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Grainy/sulphur/dms Aroma Is From?

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iralosavic

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I finished off my DAB six pack with a mate laste night and it got us both talking about the big burst of grainy sulphur aroma that is the most prevolent when you first open the beer. It makes another appearance in the aftertaste and curiously guides me to the next tasting to analyse it again . It reminds me of the Dutch-brewed Heineken, which has a pretty well spoken reputation for such a flavour. I'm not talking about skunking at all. It's not a flaw - it's quite common in "premium" Germanic lagers and I'm simply not at the level where I can accurately communicate flavours/aromas, but someone must know what I'm talking about.

Can anyone explain what contributes to these flavours/aromas? I wouldn't mind deliberately exaggerating them where applicable in the odd German lager.



Cheers,
 

RdeVjun

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Yep, I know what you're talking about and would like to answer authoritatively but can't, however my money would go on sulfurous lager yeast and maybe a hint of DMS, perhaps the aroma also gets some contribution to that immediately identifiable character from noble hops too. In DAB it would be emphasized by the water profile.
It is the trademark reek of 'Eurolager' and TBH its one of the reasons I don't brew that style much, prefer more the malty lagers which don't seem to be afflicted so badly. However that's just my preference, not fingering it as a fault at all.
BJCP cat 1 & 2 helps to some extent.
 

Nick JD

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It's DMS.

People go on and on about it being due to boil times (evaporation rates) and speed of chilling and to that I say BS. IMO it's all about yeast choice and fermentation regime.

S189 at 12C (boil and cooling the same) it's there; WY2000 at 12C it's not ... both recipes the same. Euro Lager yeasts seem to highlight it; Boh Pils seem to need the Hanka grain to have their own version of "corniness".

I don't know how or why, but I have a strong feeling some yeasts drive it off or metabolize it or something.

And I'm not talking about the "sulphur" yeast character. It's definately "creamed corn".

I have a euro lager on tap atm that's 100% Wey Pils and tett, hallertau and saaz to 30 IBUs and the first whiff from the glass it's there and quite pleasant, but it fades quickly. It's not detectable at the end of the glass. I like it, but can't produce it with the czech yeasts.
 

iralosavic

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Thanks a lot for your thoughts, guys. I wasn't 100% comfortable calling it sulphur, but I couldn't think of a better description. I'll have to have a sniff of some creamed corn to get on the same page, as it's not a smell I have fresh in my mind.

I guess I'll just have to play around with different yeasts with the same grain bill and see what results each produces. I had a great website bookmarked that listed all publically avaiable lager yeasts and had useful descriptions of their use and impact on flavour and aroma, but it disappeared and I can't find it again. That being said, there was no mention of DMS/Creamed Corn as an attribute in any of them.
 

Nick JD

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Here's the arom section from the BJCP for a Pils.

Aroma: Typically features a light grainy Pils malt character (sometimes Graham cracker-like) and distinctive flowery or spicy noble hops. Clean, no fruity esters, no diacetyl. May have an initial sulfury aroma (from water and/or yeast) and a low background note of DMS (from Pils malt).

I think some yeasts eccentuate it and some mask it.
 

iralosavic

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I see, I see. Well I guess you 'could' do things that promote DMS development, but then you may end up with the negatives too.

Any experience with 2042 (Danish Lager) and accentuating the creamed cornedness? I was thinking of making a Dortmunder with it.
 

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