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Brewing German Beer Styles

Brewing German Beer Styles

A talk on brewing German beer styles, given by Graeme Coates at the June 2015 London Amateur Brewers meeting.

London Amateur Brewers

June 01, 2015

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  1. Graeme Coates 1st June 2015 www.uncraft.co.uk BREWING GERMAN BEER STYLES

    Experiences from West Oxfordshire…
  2.  All personal experiences – research using commercial samples, style

    guidelines and printed/online resources.  Started brewing against BJCP style guidelines to improve/experience new techniques.  Many of these styles aren’t readily available locally to me!  I’m not a biologist! BACKGROUND
  3. German Lagers Weissbiers (Kölsch) COVERAGE

  4. None
  5. Quick polls: Do you like lager? Have you ever made

    lager? Define “lager”? LAGERS
  6.  Lager-bier – a beer brewed for keeping  Cold

    storage common in caves in medieval period.  Hybridization resulted in “lager” yeasts in C15th – original source thought to be from hybridization of wild Patagonian yeast and S. cerevisiae (Libkind et al., 2011) LAGERN – “TO STORE”
  7. LAGER YEAST "PBB Protein GLA image" by Original uploader was

    ProteinBoxBot at en.wikipedia - www.pdb.org - Transferred from en.wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PBB_Protein_GLA_image.jpg#/media/File:PBB_Protei n_GLA_image.jpg
  8.  C. pastorianus/bayanus have ability to ferment Melibiose: LAGER YEAST

  9.  Better at fermenting maltotriose than “ale” yeasts: LAGER YEAST

  10. “Bottom” vs “Top” fermenting? Yeast ferments in the middle(!) Some

    ale yeasts top-crop and do not drop after ferment (and alternatively there is WLP002…) “Lager” strains will create significant krausen when used well! Generally (though not always) show higher attenuation than ales. CHARACTERISTICS
  11. None
  12.  Low temperature fermentation  Lower ester production (cell membrane

    differences)  Higher sulphide production  Sulphur based metabolic pathways:  DMSO -> DMS  SO2 production (reduces to H2 S)  Vigorous fermentation helps to flush sulphur compounds with CO2. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
  13.  Basic methods are the same as for “normal” ales.

     Some more advanced techniques include:  Stepped mashes  Decoction  Mash capping (for colour without harsh roast) MASHING
  14.  Most important aim is to get the mash pH

    correct, while controlling salts (esp SO4 2- vs Cl-)  Control mash pH by controlling alkalinity (buffering capability of water)  Common techniques:  Acid addition (CRS/AMS, Lactic Acid)  Acidulated malt (Sauermalz) WATER TREATMENT
  15.  Witney water quality (source: Thames Water, 2013):  Hardness

    ~ 250ppm as CaCO3  Alkalinity* ~220ppm as CaCO3  Sulphates ~ 85ppm  Chlorides ~35ppm *- Measured myself using Methyl Orange WATER PROFILE
  16.  I use either CRS/AMS or lactic acid.  CRS:

    1ml/l reduces alkalinity by ~180ppm  Lactic (80%): 1ml/l reduces alkalinity by ~520ppm  Add calcium in form of gypsum /CaCl2 – former promotes bitterness, latter malt flavour. (~1.5-2 tsp/5 Gallons) WATER TREATMENT
  17.  Target alkalinity depends on beer being made.  Lighter

    beer – 20-40ppm, darker – 60-100ppm.  Higher alkalinity than for say, Czech pilsners. WATER TREATMENT
  18.  “Sauermalz” (Acidulated/acid malt)  Used for water corrections under

    Reinheitsgebot (malt is allowed – acids are not!)  Simplify by using lactic acid directly… (non-RHG!) – lactic acid has taste threshold higher than should be required for correction. ACIDULATED MALT
  19.  Traditional mashes would have used decoction  Helps with

    under-modified malt  Malt generally doesn’t require this these days  Adds melanoidins from boiling malt ADVANCED MASH TECHNIQUES
  20.  Can use Melanoidin Malt in place…  Styles I

    have used decoction in:  Munich Dunkel  Trad Bock  Weissbier  Weizenbock  Combine with step mash for ease of use if needed… TO DECOCT, OR NOT TO DECOCT…


  23.  Melanoidin like “Munich on Steroids”  Decent replacement where

    decoction not possible/practical  Subtly different (IMHO decoction better – boiling of husk benefits flavour over what melanoidin can offer). DECOCTION VS MELANOIDIN MALT?
  24.  Decoction was used to raise mash temps  Step

    mashing by adding boiling water/HERMS/RIMS avoids the difficulty of decocting  Allows for good control over proteins/saccarification STEP MASHING
  25. STEP MASHING Recommended for modern German malts. Source: Braukaiser


  27.  50C-55C – Protein rest: lower = short chain amino

    acids, higher = medium chain (mouthfeel + head retention). Helps to improve clarity.  61-63C – Maltose Rest (beta-amylase) – controls fermentability  67-70C – Dextrinization Rest (alpha-amylase)  75C – Mash out (mouthfeel?) REST TEMPERATURES

  29. Use good quality malt! Weyermann:  Pils (several)  Vienna

     Munich I/II  Melanoidin  Rauchmalz (Beech/Oak)  Sauermalz Dingemans:  Pilsner MALT
  30.  Most malts are easy to mash and convert using

    standard infusion mashes.  For high percentages of Munich Malt (eg Dunkel), consider enzymic activity in mash.  TIP: Munich II doesn’t self-convert particularly well! (add ~15% Pils Malt, step mash). MALT CONSIDERATIONS
  31.  Vigorous boil of 90min recommended for DMS reduction 

    Cool as quickly as possible to stop formation of DMS from SMM  Consider pre-chilling cooling water when cooling BOILING
  32. Fermentation Fermentation And… Fermentation YEAST

  33.  Primary Growth (“Lag”) phase  Primarily centred around yeast

    growth  Healthy yeast passes through this phase quickly  Secondary fermentation phase  Production of EtOH, esters, aldehydes, ketones, etc, etc! FERMENTATION
  34.  8-12C is ideal during fermentation (lower for true German

    strains for cleaner results).  Warm maturation towards end of fermentation (diacetyl reabsorption, full attenuation)  Fermentation of up to 2 weeks typical (with few days cold crashing to drop yeast) FERMENTATION TEMPERATURES
  35.  General rule: Double rate cf. ale yeast when cold

    pitching  Cold pitching: ~8-14C.  Pitch rates: 1.5M/ml/°P  23L @ 1050 -> ~410 billion cells  Good pitches ensure:  Low ester/diacetyl/fusel production, proper attenuation.  Low yeast stress  Quick fermentation/short lag periods PITCHING RATES
  36.  White Labs tubes contain approx. 100 billion cells 

    Viability reduces over time!  Strongly recommend a large starter I use (on a stir plate): 1 tube in ~1L (starter at ~1040), then…. Step up to 2L, then… Decant and step up to 3-4L PITCHING RATES
  37.  Repitching yeast works well – subsequent fermentations much stronger

     Use calculators:  Mr Malty  Wyeast – good for stepping starters up  Other brewing software PITCHING RATES
  38.  Starters: aim to grow yeast  Fermentation: aim to

    produce good flavour!  I recommend crashing and decanting starters and pitching only the yeast  Try to pitch cold (lower ester/fusel production)  Aerate as well as you can – oxygen vital to yeast in primary phase of fermentation! YEAST PITCHING
  39. Dry:  W34/70 (“=” WLP830/Wy2124 (Weihenstephan))  S-23  Mauribrew

    497  S189 (“=”WLP885 (Samichlaus))  Others (Brewferm, Youngs, etc….) STRAIN CHOICE
  40. Liquid:  Many more strains to choose from.  Differences

    perhaps more subtle than ale yeasts, but results noticeable.  WLP830 (Weihenstephan) widely used in commercial brewing STRAIN CHOICE
  41.  WLP833 (Ayinger) Well balanced with excellent malt profile Great

    for Dunkel, Bock, Märzen, Helles Good sedimentation  WLP810 (Anchor) Works very well at cold temps Versatile – and can use for Cal Common Less sensitive to higher fermentation temps YEAST STRAINS
  42.  Remove as much yeast as possible before racking (crash

    cooling)  Kegging – rack straight over and place in cold for maturation  Bottling – prime and bottle, allow carbonation and then place in cold for maturation POST-FERMENTATION
  43.  IMHO, needs at least 2 months  Considerable changes

    in beer in that period  Cold, long lagering better than warmer, shorter periods  Have used up to 7 months at 2C with no problems. LAGERING PROCESS
  44.  Jean De Clerke(1957):  Allow yeast/turbid matter to settle

     Carbonation (artificial or yeast derived)  Improve flavour (mellowing and ester formation)  Precipitate chill haze  Avoid oxygen pickup LAGERING

  46. 90.1% Weyermann Pils Malt 7.1% Weyermann Munich I 2.8% Weyermann

    Melanoidin Malt 60min: 1g/l Tettnang 2.3%AA, 1.87g/l Hallertau 4.9%AA Yeast: White Labs WLP833 OG: 1050 FG: 1010 IBU: 23 (calc. Tinseth) SCHNEEFLOCKE (MUNICH HELLES)
  47. Weyermann Munich II 77.0% Dingemans Pils Malt 17.9% Melanoidin malt

    2.6% Carafa Special II 2.5% 75min: Perle, 0.96g/l, 8.5%AA; H. Mittelfrüh, 1.1g/l, 4.4%AA Yeast: White Labs 833 OG: 1053 FG: 1012 IBU: 26 (calc. Tinseth) DMZ (MUNICH DUNKEL)
  48. Weyermann Munich II 57.2% Weyermann Vienna 20.5% Weyermann Bohemian Pils

    Malt 17.4% Weyermann Caramunich II 3.3% Melanoidin malt 0.8% Carafa Special II 0.8% 90min: Perle, 1.5g/l , 8.5%AA Yeast: White Labs 833 OG: 1068 FG: 1014 IBU: 25 (calc. Tinseth) BOCKSE (TRAD. BOCK)
  49. 39.8% Warminster Munich I malt 39.8% Weyermann Vienna malt 18.1%

    Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt 2.4% Weyermann Caramunich 90min: H Mittelfrüh, Saaz, Tettnang 20min: 0.6g/l Tettnang OG 1055 FG 1013 25 IBU (Calc. Tinseth) Yeast: WLP810 NOTFEST (OKTOBERFESTBIER)
  50. 67.2% Pils malt 24.6% Munich I malt 7.4% Carafa Special

    II 0.8% Pale Chocolate malt H Mittelfrüh 25IBU 90min H Mittelfrüh 0.65g/l 20min H Mittelfrüh 0.7g/l 0min OG: 1051 FG: 1012 IBU: 28 (calc. Tinseth) Yeast: WLP810, 3L starter (in 23L) CAUCHY-SCHWARZ INEQUALITY (SCHWARZBIER)
  51. None
  52.  German law states must be >50% malted wheat 

    Characteristic yeast character:  Yeast has POF+ gene  Produces 4-vinyl-guaiacol:  Often accompanied by banana esters (isoamyl acetate): WEISS!
  53.  Single infusions work fine  Consider a short rest

    at about 45C for production of ferulic acid (converted to 4-VG by yeast).  Decoction adds malt complexity – I recommend short decoction for many of the lighter styles (complexity without adding too much colour) MASHING CONSIDERATIONS
  54.  Yeast choice is v. important – liquid yeasts probably

    essential  Balance between clove and banana key to many of these styles  Higher alcohols, sulphur, strawberry/bubblegum should be avoided! FERMENTATION
  55.  Control fermentation temperatures.  Use correct pitch rates (underpitching

    not recommended)  Fermentation is often vigorous!!! FERMENTATION
  56. There should be virtually no detectable bitterness in all classic

    German wheat beers!!!  Low rates of noble type hops only. HOPPING
  57.  WLP300/Wy3068 classic Weiss yeast (Weihenstephan 68) Ferment starting at

    ~15C and allow to rise to 17C  Other yeasts may be preferred: WLP380 – Less banana, more clove WLP351 – High phenolics/cloves, low esters Wy3333 – Good for Krystalweiss YEAST SELECTION

  59. 60% Wheat Malt 40% Pilsner Malt H. Mittelfrüh 13IBU 60min

    Yeast: WLP300 OG: 1049 FG: 1009 IBU: 13 (calc. Tinseth) TRITICUM (HEFEWEISSBIER)
  60. 55% Weyermann Dark Wheat malt 25.1% Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt

    14.1% Weyermann Munich I malt 2.5% Special B 2.2% Pale Crystal malt 1.1% Pale Chocolate malt H. Mittelfrüh, 25IBU, 1h45m Yeast: WLP300 (2L active starter) OG: 1080 FG: 1017 IBU: 25 (calc. Tinseth) VITAL SIGNS (WEIZENBOCK)
  61.  Principles of Brewing Science (Fix)  Yeast (White, Zainasheff)

     German Beer Institute website (http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/)  Braukaiser (http://braukaiser.com/)  Brewing with Wheat (Heironymus) RESOURCES