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German Brewing • Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?
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Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:50 pm
by lupulus
Hello everyone,
Hope you take this comment as constructive. I am providing some background to explain what prompted it.
A very good brewer with many lager medals (from our brewing club in Austin) has followed the key processes of the paper and observed that 100mg SMB/L of brewing water is making his beer worse, not better. He has tried the process 5 times.
My own experience was that 100mg SMB/ L was too much. I decreased the dose after 5 brews, and I am now at about 15mg/ L.
I purposely did not mention anything when he brought up the paper so that I did not introduce a bias. My best guess based on the anecdotal evidence of my own brewing is that the threshold for sulfury taste varies with yeasts and processes, so I do not get involved unless someone asks a specific question.
I understand, maybe wrongly, that nobody used 100mg / L anymore. If this is the case, the paper is no longer a good starting point, as the body of evidence that all of us are accumulating is not based nor even close to what the paper recommends.
Comments? Thoughts?
No problem if you disagree.
Cheers,
Ricardo

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:32 pm
by Ancient Abbey
You are exactly correct. We addressed it in the updated version (v2). We are addressing it again in another update (v3), with pretty much exactly what you've observed and found to be an adequate dose.

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:55 pm
by lupulus
A few suggestions:
Mash intervals: Although I agree with the general guideline, to have the rests in the paper, some type of mixing is required. I suggest stating that the reader may have to adapt the durations to their process.
Boiling: Again, I agree with the general guideline, but this had led some brewers to cloudy wort (not sufficient boil vigor). It did happen to me once when using the same process with Avangard malts (these malts need a longer or more vigorous boil in my system, other malts may need it too). I suggest stating that the wort going into the fermenter should be clear; if not, your boil was not vigorous enough.
Setting the spunding valve: 0.8 bar may or may not be the best setting depending on the beer temp at transferring. If the beer finishes fermenting when still warm, the pressure at 0C will be lower than 0.8 bar. The easiest would be to set the valve when the beer is lagering at 0C.

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:22 pm
by Weizenberg
Good points on boiling and mash intervals (which need a complete rework imo), but I am not sure about your comments on conditioning lager. As the beer transfers to conditioning, the whole point is that is still has residual sugar left and the now (rather sluggish) ongoing fermentation carbonates as well as decomposes unwelcome byproducts.

A setting of 0.5-0.8 BAR at 3-5C is rather classic and amply described in "Abriss" for eg.

That section probably needs a lot of clarification it seems....

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:15 pm
by lupulus

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:52 am
by Weizenberg
Rest assured that I never doubt your honourable intentions ;)

Yes. Indeed. Setting the pressure initially at 0.8 is *sometimes* done. It does end up at the correct setting for the right carbonation at target volume though.

Using a bit more pressure initially is a slightly more advanced technique and I agree that the introduction to lager conditioning is a poor place for mentioning this.

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:52 am
by Weizenberg
Rest assured that I never doubt your honourable intentions ;)

Yes. Indeed. Setting the pressure initially at 0.8 is *sometimes* done. It does end up at the correct setting for the right carbonation at target volume though.

Using a bit more pressure initially is a slightly more advanced technique and I agree that the introduction to lager conditioning is a poor place for mentioning this.

Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:29 pm
by mchrispen
weiz... doubt him please or he is impossible to be around!


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Re: Time to amend the Bavarian Helles Paper?

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:47 am
by Weizenberg
He's got the latest copy of Abriss. It's all in there ;)