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BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:53 pm
Lets use this thread for brainstorming some ideas, topics, critical points to construct the chapters of the book.
Re: BBB Chapter ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:57 pm
Preface - why low o2? How is it different? Even though this book is about Bavarian brewing, why is low o2 the central message?
History of Bavarian Brewing
Guide for low o2 brewing at home in 3 chapters:
JBG added: Cleaning (sanitizers, cleaners that limit oxygen residue-if that's an issue)
Style and recipe guide
Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:45 pm
This book assumes you are already an avid home or professional brewer. Our goal is to focus specifically on Bavarian beer brewing to produce truly authentic Bavarian beers, full of rich malt, balanced hop bitterness and flavor, and the subtle notes of good fermentation. We are not going to cover the basics of brewing. The information here will also apply to the broader range of Germanic beer styles. But we find Bavarian (and Frankonian) beers to well represent the critical ingredient and process choices needed to brew German, Austrian, Czech, Polish, Swiss and, frankly, any good Germanic beer style. We assume you are an all grain brewer familiar with a precise temperature controlled mash schedules, at least single infusion. Our recipes use step infusion (hochkurz) or decoction mashes, as they have yielded the best results in our experiments. You will be surprised, we are not going to force you to spend 12 hours triple decocting your Munich Dunkel (though you may want to try it, and we will explain why). Our goal is to deliver the most authentic results, in a method suited to your brewing equipment (with some critical changes applied), in a brew day that is likely not too different than what you already do.
We assume you have dialed in a temperature controlled fermentation process, are familiar with yeast starters, calculating cell counts, practice procedures that assure basic (if not great) yeast health, and can monitor temperature changes during the fermentation process. We also assume you have some method of bulk storage for lagering and longer-term storage of your beers. We will discuss specific steps involved in better transfer, conditioning, storage and packaging of your beer to preserve freshness. One of the critical points in this text is that of proper oxygen control in your beer. This is of paramount importance in proper Bavarian beer brewing, especially with regards to light lagers.
Assuming you have been brewing enough to take the leap into brewing German lagers, you understand the basics of brewing. You've heard "with light lagers there's no where to hide flaws"...there are no truer words. We are going to take you into some new areas of brewing, to tighten up some existing practices and perhaps introduce some new concepts and procedures that will make your beer even better, and more in line with authentic Bavarian styles.
Water quality and Low oxygen - this cannot be emphasized enough. To brew Bavarian beers that rely on a high percentage of Pilsner malt, impeccable water is crucial. This includes the removal of flavor-contributing organic compounds found in water supplies, but also creating the appropriate balanced water chemistry profile, and, of utmost importance, working in a low oxygen environment throughout the brewing process (from grain to bottle).
A note on low O2. We are not about to dispute the general brewing concerns of hot side aeration. However, we will say that in our researching and translating professional German brewing texts and performing our own experiments, assuring low dissolved oxygen in all areas of the brewing process dramatically improves the quality of the final beer. This includes the mash, boil, transfers, pre-fermentation (including care taken during oxygenation of wort), fermentation, fermentation-related transfers, lagering and packaging. At each step of the brew process, we will discuss and emphasize the minimizing of oxygen introduced. This includes not only atmospheric oxygen, but dissolved oxygen already found in brewing water and wort.
We will discuss approaches for creating and maintaining a low oxygen environment for your brewing. Adapting commercial brewery practices to a home and smaller scale environment. Large breweries have nitrogen-purged equipment. We strive to achieve similar results without implementing expensive oxygen purging environments. Though we will cover the more complex homebrewing oxygen management systems as well (membrane technologies and degassing columns).
Malts, hops and yeast
We will also discuss our experiences working with various malts, hops and yeast in a low oxygen brewing environment. The flavors change, becoming brighter, fresher and more pronounced. And at the same time, what tasted overwhelming before now tastes fresh, subtle and 'right'. We find ourselves using more and more crystal malt combinations for everything from Helles to Doppelbocks. We will explore those malt combinations and provide a matrix of compatible malts, those which blend well together, as well as those that provide signature flavors found in commercial beers.
While wort sets the baseline, yeast gives beer it's life, overall character and final flavor. Both the strain of the yeast and how it is managed throughout fermentation, will determine the final flavor profile of the beer. We will discuss appropriate Bavarian yeast strains, what to expect from them, how to manage them and how to improve your overall fermentation process to deliver more authentic results.
Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:54 pm
This work was written by a team of people, each with different brewing equipment, which conveniently represents reasonable approximations of common brewing equipment found among home and small scale breweries. We brew batch sizes generally from 1 to 15 gallons. One gallon is great for quick turnaround experiments, 3 for working in limited space, 5 is typical homebrew batch size, 10, 15 or more for party brewers and nano breweries. Our principles apply for any smaller scale application. We will describe each of our brew systems as representative examples of typical systems, and discuss how we adapted each of our systems to meet the requirements for Bavarian brewing.
We will cover the following brew system scenarios:
1 gallon small batch 'kitchen' scale brewing
3 gallon 'apartment' brewing
5 gallon 'homebrew' scale, including electric brewing via HERMS and direct fired propane systems
10+ gallon homebrew and nanobrewery scale, specifically discussing the issues encountered when scaling beyond the usual homebrew scale and form factor.
...include homebrew system examples with photos and process diagrams...
Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:13 pm
hahaha, we need to refine, and include, this:
Folks often ask about Bavarian beer flavor and what it tastes like. Especially the "it" some of us have come to coin as an indicator of whether a beer tastes right or not. Many folks will conclude that, since many German beers bought in the US are stale and oxidized, that that is what they taste like. Absolutely not! 80-90% of the Bavarian beers I get in the US are, sadly, old and stale. That is not the flavor we are after.
The 5 elements of “it” in Bavarian (and German) light lagers.
1) Aroma and first impressions
It: Fresh malt and hop aroma – sign of good things to come. Very clean, slightly sweet but refreshing
Not it: No aroma. Metallic, plastic, organic off aroma coming from the glass. Or overwhelming, cloying malt aroma, or strong, pungent hop aroma overwhelming the malt.
2) Getting intimate - First Taste
It: the “it” we refer to – fresh grain, depth of character and bright notes of a fresh field of grain and flowers. Sometimes spicy, particularly with Czech and East German Pilsners. But clean and balanced with the malt. Sometimes a minerally, salty impression from East German examples.
Not it: Dull, single dimension of malt. It’s there, but not light, fresh and rich. Overwhelming hoppiness as either flavor or strong bitterness (e.g. Pivo Pils and Victory Prima Pils). "Honey" description falls into the not it part of this. And cardboard.
3) Balance of character
It: the overall impression is of balance between malt, bitterness and hop flavor. Often floral, slightly sweet, and grainy. Rich, bright grainy flavor.
Not it: Dull and flat, one dimension maltiness. Like old malt or darker malt that is heavy on the palate. Or muddy, overly complex flavors as from too many malts.
It: Clean, crisp mouthfeel. Refreshing and you want to take another sip. Clears out quickly. You can drink several liters of them and keep on going.
Not it: Either thick and sweet or dry, puckering and thin.
5) Finish - Ahhhhh
It: briefly lingering malt flavor and aroma. If you lightly exhale your breath and sniff, you get fresh malt graininess, a bit of hop aroma, and depth of aging character, slight lingering note of sulfur.
Not it: Cloying sweetness or astringent dryness, almost bitter. Lingering hop bitterness that hangs in your mouth for a long time. Yeast bite.
Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:48 pm
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Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:56 pm
Brew day transcript
We can take one of Bryan's brew days and write it up as an example. This outline is for the brew day itself, not including full fermentation. Please add additional topics we should cover.
Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:06 am
Regarding chapter construction, I think we must first address one overarching theme in the book. Specifically, the giant elephant in the room that is the HSA debate. We won't have the ability to debunk HSA, nor should we try. I would almost guarantee that someone will pick this up and run with it at some academic level. What we do instead is 1) focus on how bavarians brew beer and what measures they take into account, 2) how we adapt everyday homebrewing equipment and process to satisfy (as close as possible) german standards and 3) demonstrate how we verified we were achieving bavarian standards for oxygen levels (and other variables too), and 4) how do people respond to changes in the beer as a results (taste testings, experiments, surveys).
Thus, I feel we have two main options:
We can include a chapter that summarizes N & K on german brewing methods, and then move on to our Phase I, II and II
We can intro each chapter section with how the germans do it, then how we managed to adapt at the homebrew level.
My preference is the latter. We have seen that people don't read that much into german brewing and a summary won't create much impact on readers (if it did, then we wouldn't be where we are). They will simply dismiss it like they do HSA, currently. Whereas, if we can lead multiple sections with how the germans brew, what they mitigate and minimize, and how we adapted to this, then there is less to debate because we are simply brewing like the germans. Then once people see the taste test results (hopefully), the impact will hit home. Do as the germans do, and your beer will taste like the germans beer does. However, these were the keystones along the way we had to solidify in our process to be able to brew as the germans brew and here is how we did that. Like I've said before, we are reframing the language and shifting the focus, while leading people down the path of low O2 and HSA avoidance without directly debating it.
My idea would go like this (oversimplifying a bit for clarities sake):
1.1 - how the german do it
1.2 - why the germans do it
1.3 - how we adapted
1.4 - measurements to show it worked
1.5 - what were the results
2.1 - how the german do it
2.2 - why the germans do it
2.3 - how we adapted
2.4 - measurements to show it worked
2.5 - what were the results
3.1 - how the german do it
3.2 - why the germans do it
3.3 - how we adapted
3.4 - measurements to show it worked
3.5 - what were the results
That said, I also think it best to embrace Bamforths recent discover when discussing adapting to low O2 brewing. Scavengers are essential at the homebrew scale and it would bode well for us if we could speak to the effects of the Vit C - ascorbic acid oxidase complex and how it affects wort production and beer flavors. It may even let us reduce our goat dose. Also, once you have 2 ingredients, then you have a formula, which can also be considered proprietary. Regardless, combining two of the oldest and most established antioxidants in human history reinforces and adds credibility to the scavenging argument.
Re: BBB Chapter Ideas
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:27 pm
How about both? Not go into full detail, but provide context by referring to K, N and E and other resources we've encountered about uniquely German processes that are generally overlooked or misunderstood.
As the flow of the book, your format for each of the phases makes perfect sense and should provide an easy to follow format.