per litre for the late addition.
 
For Pils or Pilsners I only add hops at 60 minutes and 20 minutes remaining in the boil. I add ~2/3 of total 'calculated' finished beer IBU's at 60 minutes, and ~1/3 of total 'calculated' finished beer IBU's at 20 minutes. I generally use Magnum for the 60 minute (bittering) addition, and a flavor/aroma hop appropriate to the region of the beers origin at 20 minutes.

NOTE: Edited to add the word 'calculated' twice above.
 
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First, you are on the right track using classic noble hops. Modern hops varieties and most New World hops will give you flavors you don't want in a classic style Old World lager.

Second, I'll agree that your IBU, even for a Northern German Pils, like Bitburger, should be around 30. They claim it's around 40, but that's before filtering, and commercial filtering does remove some perceived bitterness, so anything a filtered brewery tells you about their IBU is likely before filtering and should be lower fo an unfiltered clone.

As far as the grain bill, it's totally up to you. I happen to like a little light Munich malt in my Pils.
 
By my reckoning , ounce for ounce and gram for gram, pellet hops generate about 38% more IBU's than do whole or leaf hops at the 20 minutes remaining in the boil mark. And at 60 minutes remaining in the boil they generate roughly 16.7% more IBU's than would leaf/whole (and at 90 minutes remaining in the boil pellets and whole leaf are equivalent as to their IBU contribution). I believe this (in conjunction with mineralization) is why a beer like Urquell can have 40 IBU's and be smoothly hopped when the factory does it and taste rankly over hopped when we do it at home with pellets. The old school rule of thumb that pellets contribute 10% across the board more IBU's than whole/leaf with respect to remaining boil time is (in my opinion) totally incorrect.
 
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Here is the IBU relationship that I currently presume for equivalent weights and equivalent remaining boil times between whole/leaf and pellets:

Pellet IBU's = Whole/Leaf IBU's * [1.5 - (0.005555556 * minutes remaining in boil)]
(where minutes of boil time remaining are between 90 and zero)

For hop additions at beyond 90 minutes of remaining boil time I presume equivalence across types.

For example, if an addition of whole/leaf contributes 5 IBU's for the case of 20 minutes of remaining boil time, then an equal weight of pellets added with 20 minutes remaining in the boil will contribute 6.94 IBU's.

Pellet IBU's = 5 * [1.5 - (0.0055555556 * 20)]
Pellet IBU's = 6.94
 
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Just an update for those interested in the final result and the final recipe. I skipped the Vienna Lager and only did a German Pils:

100% Bestmalz Pilsner / 35 IBUs / OG: 1.044 / FG: 1.009 / 4.6% ABV
13 gr Magnum at 60 minutes
50 gr Saphir at 30 minutes
50 gr Saphir at 15 minutes
Irish moss and Brewtan B used in the last minutes of boil.

Mash water profile was 105 ppm Ca / 10 ppm Mg / 10 ppm Na / 125 ppm SO4 / 100 ppm Cl with a mash pH of 5.4 ( added only 2.5 ml Phosphoric acid 75% ).

Beer was bottled at 9 days after pitch and was enjoying it at around 10 days from bottling. Almost clear in the glass, not bitter at all, delicate " german beer " aroma and taste. Soft, despite the water and IBUs, easy drinking, refreshing. All 45 bottles were finished in 10 days.

Side note: This batch was one of the 5 batches I brewed last October, in which I employed the English approach to water treatment. All batches had at least 100 ppm Ca and a bit more Cl and SO4 than usual. I made a Pale Bitter - no dry hop - with 170 ppm Ca / 125 ppm Cl and 250 ppm SO4 which was extremely good: dry-ish, crisp, no awkard bite / bitterness. The Pils was good. Next time I'll use more hops, add more IBUs and more SO4. It was too tame.
 
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Your final recipe looks good. It seems like quite a lot of hops, but I enjoy a bit of hoppiness in my pilsners.

your IBU, even for a Northern German Pils, like Bitburger, should be around 30

A couple of things:
- Bitburg is not in Northern Germany
- the people in Northern Germany usually stick to local producers (and they seem to prefer the worse among those, such as "Flensburger" aka "Flens"). They resort to Bitburger and other generic nation-wide brands only in times of hardship - such as when in desperate need of a beer while on a train (where they only serve Bitburger Pils and Erdinger Weißbier).
- From what I gather, estimated IBUs are not terribly accurate, so comparing the IBUs predicted by Tinseth or some other formula to measured IBUs in commercial beers might not be all that helpful.
- I personally like my pilsners a little more bitter - not to mention flavourful - than the generic pilsners from Krombacher, Warsteiner, Bitburger, whathaveyou. (This heresy has caused me quite a bit of trouble in another thread, but eh.) German pilsners don't have to be wimpy. Don't feel too constrained by the internally represented mass-marketed stuff. Some pilsners in Germany actually have a bit of malt sweetness ("Tannenzäpfle" is a quite popular and widely available brand; I don't know if you can get it in the states. I really like it), and the hop flavour and aroma varies in intensity and quality, ranging from floral to spicy to grassy. There's a whole spectrum of it.
 
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A couple of things:
- Bitburg is not in Northern Germany
- the people in Northern Germany usually stick to local producers (and they seem to prefer the worse among those, such as "Flensburger" aka "Flens"). They resort to Bitburger and other generic nation-wide brands only in times of hardship - such as when in desperate need of a beer while on a train (where they only serve Bitburger Pils and Erdinger Weißbier).
True, but the beer is the "Northern German" style (cleaner, crisper, and more bitter than is common in Bavaria). But don't shoot the messenger, I didn't invent the term "Northern German Pilsner" or put Bitburger in that category. It's just common parlance, at least in the 'States.
- From what I gather, estimated IBUs are not terribly accurate, so comparing the IBUs predicted by Tinseth or some other formula to measured IBUs in commercial beers might not be all that helpful.
Also true, IBUs are a terribe unit of measure, especially from a predictive standpoint, but they are nonetheless an industry standard. THat said, Bitburger has historically claimed their Pils at around 40 IBU, but it is perceived less than that. Why? because filtration mechanically removes bittering compounds and beer coming out of filtration is less bitter than beer going in (though mfrs still use IBUs before filtration for reference).
- I personally like my pilsners a little more bitter - not to mention flavourful - than the generic pilsners from Krombacher, Warsteiner, Bitburger, whathaveyou. (This heresy has caused me quite a bit of trouble in another thread, but eh.) German pilsners don't have to be wimpy. Don't feel too constrained by the internally represented mass-marketed stuff. Some pilsners in Germany actually have a bit of malt sweetness ("Tannenzäpfle" is a quite popular and widely available brand; I don't know if you can get it in the states. I really like it), and the hop flavour and aroma varies in intensity and quality, ranging from floral to spicy to grassy. There's a whole spectrum of it.
Yeah, actually my favorite German Pils is Feldschlosschen, out of Saxony (Dresden area). Ironically I DIS-like the big Sächsisch Bier, Radeburger - tastes like it is made with salt water.

My Franconian Father-in-law would disown me if he heard me prefer something from Saxony over Bavaria (or even Franconia - he refers to the big beers from Munich as "Auslanderbier".:D

Cheers!
 
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