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Getting 'pilsner' Into Pilsner

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I have been concentrating on lagers for about the last four years.

This was driven by a desire to 'Beat the Breweries at their own game' In other words, produce beer as good as commercial Australian lager beer such as Carlton, Tooheys, West End Draught and the newer 'dry' beers - Pure Blonde, Extra Dry or whatever.

I can't copy them exactly but I get damn close, they are really clean tasting and fall close to the mark. I consider the task conquered.

Upping the Ante! Next was pilsners.

Starting with basic German styles such as Bitburger, Henninger et., I set out to get close to this style.

I have failed - miserably. Even using malts such as Weyermann Premium Pilsner, I can produce a super clean lager BUT, no pilsen taste at all. Can't get that sweet, grainy malty taste at all.

I consider myself a reasonably experienced, reasonably advanced homebrewer but, this one has eluded me - so far.

Determined to crack this code. Steve.
 

Nick JD

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I know that taste you mean. It's a super-malty taste that's in many of the euro pilsners. I even have a sneaking suspicion that it's fermenting huge volumes.

I've never tasted a home/craft/any brew that could emulate the "euro pils" character. I'd like to though.

It's a tastes I like to call "german commercial beer". It's more than just the decoction flavour.
 

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Thanks for input.

Decoctions. Could go on for hours about this subject but the 'Great Decoction Experiment' from a few years ago from famed homebrewer Denny Conn (USA) showed decoction made little difference (all side-by-side experiments) and my personal experience has concurred.

Boh Pils Malt. Got one under way at the moment, due to be kegged next weekend. RO water, Boh Pils malt (conditioned before crushing), two step mash, tight pH control, tight temp control, Melanoidin added (5%) Saaz pellets, WY Urquell yeast, super tight fermenation temps -=- will report back. Total time 6 weeks

However, I should be able to get there using Ausiie malts. Aussie malt is used in a lot of Asian beers which copy the Germans and the pilsner taste is there as well, although not as pronounced.

I've got a few ideas - they are a bit radical but I would prefer others to chime in first.

Steve
 

Thefatdoghead

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I reckon a big part to getting close to one of those Pilsner's is the water they use, the size they are fermenting and the house yeast. Also the way they filter and clarify. Just really hard to get the same on the home brew scale but good luck to you mate hope you crack it!
 

manticle

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Do you meanhow they taste when freshly made or when bottled and shipped here?
 

ged

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There's some stuff doing the rounds about "chit malt" (virtually unmalted barley) or flaked barley in a pils for a "grainy" taste.
I'm looking to try it soon.

Ged
 

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Do you meanhow they taste when freshly made or when bottled and shipped here?
That's a bit of a meaningless statement Mr. Manticle

I can certainly understand where you're coming from, in supposing all imported beer from Germany is past it's used by date by the time it gets here OR has suffered irrepairable damage during shipping even if it's within it's use by date.

However, I don't agree. Most beer that I have tried here tastes quite fresh - that is - about 70% I would say , and I always check the use by dates. Of course, it also applies to how the beer has been handled along the way in regards to refrigeration, for example. Not forgetting of course, beer shipped here has most probably been sterilised and I know that sterilisation also plays a role in the flavour profile - to some degree. Perhaps you could expand your point.
 

dent

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Yeah there is something in the commercial German (not Czech) pilsners that has that grainy taste/aroma that I have no idea where it comes from. It actually stands out more in some of the cheaper brands. This is nothing to do with Czech style decoction derived melanoidins, or the flavours you get from using the (floor malted) bohemian pils malt either. I have never tasted this in any non-commerical beer, nor any from any pilsners from Australian craft breweries.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

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In regards to my 'Sterilised' reference my intention was to say 'pasteurised', please take this into consideration
 

manticle

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That's a bit of a meaningless statement Mr. Manticle

I can certainly understand where you're coming from, in supposing all imported beer from Germany is past it's used by date by the time it gets here OR has suffered irrepairable damage during shipping even if it's within it's use by date.

However, I don't agree. Most beer that I have tried here tastes quite fresh - that is - about 70% I would say , and I always check the use by dates. Of course, it also applies to how the beer has been handled along the way in regards to refrigeration, for example. Not forgetting of course, beer shipped here has most probably been sterilised and I know that sterilisation also plays a role in the flavour profile - to some degree. Perhaps you could expand your point.
It's not meaningless at all, particularly when you yourself understand my perspective, agree or no.
Can't expand too much as I'm limited to typing on a phone currently but it was suggested to me by a guy that runs various tasting seminars, including fault tasting seminars, that the association he had when tasting trans-2-nonenal (major compound responsible for wet paper oxidation flavour) was with pilsner urquell purchased here. I believe he has tasted it fresh at the brewery.

It's just a thought - I haven't been lucky enough to try fresh commercial examples either.
 

Muscovy_333

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In regards to my 'Sterilised' reference my intention was to say 'pasteurised', please take this into consideration
Have you tried pasteurising your beer for the sake of an experiment to see if the flavours are generated through this process. I am not so familiar with the flavour you speak of but it seems a few of you concur on the fact that they have not tasted it in a homebrew or craft brewed beer...just a thought. Perhaps it is a process generated flavour.
 

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Have you tried pasteurising your beer for the sake of an experiment to see if the flavours are generated through this process. I am not so familiar with the flavour you speak of but it seems a few of you concur on the fact that they have not tasted it in a homebrew or craft brewed beer...just a thought. Perhaps it is a process generated flavour.
Interesting concept might just experiment, hadn't thought of it before
 

labels

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It's not meaningless at all, particularly when you yourself understand my perspective, agree or no.
Can't expand too much as I'm limited to typing on a phone currently but it was suggested to me by a guy that runs various tasting seminars, including fault tasting seminars, that the association he had when tasting trans-2-nonenal (major compound responsible for wet paper oxidation flavour) was with pilsner urquell purchased here. I believe he has tasted it fresh at the brewery.

It's just a thought - I haven't been lucky enough to try fresh commercial examples either.
Will wait for further expansion on this theory perhaps when you're not confined to mobile but, there is certainly some sense in what you're saying.
 

jimi

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I've got a few ideas - they are a bit radical but I would prefer others to chime in first.

Steve
We're not scared of radical, why not share your ideas, it might help you get answers and feedback :huh:
 

manticle

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Very simply there is some difference between commercials you've tried and hbs you've tried (and made).

It's got to be a difference in ingredients, methods of producing wort, fermentation, packaging or storage.
In order to compare hb made here with the same ingredients, method and fermentation you need to taste it at the same point OR replicate packaging and storage.

Hope that makes sense - not trying to be antagonistic - just offer possibilities for consideration. A small amount of oxidation doesn't always taste bad.
Obviously if you are not sure of ingredients etc, then there are more variables.
 

Nick JD

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Very simply there is some difference between commercials you've tried and hbs you've tried (and made).

It's got to be a difference in ingredients, methods of producing wort, fermentation, packaging or storage.
In order to compare hb made here with the same ingredients, method and fermentation you need to taste it at the same point OR replicate packaging and storage.

Hope that makes sense - not trying to be antagonistic - just offer possibilities for consideration. A small amount of oxidation doesn't always taste bad.
Obviously if you are not sure of ingredients etc, then there are more variables.
It's not oxidation, or unfreshness ... it's "German Pils". I had a Bitburger yesterday that had it in spades. Go buy one and tell me you can create that "german maltiness" at home. Send me a bottle if you can.

I have also tasted it in europe. It's also in the czech pilsners, and no, it's not Hanka grain.

Fucked if I know how they get that flavour. It's a "commercial" flavour that isn't pastuerisation, because not all pasteurised beers have it.
 

Muscovy_333

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It's not oxidation, or unfreshness ... it's "German Pils". I had a Bitburger yesterday that had it in spades. Go buy one and tell me you can create that "german maltiness" at home. Send me a bottle if you can.

I have also tasted it in europe. It's also in the czech pilsners, and no, it's not Hanka grain.

Fucked if I know how they get that flavour. It's a "commercial" flavour that isn't pastuerisation, because not all pasteurised beers have it.
Nick, do you think replicating the process (including pasteurisation) is a fruitless experiment?

And when you mentioned not all pasteurised beers have the flavour were you referring to not all pasteurised Pilsners or just beer in general?
 

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