Pilsners And Lagering

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MAH

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Just want to start a new thread on a point Asher made in the SABSOSA Comp 2005 discussion.

In regards to the Pilsner that he entered, Asher said:

"Yep I went quite big with the Pils - I'm finally starting to realise how important 3 months lagering really is with these beers. They tent to taste way over hopped in the beginning... but balance over time..."

In the past I've made some beers that I have gone heavy handed on the hops, and they were very much out of balance and I agree that an extended period of cold conditioning or if you can proper lagering can help. However recently I've changed my approach and I'm now trying to get the balance right at the start with out the need for extended lagering. Personally I have found that this approach gives a freshness to the hops flavours that nicely match the dry crisp nature of a pilsner, particulary a German pilsner.

So my question for all is what are the pros and cons of the different approaches and what are the flavour differences?

Do different hops require a different approach (lately I've exclusively been brewing pilsners with German Hallertau Hersbrucker plugs, 3.2% AA)?

Do different strains of lager yeast require a different aproach?

A follow-up question is would you go the big path if you're intending to filter and possibly need to compensate for any stripping of flavours?

About time we had a good brewing technique discussion.

Cheers
MAH
 

neonmeate

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i think with a good diacetyl rest you shouldnt NEED 3 months' lagering for a pilsener (although perhaps for a dunkel), but why not if you can be bothered. some yeasts like WLP830 are fine after 3 weeks. some like WLP800 need longer. i taste it as it goes and take it case by case.

if you're relying on lagering to calm the hops down then that's not only a waste of hops, it's a waste of time and power, when you could have a comparable beer in only a month by putting less in in the first place!
but personally i like the hoppy jever-style pilseners so i like a lot of hops in a pilsener.

although i have just discovered how NOT to do it - my last pilsener was nowhere near hoppy enough in the aroma after lagering so out of desperation i dryhopped it with 4 hersbrucker plugs. ended up with plenty of aroma all right but it's got a nasty resinny grassy taste that obliterates all else. yecch
anyways ill get it right one day
 

Goat

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Neonmate - I don't understand the correlation between diacetyl and mellowing of hop taste. Could you please flesh that out a bit.

I thought it wasn't as much reduction in hop taste as it is about the blending (balancing) of flavours over time (2c).
 

MAH

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I'm with you Neonmeate in regards to dry-hoping a pilsner. IMHO it's a big no-no. The rawness of the hops flavour you get from dry-hoping has no place in a delicate pilsner. Save the dry-hoping for your APA's.

Cheers
MAH
 

Darren

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I find it hard to over hop with low alpha hops. They do suck up a lot of wort though (especially plugs)
d
 

MAH

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Hi Darren

It's hard to over-hop in terms of bittering, but I find that it's very easy to over-hop in terms of flavour. Because you use so much hops for the bittering, it does have a significant inpact on the final flavour. So if you don't adjust your late additions, especially the flame out additions, I've ended up with pilsners that have a perfumey flavour from too much hops.

I agree that the plugs do rob you of precious wort.

Cheers
MAH
 

neonmeate

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there's no correlation between hop flavours and diacetyl (apart from the fact that diacetyl obscures the hops).

lagering for me is about the yeast, not the hops - giving the beer some time to slowly clean up the diacetyl and any other yeast byproducts like esters and green yeasty flavours. what i mean is, if you do a diacetyl rest properly, you don't need to lager as long. depends on the yeast, but i've found a month at 0C is usually ample time lagering. if you ferment at 6 with no diacetyl rest like they used to at urquell then you will need 3 months' lagering just to mop up all the diacetyl.

hops on the other hand will mellow over time regardless of whether it's lagered or not. so you don't need to lager in secondary to get the hops taste to mellow - thatll happen in the bottle over time anyway. and you might as well be drinking it as soon as the yeast flavours are cleaned up, cause that's when the hop flavours are freshest. and i'd rather have the hop flavours at their peak, rather than on the way down from too much.

but the thing i love about brewing is that there are so many different ways to achieve the same thing!

i definitely won't be dryhopping a pils again - i was trying out a theory of mine which is that double the amount of dryhops for only 24 hours would extract all the aroma and none of the grassiness, but boy was i proved wrong...



Goat said:
Neonmate - I don't understand the correlation between diacetyl and mellowing of hop taste. Could you please flesh that out a bit.

I thought it wasn't as much reduction in hop taste as it is about the blending (balancing) of flavours over time (2c).
[post="76831"][/post]​
 

Kai

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MAH, how long do you tend to lager for?
 

MAH

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Hi Kai

Depending on available fridge space, 2 weeks minimum, 4 weeks maximum.

Cheer
MAH
 

MAH

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neonmeate said:
lagering for me is about the yeast, not the hops - giving the beer some time to slowly clean up the diacetyl and any other yeast byproducts like esters and green yeasty flavours. what i mean is, if you do a diacetyl rest properly, you don't need to lager as long. depends on the yeast, but i've found a month at 0C is usually ample time lagering. if you ferment at 6 with no diacetyl rest like they used to at urquell then you will need 3 months' lagering just to mop up all the diacetyl.

.......... you might as well be drinking it as soon as the yeast flavours are cleaned up, cause that's when the hop flavours are freshest. and i'd rather have the hop flavours at their peak, rather than on the way down from too much.

Nicely put. This matches my way of thinking about lagering. I've been fermenting at 12C for 2 weeks, a diacetyl rest for 48 hours, then lager for 2-4 weeks.

This worked particularly well with Wyeast Dansish Lager yeast. It had a lovely fresh crisp flavour.

I've got a split batch into it's second week of fermentation. Half was pitched with 34/70 and the other half pitched with S-23. Pitching rate was 2gms per litre. I'll probably only lager these for 2 weeks.

Cheers
MAH
 

buddingbrewmaster

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So you guys are saying you shouldn't dry hop pilsners at all?
I just put a saaz flavoured pilsner in the secondary yesterday with about 20gms off saaz hop pellets in a hop bag. Should i takes the hops out immediately?
 

buddingbrewmaster

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Oh and by the way if i ferment a pilsner at 8 to 10 degrees for 2 weeks. What temp do i need to get it up to for a diacetyl rest, and how long does it take (for the diacetyl rest)
Thanks heaps.
 

warrenlw63

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You need to have it at about Ale temps. 16-18. 2-4 days should be sufficient.

Warren -
 

MAH

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buddingbrewmaster said:
So you guys are saying you shouldn't dry hop pilsners at all?
I just put a saaz flavoured pilsner in the secondary yesterday with about 20gms off saaz hop pellets in a hop bag. Should i takes the hops out immediately?
[post="77563"][/post]​

If it was me, yeah I would take it out. It certainly will add hop flavour to the beer, but IMHO it will be the wrong flavour for a pilsner. The flavour will be very raw and harsh, not to my liking in a pilsner. I have never tasted dry hopping in a commercially available pilsner.

Cheers
MAH
 

Doc

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The only Pilsner I've ever dry hopped was an Imperial Pilsner, because it was meant to be that way.
I'd pull them out too if possible. If not just age it longer and any really strong aroma will fade/mellow.

Beers,
Doc
 

johnno

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I have only made one AG Pils this year and am currently cc ing another lager.
My method is 2 weeks primary 10-12 C, 2 weeks secondary 10-=12 C, diacetyl rest for 24 hours then lager at around 4C for 4 weeks.
The Boh Pils I am currently drinking has come out awesome.
yum yum

johnno
 

sluggerdog

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I agree with taking out the saaz hops if possible. I have found they will leave a grassy taste for upto 3 months.

I don't dry hop or even add at the end of boil when making pils now.

I have cut hop additions down to 60 min and then 15 min. Found this makes just as good a pils as my original 3-6+ hop additions.

Basic Method I follow is:

Ferment at 12C for around 7-12 days (or until 1018)
rest at 18C for 3 days
Rack to cube and cold condition for anywhere from 2-6 weeks.

I have found if I CC for around 2-3 weeks, add gelatine then CC for 1 more week, then keg, this works just as good as anything else.
 

buddingbrewmaster

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Thanks heaps guys :beerbang:
the hops are coming out as i type.
Would 24 hours of dry hopping (with pellets) give it a harsh grassy taste?
Don't know where i'd be without you guys.
actually i'd probably be drinking VB :eek:
 

matti

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I've got
NB, saaz and hallertau pellets and plugs.

I want to dry hop my lager but worried about grassy flavour.

Should I boil some hops for 20 min and just extract the oils or is there any easier method late hopping withv plug or pellets?
 

SJW

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I was going to start a new thread but this fits in nice here.
I had a listen to this podcast on dry hopping, http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podshows/694747, very interesting stuff. I think I will be dry hopping in the primary from now on.

Steve
 
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