Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

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Techbrau
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Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby Techbrau » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:06 am

There are a lot of recipe threads in this forum, many of which pre-dated the low oxygen discovery. I wanted to make a thread here giving my own thoughts on baseline low oxygen recipes for a few different German lagers. These are one person's opinion on possible baselines - in other words, don't view these as gospel, rather view them as a starting point for recipe development. I will also post some process changes that I've adopted in the time since we published the original lodo pdf.

I would keep the water pretty bare bones for everything except the East German pils, where you can try pushing the sodium up to as high as 70 ppm. Otherwise, use RO with enough calcium chloride to hit 30-50 ppm Ca, and let the sodium metabisulfite provide you with the sodium and sulfate. Water profiles adapted for low oxygen brewing still need more investigation, but this one is simple and works well enough. If your system has a lot of oxygen ingress, you may want to use a higher dose of SMB. However, if you have a tight brewing system (e.g. low-headspace or floating mash cap on at all times, zero splashing, zero leaks in pump lines, minimal transfer of wort) you are going to want to decrease the dose to 20-30 mg/l so you don't end up with too much residual sulfite, which can lead to a burnt match smell. Certain ale yeasts (like hefeweizen yeast) also seem to not like sulfite very much, so consider dropping the dose even lower and focusing on tightening up your system in other ways. The SMB can also be combined with ascorbic acid and brew tan B; 20 mg/l SMB + 20 mg/l AA + 30 mg/l BB is a very effective blend.

Personally, I would employ a Hochkurz mash for all of these with a 30 minute rest at 62c (up to 64c depending on the gelatinization temperature of the malt), a 30 minute rest at 72c, and a 5-10 minute rest at 76c but this is another knob to turn. This mash may only give you a good attenuation limit if you have a means of agitating the mash without aeration (e.g. a recirc loop with no leaks). I am assuming that you either acidify using sauergut or enough acidulated malt to hit a mash pH of 5.2-5.4, and that the % of acid malt comes out of the % of pilsner malt. Nowadays I am using sauergut to hit a mash pH of 5.2-5.4, and I add a second dose of sauergut with 10 minutes left in the boil to drop the pH to 5.0.

I am assuming that you are calculating IBUs using the formula from the low oxygen brewing document. I will also assume that your boils are 60 minutes long with a total evaporation of 6-8%. Hop utilization is going to vary from system to system, but you can assume that it will be somewhere between 23%-30% for FWH and 60 minute additions, 15-20% for 30 minute additions, about 10% for 10 minute additions and 5% for 5 minute additions. You'll likely need to fine tune the hop rates for your system. When I call for percentages at different times, I'm talking about the % of total alpha acids. I haven't done much experimentation with high alpha acid bittering hops recently, so for the time being I am only recommending noble-type hops for these recipes. It's fine to use just one, like Hallertau Mittelfruh, which works well by itself, or you could try blending two different varieties 50/50. Use what you like and experiment!

For hopping schedules, it is really up to you. A single 60 minute addition is fine if that's what you like. 70% at 60 min + 30% at 30 minutes is a really nice one for helles. 1/3 at 60, 1/3 at 40, and 1/3 at 15-20 is a great pilsner schedule.

Personally I think it is important to get as little break into the fermenter as possible. I use Whirlfloc for this reason because otherwise the cold break is too powdery. You will notice that if your wort into the fermenter is crystal clear, your fermentations will be more healthy and the beer will also clear extremely fast - I can turn around a crystal clear lager with no cold side fining in under 3 weeks.

You can ferment any of these with the classic cold (see https://edelstoffquest.wordpress.com/20 ... mentation/) or the traditional warm ferment (see https://edelstoffquest.wordpress.com/20 ... mentation/), but ultimately you need to find a fermentation schedule that works for you. For me, that is pitching at 6c, fermenting at 8 to 9c, racking with 1% extract left and holding until FG, and then lowering down to 3c. As far as yeast goes, I've had the best results with WY2206, WLP835, and WY2124. I'll assume that you follow the traditional lagering phase as well, spunding in the keg to carbonate and keep cold side oxygen pickup at bay (this is every bit as important as the hot side oxygen control).

Consider these to be works in progress that I'll periodically update/modify. And remember, these aren't gospel, nor are they perfect recipes - they're just starting points. Go nuts and experiment.

Helles - OG 11.5-12.8 Plato
80-90% Pilsner malt at 3.5 EBC
0-15% Vienna malt at 8 EBC
0-10% Munich malt at 15 EBC
0-10% caramalt at 25 EBC (aka Weyerman Carahell)
0-3% caramalt at 100 EBC (aka Weyerman Caramunich)
14-20 IBUs

Pils - OG 11.5-12.8 Plato
90-95% Pilsner malt at 3-3.5 EBC
5-10% caramalt at 5 EBC (Carafoam), 25 EBC (Carahell), or 120 EBC (Caramunich 2) (or a blend)
25-35 IBUs

Marzen - OG 13.5 Plato
30-50% Munich malt at 15 EBC (aka Weyermann Munich I)
30-50% Pilsner malt at 3.5 EBC
0-30% Vienna malt at 8 EBC
0-10% caramalt at 25 to 120 EBC (aka Weyermann Carahell to Caramunich 2, or a blend)
20-26 IBUs

Festbier - OG 13.5 Plato
70-90% Pilsner malt at 3.5 EBC
0-30% Vienna malt at 8 EBC
0-30% Munich malt at 15 EBC
0-10% caramel malt at 25 EBC (Carahell)
18-24 IBUs

Dunkel - OG 12.5 Plato
75-95% Munich malt (blend Munich I and Munich II to taste; 7:3 light:dark is a good ratio)
0-20% Pilsner malt at 3.5 EBC
3-6% caramalt at 100 to 150 EBC (aka Weyermann Caramunich I, II, or III)
0-1% carafa special at 1200 EBC (carafa special 1) - can also use more and cold steep and/or add at vorlauf to get even more color without too much roast flavor
18-22 IBUs

Schwarzbier - OG 12 Plato
70% Pilsner malt at 3.5 EBC
0-25% Munich malt at 15 EBC (Munich I)
0-5% caramalt at 25 to 120 EBC (Carahell to Caramunich 2)
2-3% carafa special at 1400 EBC (carafa special 3)
24-28 IBUs
Last edited by Techbrau on Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:26 pm, edited 34 times in total.
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caedus
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby caedus » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:40 am

What exactly defines a caramalt? Carafoam seems to me to be an undermodified pilsner to aid in mouthfeel and head retention via extra protein?

I am definitely doing marzen after the first helles test.
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Weizenberg
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby Weizenberg » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:53 am

huh? Caramalt at 5EBC being an undermodified Pilsner malt? Now where did you get this information from?
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby mpietropaoli » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:43 am

I'm thinking the East German/ddr recipe would get pretty close to a Radeberger, yes?

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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby wobdee » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:48 am

Nice looking baseline recipes. What do you think your baseline is for a Festbier?
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Brandon
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby Brandon » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:13 am

mpietropaoli wrote:I'm thinking the East German/ddr recipe would get pretty close to a Radeberger, yes?

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This is one that I'm working on. I think it's a good baseline place to start. I'm basically going back and forth between brewing Helles and Pilsner, with a 95/4/1 Helles (Pils/Carahell/Melanoidin) - with I think it's 6-8% carafoam and acidulated as needed to adjust pH.

And have brewed several Pilsners that take the basic 96/4 (Pils/Carahell) and offset the Pilsner malt with a few % of malts like Carabohemian, Carared, Caramunich's.

I have a Pilsner on tap right now that I call my Saphir Sulfur bomb - Wey. Bo Pils malt (not floor malted), 1% Carabohemian, 4% Carahell, fermented with WLP802. Since I've been working on fermentation and ways to manage oxygen post-fermentation, this also has a smidge of Sodium Metabisulfite added to the keg, which mostly lagered out, but the beer still has a barely noticeable sulfur note. I would say it could be a Pilsner brewed outside Dresden, at a not quite so well managed brewery as Radeberger. It falls between that, more German tasting than Firestone Walker Pivo, but not quite the malt character of Radeberger. Sodium and sulfur needs to be there to add that Radeberger character. Unlike the softer/milder Helles of Bavaria, East German Pilsners are robust, 'salty', hoppy but firm malt character. Honestly, I think they're harder to get right than Helles. Once you can brew a great Helles, making one of these and have it balance out in all aspects is art.

I will be trying combinations, building on that base and varying the amount of crystal malts. Radeberger has a distinct firm caramalt flavor.

Maybe I'll start a recipe thread, I'm the East German pilsner fan in the group. My real target is Ur Krostizer Pilsner https://www.ur-krostitzer.de/
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby caedus » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:30 pm

Weizenberg wrote:huh? Caramalt at 5EBC being an undermodified Pilsner malt? Now where did you get this information from?



That is my question, what makes Carafoam a cara-malt? It looks and mashes, and attenuates exactly like pilsner malt.
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby Roachbrau » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:13 pm

caedus wrote:
Weizenberg wrote:huh? Caramalt at 5EBC being an undermodified Pilsner malt? Now where did you get this information from?



That is my question, what makes Carafoam a cara-malt? It looks and mashes, and attenuates exactly like pilsner malt.

I'm going to side in the middle of these two viewpoints. I think the Weyermann Carafoam that we get isn't quite a caramalt, and isn't quite an undermodified/chit/spitz malt either. Maybe it's supposed to be intermediate between the two? It's undermodified, but it's also darker than something like Best chit, but it has more in common with chit than a true crystal malt like Briess Carapils
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby caedus » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:38 pm

http://thunderdogbrewery.com/2016/04/13 ... -carapils/

Just gonna drop that there. Carapils=/Carafoam, that is for sure. I followed that experiment up with a 100% carafoam Czech pils and so far it tastes alright. Tastes like a 100% pils beer. Its just now going into lagering, so there might be some serious changes once everything settles.

I did a triple step, single decoction mash. Maintained my 75% efficiency, it attenuated 78%. I know 100% Spitz malt beers are possible with a triple decoction, so I figured why not play around with carafoam.
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Re: Low oxygen baseline recipes for German lagers

Postby Roachbrau » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:57 pm

Nico aka Weizenberg is Bavarian, and lives in the UK, so for him Carapils is a Weyermann product, and Carafoam doesn't exist

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